Twitter Search was a red hot topic last week, and will probably continue to heat up as Twitter usage grows beyond tech peeps and early adopters and penetrates the masses via Presidential Twittering, Rick Sanchez (@ricksanchezcnn) of CNN motivating his viewers to Twitter and other timely events like the baseball season, holidays and unfortunate events all result in the wildfire spread of Twittering.
- Nothing has really caught on online with such a grassroots movement since, well, since Google.
Speaking of Google, a lot of last week’s Twitter buzz was Google oriented, with acquisition and search buzz including :
- The notion that Twitter could be more important to Google than YouTube
- Google actually launching an official Google Twitter Account
- Twitter testing a search bar on Twitter.com and sponsored Twitter ads
- Google’s CEO claiming that the company is not yet interested in buying Twitter (but not saying that they will not).
Twitter’s ability to document and search real time conversation gives it an advantage on Google in this area, since users are entering their information directly into the Twitter database as opposed to Google having to depend on indexing via bots or the intangibles of sites not being SEO friendly. Therefore, by using Twitter Search or Twitter to find information (as I like to call Twoogling), more current, human and real-time information can be found.
Twitter Search however has its faults, and is kind of a boring example as the best way to tap into the Twitter Search API. Various 3rd party applications do a much better job of using Twitter Search to the best of its abilities and here are some of my favorites I’ve come across, and have implemented into my daily search routine.
- IceRocket Twitter Search : Lets you reply directly to the Tweets and view the Tweets from the members’ profile pages. IceRocket just launched their Twitter Search as part of their overall IceRocket BigBuzz service whch searches Twitter, blogs, Friendfeed, videos ..etc. Blake Rhodes, CEO of IceRocket, says that BigBuzz is “offering the best real-time search options out there.”
- Flaptor Twitter Search : Fro a fas, efficient and beautiful way to search tweets, I enjoy Flaptor’s Twitter Search. It’s sleek design makes Twitter searching so much more enjoyable and it also offers an easy to install Firefox addon. Best of all, there are no advertisements on the site.
- Tweet Scan is a simple Twitter search tool (updates results every second) which serves Twitter search results in a Google style fashion. It’s easy to use just for this reason alone.
- BackTweets : I LOVE this tool. If you’re a publisher, you need to bookmark this. BackTweets lets you enter any URL and then will serve the search results for the Twitter profiles which have linked to that URL in their tweets. Being that so many Twitter users use different forms of shortened URL’s, BackTweets is an amazing tool for keeping track of who is linking to your site on Twitter.
- Twitter Spectrum : Visualizes Twitter conversation which is based around specific keyterms. Although this may not be the best tool for finding information, it is a fun way to visually track Twitter trends in searching.
- Twopular : Tracks Twitter trends over time spans of hours, days, weeks, months and custom time lines. Grouped with Google Trends, this is an important tool for measuring the buzz within the Twittersphere and if done correctly, you can be proactive about tracking Twitter trends which peak around holidays, news event days, or other times suring the year and implement them into your editorial calendar or SEO campaign.
- TweepSearch : Allows Twitter users to search the bios of other Twitters, to identify people with similar interests. This is a good way to streamline your friend-making capabilities on Twitter by searching for people with similar jobs, like the same sports as you, or have the same hobbies.
- TweetMeme : A hybrid of the social media voting system made popular by Digg and the popularity system of Techmeme, Tweetmeme identifies the most popular sites being tweeted and retweeted on Twitter and gives its users the ability to vote for a topic via Retweeting it. One thing I really like about this tool is that it offers an easy to use “Retweet Me” box which can be embedded in your blogposts (see an example at Daily SEO Tip)
- Twit Scoop searches and tracks the keyword-related conversations. It will also show you the trend for your keyword popularity on Twitter
In my opinion, in order for Twitter to fully complete with Google, and if sponsored ads are going to be part of its business model, Twitter is going to have to implement the best and brightest of these and similar Twitter applications into its main Twitter Search functionality, which would position Twitter as a nucleus of real-time search services, and conversation.
What are your favorite Twitter Search applications? Please feel free to share them in the comments below, and please Tweet this post.
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