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Better Search Tools for Twitter Backlinks

Lori Halley 17 May 2010 2 comments

You already know the importance of listening for social media mentions of your nonprofit – monitoring with tools like Google Alerts that can let you know when your organization’s name comes up online. But what of those Twitter users who link to your website or blog post without specifically using your group’s name? sure, Google can catch those references if you’ve set up a news alert for your website domain name – but not if the tweeter uses one of the shortened URLs that are ubiquitous on Twitter.

That’s where Backtweets.com comes in.

As our own Jay Moonah explains in this Tip of the Week video (a series he’s been doing over at Wild Apricot's Facebook page – check it out!)  Backtweets sees right through the shortened URLs  and lets you know what Twitter updates contain links to your website or blog.

You can check your Twitter backlinks on Backtweets.com at any time – no account signup needed – or have alerts sent to you by email on the schedule you choose. In short, Backtweets is one of those cool free job-specific tools that makes your social media monitoring chores a whole lot easier.

But can’t Twitter Search look inside shortened URLs?

Up until recently, no...

But Chris Pirillo spotted “something very cool and important” on Twitter this weekend:

I did a routine Twitter search of the word Pirillo. What I saw made me blink and check again to be sure I had seen correctly the first time: Over three-quarters of the results didn’t have my name anywhere in the tweet. Instead, there were shortened links in the tweets… such as those from bit.ly and ping.fm.

So it looks like Twitter is improving its own search function to expand shortened URLs, just as Backtweets does, to make that content accessible to search. I haven’t seen anything on the official Twitter blog about this, but tested it myself with a Twitter search for wildapricot.com – and by George, he’s right!

Now, if there were only a simple one-click way to get Twitter’s search results delivered to my Inbox in real time, we’d really be in business. However, if grabbing the RSS feed for your search query (there’s a link on every results page at search.twitter.com, right there in the upper right) will suit your needs just fine, then this new-and-improved twitter Search should be a useful Backtweets alternative.

Do you know of any other tools that can search inside the shortened URLs in tweets?
Let us know in the comments –

Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Monday, 17 May 2010 at 2:28 AM


  • Kelly Geigner said:

    Tuesday, 18 May 2010 at 12:11 PM

    Wow- this is a great tool, thank you for sharing!!!

  • SEO Solutions said:

    Monday, 11 October 2010 at 2:13 AM

    Your information will help us a lot. thanks for such a awesome information.

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