If you want an alternative to the specific Twitter search tools that have appeared in recent months, here’s how to search for relevant people on Twitter using our old friend Google.
Due to the amount of buzz surrounding Twitter (and the fear that human edited Twitter search may present a serious challenge to Google), all the new pages on Twitter are indexed rapidly, which means that Google is a good alternative to the range of Twitter search tools that are available.
If you already know some of the advanced search commands on Google, you have a great advantage. If you’ve never used the advanced Google search commands, just follow the examples and replace the sample search words with your own requirements until it becomes second nature.
When you’re looking for people on Twitter, there are four basic factors that you can search;
Name, Profile, Location and Tweets
1) Searching for Twitter users based on their name
You can also search for a person’s full name, for example;
Shows there are only 3 Twitter users call Stuart Laing.
Just change the name in the search to suit your own needs.
2) Searching for Twitter users on the words used their bio profile
This will provide you with a long list of people who have used the word sport in their Twitter bio. Again, just alter the search term to suit your own needs.
3) Searching for Twitter users based on the location in their profile
Google will return a list of Twitter users based in Florida.
It’s also possible to combine these search factors, for example, if you want to search for Twitter users based on their location and the words used in their profile, use this search formula;
This will return a list of Twitter users based in Florida who have PR in their bio.
4) Seaching for Twitter users based on the words that appear in their tweets
This will return a list of all the Twitter messages containing the word Golf that have been indexed by Google.
If you prefer to use Twitter specific search tools, here are a few of the best options;
Twitter Search Is the main Twitter search engine
TweepSearch Allows you to search for people according to the words that appear in their Twitter profile
TwitScoop Allows you to keep up to date with the latest Twitter trends based on the popularity of keywords currently appearing in the main Twitter stream.
What tools do you use to find people on Twitter? Do you prefer to use tools that are specifically related to Twitter? Do you use Google? Or do you prefer using another method to find relevant people on Twitter? Please share your thoughts on the best way to search Twitter in the comments section below.
And finally, we’ve recently discovered a powerful technique that allows you to search any of these tools direct from your main browser address bar.
If you use the Firefox browser (and we recommend that you do), here’s what to do;
Step One: Select the Twitter search tool that you want to use.
We’ll start with the main Twitter search tool at http://search.twitter.com
Step Two: Type any word into the search box and click search.
Step Three: Add the search result page to your list of bookmarks.
You can click the star icon to the right of the main address bar or use the keyboard shortcut (control + D) then click done.
Step Four: Click the bookmarks menu in the browser toolbar at the top of the page and scroll down to the page that you just bookmarked.
Right click the entry, select properties from the menu and once the info box appears we have two changes to make. In the box labeled KEYWORD, enter a tag that you will use to open up the twitter search page in the future. For example, I use the letters ts, which are short for twitter search. From now on, whenever you type ts into your browser address bar and press enter, that search page from your bookmarks will automatically appear.
You can use this simple technique with any page and it will save you a great deal of time on the pages that you use regularly. However, it gets even better.
Step Five: As I just mentioned, to make our twitter search shortcut really interactive, we have to make a second change in the properties box for your bookmark. Just above the box labeled KEYWORD, you should see a box labeled LOCATION. This contains the address of the page bookmarked. So, if you typed sport into the search box before you originally bookmarked the page, the url will look like this;
The page address now has a query string added to the end that tells the site the word to search for. We’re going to delete the search term and replace it with %s (percentage sign followed by the letter s). So the location url should now look like this;
Click the save changes button and we’re ready to test our work.
From now on, whenever you want to search for something using Twitter search, all you have to do is type your key into the main browser address bar followed by a space and then the search term that you want to find.
For example if you selected ts for your key to the twitter search bookmark and you want to search for any mentions of motor racing on Twitter, all you have to do is type the following into your main Firefox address bar and press enter.
ts motor racing
The search page will automatically appear with your results. You won’t have to find the page then enter your search term. It may only save you a few seconds every time, but you can apply this technique to any pages that you use regularly and any other sites that you search frequently, for example, youtube, twitterholic, tweepsearch and even the Twitter Power System blog.
You could even program the Google based Twitter searches into your browser bar using this technique. Just perform the search, bookmark it, add your desired tag then replace your search term with %s (please note: you can only use this technique with searches that include one search variable).