Twitter Search – You are making us break the rules!

by Robyn Hawk on December 30, 2009

image from Twitter Icon Factory: http://twittericonfactory.com/
Are you showing up in Twitter Search?

I think you would be surprised to find out that several of you ARE NOT showing up in Search.

Which, of course, means that your tweets are not being aggregated by search engines and if you are using "keywords" as your Twitter username - you aren't coming up when people search those words. Sorta defeats the purpose of using "keywords" instead of your "real" name.

1. Search your user name at http://search.twitter.com You should see YOUR tweets as well as tweets directed to you...

2. Search your user name here http://twitter.com/search/users This is the search on the Twitter page that allows people to find users

OR on your desktop app - type "From:yourusername" in the Search bar

Did you check - are you showing up in search? I'm NOT!

BTW - this also means your hashtags don't show in Search, thus your posts don't show in TweetChat so it becomes very difficult to participate in the many great chat groups on Twitter!

Let me tell you why...I was a fairly early adopter on Twitter and there were no rules at the beginning - spammers found Twitter and rules were put in place.

These are the specific rules that I am breaking and why I will NEVER be searchable UNLESS...I can grow a group of Twitterers that has enough "juice" to change the rules!!!!

From Twitter's Support page - I engage in "aggressive behaviors". Specifically the italicized ones:
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The Twitter Rules explain what behaviors are permitted on Twitter. In addition to these rules, we've included some tips below to keep your content relevant (and listed in Twitter search). We caution against aggressive behaviors and suggest that you stay away from:

> Repeatedly posting duplicate or near-duplicate content (links or tweets)
> Abusing trending topics or hashtags (topic words with a # sign)
> Sending automated tweets or replies
> Using bots or applications to post similar messages based on keywords
> Posting similar messages over multiple accounts
> Aggressively following and un-following people

Twitter may automatically remove accounts engaging in these behaviors from search (or even suspend in some cases) in order to ensure the best experience for everyone.

Excerpt from: http://help.twitter.com/forums/10713/entries/42646
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So why and how am I abusing these rules?

1. Repeatedly posting duplicate or near-duplicate content (links or tweets)
When I first started Twittering I saw the benefit of using Twitter to bring people with me to the events I attend - I "Live Tweet" Events! My "username" disappeared from Search following the Tucson Gem Show (Feb. 2009) However, from my followers who are for the most part in the same Gem & Jewelry Industry "Niche" the response was great!

2. Posting similar messages over multiple accounts
So - to combat the fact that I was no longer showing up in Search - I decided I would start a second account that was geared to only that very narrow niche...and as you would guess - I now needed to migrate the people who were interested in that event to this new account...cross posting ensued!

3. Aggressively following and un-following people
Because I use a Seesmic Desktop app I tend to not check my follower stats - I do follow and unfollow from my app occasionally but about once a month I check in on my Twitter home page and go through my followers list to weed out the porn chicks and spammers and to follow my new (20 - 50) followers, which could be considered aggressive.

There are posts all over the internet about this topic but as soon as someone posts a fix - Twitter gets so inundated that they change the procedure - examples: http://modelsupplies.wordpress.com/2009/07/07/help-i-dont-show-up-in-twitter-search/
http://addicted-to-squidoo.blogspot.com/2009/06/i-am-having-problems-with-my.html

My personal thoughts on this is - your followers should decide if you are a Spammer not Twitter! If your followers think you are tweeting aggressively - they WILL unfollow you! But isn't that where the decision should be made?

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