Twitter Search Far From Perfect

    May 28, 2009
    Chris Crum

Twitter may be rocking Google’s world, but what about Twitter’s world? There has been a lot of hype surrounding Twitter search (and real-time search in general) as the way search is going.

Larry PageSuch hype is not exactly without merit. As Twitter search has emerged, many have grasped the benefits that it has provided. Even Google Co-Founder Larry Page recently said, "People really want to do stuff real time and I think they [Twitter] have done a great job about it. I think we have done a relatively poor job of creating things that work on a per-second basis."

But let’s remember that while real-time search may be important to the industry, it is not the only element of search that is important. Relevancy isn’t always dated.

Blogger Louis Gray has a rather eye-opening post up about just how broken Twitter Search actually is. While it is indeed great for finding information related to specific queries in real time, it appears to become less useful when searching for content from older tweets.

First Oprah Tweet

Gray shares some interesting examples, even including one of the most famous tweets – Oprah’s first. Gray was not able to find it with Twitter Search. He writes:

Louis Gray"If they are to truly reach their potential, the company has got to find a way to find all the data that today, is missing and hard to find. If it’s a scalability issue, Twitter has practically become a utility, like e-mail, and a solution is necessary, even if it means teaming up with a company that knows how to grow and scale. Be the suitor Microsoft, Google, Apple or anybody at that level, each offers a better alternative to the rapid dissolution of features and data integrity we are seeing today."

The problem is that Twitter doesn’t appear to be for sale. That doesn’t mean that partnerships aren’t in order. I don’t like contributing to any rumors, but what company would you turn to if you were having issues with search?