The Twitter Series: The Best Twitter Search Sites on the Web

If you’re living, breathing, and tweeting in the real world, you’re going to need real-time searches. Google has yet to employ the key of the real-time search, but there are plenty of credible search services willing to scan Twitter and other sites in real time. These search engines will find the latest, most current update from the real-time social web. I’ve spent lots of time looking at a multitude of sites that scan live-updating websites like Twitter and other sources in order to find the very best tools for every topic.

Let’s start by looking at Twitter’s own search service. True, it’s easy to use, shows clear results, and does a fairly good job of allowing the users to see their real-time results while acknowledging that users cannot actually be bothered to read every single real-time tweet as it goes flying by from one to the next. A counter is updated on the top of the page, notifying you that more twitters are constantly coming through in real-time that are related to your search, but you have to click a link to actually see these updates. Twitter Search is also very good at building more advanced queries and allows you to subscribe to an RSS feed to receive search results. However convenient all of these characteristics may prove to be, there’s no doubt that Twitter Search could be more considerably more helpful. Unfortunately, its search results are sorted only on a chronological basis. There is no means to indicate the most popular, most read, or most related tweets. Also, needless to say, Twitter’s search serves Twitter only. There are several services that do a better job than Twitter does, but I’ve narrowed it down to three.

* Twazzup

o Twazzup provides an excellent solution to the relevancy problem. Rather than altering the real-time Twitter search, Twazzup actually adds to them. The results of your search show up in the main column surrounded by, first, related words and hashtags at the top of the page. The expandable “Popular Tweets” sidebar is extremely useful in its display of tweets with your keyword that are most often linked to or retweeted. It also provides photos and popular links. Unfortunately, Twazzup searches only Twitter, (although we can accept this because it is a made-for Twitter service).

* Collecta

o Collecta is a great resource that scans Twitter and other live-updated sites, including main-stream media sites and their blogs, like CNN for example. It has a clean, easy to use interface, and it even lets you run multiple searches at one time. This tool is perfect for monitoring multiple topics every day. Collecta, however, does not have an advanced search builder.

* Scoopler

o Scoopler is more like Twazzup in its display of the real-time results and the tools in the form of sidebars that add to the results. Scoopler searches Twitter and other blogs, such as Digg, and is particularly helpful in picking up items with links. You can also keep three searches pegged to your page that make for quick access.