For the socially interactive sites out there, there are always going to be better ways to use them, such as Efemr for Twitter, an app that will delete specific Tweets after a certain amount of time has passed.

But there are several ways to use Twitter better when it comes to searching. Whether you’re not sure which search results in Twitter are the most important or maybe you want to remove unneeded results from your search results, our guide will outline how to search Twitter better than both Sherlock Holmes and the FBI combined… Almost.

Omit search results with links

Links are so often affiliated with an ad or someone trying to sell you something that if you’re searching for something in particular where you know links shouldn’t be included, you can remove them from the search results altogether. To do this, when typing in a term in the search field, add this to the end of your search query: “? -filter:links.”


Now, when your search results appear, all tweets that contain any kind of link will automatically be removed from the list.

Omit retweets

Getting rid of retweets is another good method of streamlining your search. By doing this, it makes sure redundant retweets don’t hoarding up in your search results. To remove retweets from your Twitter search results, simply enter “-rt” to the end of your search query.


View the “Top” search results 99% of the time

When searching for anything on Twitter, it’ll provide search results from three different sources; “Top,” “All” and “People you follow.” While all of these provide good information, it’s best to start with the “Top” source first. The results found in this area are not chosen by anyone at Twitter. They’re generated by an algorithm that compiles a list of the most popular search results on whatever term you searched.

Simply put, the “Top” search results are the best overall. Next, view the rest of the search results starting with “All,” which is a good place to start if you’re performing a very specific search.


Save search results

Why save searches? Because sometimes your searches can produce some helpful, even entertaining results. There isn’t always time to examine each tweet to the full extent it deserves. By saving a search, you can keep this collection of tweets for as long as you want it.

To save a search in Twitter, after the results are displayed, click the gear icon in the top right corner and select “Save search.”


Find tweets in a specific location

While entering the city’s name always works and then the search term for whatever you’re looking for, a more exact way of honing in on an exact location is to enter the query “near:phoenix,” if you’re searching in Phoenix, Arizona, which you also put at the end of the search query. You can also add “within:30mi” in the search field to find specific tweets tied to a certain location.


Search for photos only

A fun way to search Twitter is to search for photos only, which can shed light on a subject in a completely new way. To view only shared photos in your search results, type your search term, “NY Yankees” for example, then enter “twitpic” after that. You will only see photos about the NY Yankees shared with the photo-sharing service, Twitpic.


Likewise, you can also search for shared photos by entering other services such as “yfrog,” “” or “twitgoo” after your search term as well.

Discover who’s talking about you

And lastly, find out who’s been talking about you on Twitter but aren’t linking to you directly. You can do this by entering your name and the following three search queries. If your Twitter name is JohnDoe, here’s how it should look: “JohnDoe -to:johndoe -from:johndoe [email protected]


After you enter this query, you should be able to see all tweets referring to you, linking to your profile or no.


The moral of the story – never be satisfied with how you’re using a site. There’s always new searching tricks for Twitter as developers add new workarounds, and they’re added often. And if you’ve found search results you’d like to save so you can analyze them at length, try adding them to Excel using this how-to.