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The little banner placed just under the Topsy search box says it all – all tweets since 2006. That’s the year Twitter started, and now Topsy, the social analytics company gives you the ability to use it to search all tweets since the beginning of Twitter time. The ability to sift and search through an index of 540 billion tweets is an exceptional tool because Twitter’s real time conversation has become a huge storehouse of knowledge. It is doubly important because Twitter’s own search still leaves a lot to be desired.

Type in your query into the search box and then you can use the filters on the search results page to drill through the tweets. The screenshot below gives you a brief idea. You can go back across time with specific time filters or use the Specific Range filters to key in two dates. Topsy’s search algorithm also helps you arrange the tweets by relevance.

The real-time search of the Twitter stream is a powerful ally for monitoring your brand. It could also prove very useful for knowledge workers who can dip into the Twittersphere. For instance, you can follow a particular hashtag right from its origin to the present day and see how it has evolved.

A New York Times blog post quoted Vipul Ved Prakash, Topsy’s co-founder:

“How do you make sense of 400 billion pieces of content? One, by ranking it. We do that ranking by looking at how much a particular piece of content is being cited by other people.”

Try out Topsy and tell us how useful do you think it will be, and will it be the default Twitter search tool for you?

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Source: Search Engine Land

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