10 Tips and Tricks for Powerful Twitter Search

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Geek Stuff, Social Media
1. Understanding Twitter Search Results

Twitter search results are divided into sections. On the left, you can toggle between these categories: Tweets, People, Videos and Images.

These results are determined by Twitter’s search algorithms, as are the “top” tweet results.

In Twitter’s words, “We’ve built an algorithm that finds the tweets that have caught the attention of other users. Top Tweets will refresh automatically and are surfaced for popularly retweeted subjects based on this algorithm. We do not hand-select Top Tweets.”

For this reason, if you’re looking for an at-a-glance look at a topic, Top Tweets is the way to go. If you’re carrying out a more stringent search, be sure to click “All.”

2. Remove Retweets From Results

You can get retweet-free search results by adding the minus sign search operator.

Simply enter -RT to see a list of original results — handy if you’re searching for a popular term.

3. Location-Based Search

You can look for tweets that come from or are near to a certain location.

Type near:NYC within:5mi to return tweets sent within five miles of the Big Apple.

4. Search For Tweets With Links

If you want to only see tweets that contain links, add filter:links to your search phrase.

5. Search for Tweets From a Certain User

If you want to carry out a keyword search for one particular person, type from:username to search within his or her stream.

6. Positive, Negative and Questions

If you want to look up results based on sentiment, simply add 🙂 or 😦 to your search.

Similarly, you can look for tweets that pose a question by adding a question mark to your search query.

7. Search Up To/From a Date

It’s possible to search Twitter for content up to and after certain dates.

Typing since:2012-09-20 will show tweets sent since Sept 20, 2012, while until:2012-09-20 will show those sent up to the same date.

8. Search for Tweets From Certain Sources

If you’d like to see tweets sent via SMS, or from a particular Twitter client, you can use the “source” search operator to do so.

For example, source:txt will bring up tweets sent via SMS.

9. Save Searches

Did you know you can save up to 25 searches on Twitter?

Simply enter the search term you’d like to save, hit enter, then click on the cog icon at the top-right of your screen.

Hitting Save search means you can access that query again simply by clicking in the search box and selecting from the drop-down menu that will appear.

10. Bookmark Twitter’s Advanced Search

Finally, if you don’t think you’ll remember all the search operators, there’s an easy fix.

You can just bookmark Twitter’s Advanced Search page, where many of these search elements are templated for ease of use.

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