There’s a story over on Search Engine Land that discusses the number of searches carried out on Twitter every month. This is following the redesign on the Twitter homepage to make the service more search focused.
At the Twitter Chirp conference Co founder Ev Williams said that the service is handling a massive 19 billion searches per month. That, incredibly, is more than Bing and Yahoo combined. And that’s from a service that is in reality just 3 years old.
Here’s the official monthly search figures of all the top players, according to comScore:
Google: 88 billion per month
Twitter: 19 billion per month
Yahoo: 9.4 billion per month
Bing: 4.1 billion per month
Google numbers are for more than just the search engine, and include those for images, maps and –crucially – YouTube). As you can see, Twitter is now in position 2.
However, there are a few holes in Twitter figures. For a starter they’re self reporting. Secondly, those searches are often made by third party applications such as desktop clients tweetdeck and Seesmic.
And thirdly – and most significantly – many are ‘standing queries’ that are being carried out on a users behalf. For example, one of my columns in Tweetdeck is a search for ‘webeden’, so I can have a look to see if anyone is mentioning us. I’m not making that search every day, but did it once when I set up Tweetdeck. But now Tweetdeck is carrying out that search on my behalf every 150 seconds throughout the day.
Last but not least, many users choose to display their Twitter profile or a keyword search on their websites. (If you want to do this watch our tutorial on how to put your Twitter profile on your website). In these cases it’s the actual websites that are making constant, standing searches on Twitter.
So the figure of 19bn might be not quite what we’d understand as 19bn if it was searches being carried out on one of the traditional search engines. They aren’t all individual varied searches for information, products or services.
As for the actual Twitter Search page, it contributes just ‘ a few million’ searches per months. Here’s our in depth guide on how to search on Twitter.
Do you find Twitter search useful? Were you even aware it existed? Leave us a comment below.