Studying the impact of innovation on business and society

Deleted Tweets Finally Deleted from Twitter Search

Over the years, Twitter search was plagued by an unbelievable flaw. Deleted tweets remained in Twitter’s search index and thus, would appear in the search results regardless of the conscious act of manually removing the tweets from your personal stream. Believe it or not, this problem remained constant much to the dismay of many power users. To my pleasant surprise, Twitter has finally rectified this problem and has officially removed deleted tweets from its index.

Now that Google and Bing are channeling Twitter search results, it’s widely suspected that Twitter had no choice but to remedy this enduring problem. Imagine if your deleted tweets ranked among the top results in Google or Bing? Obviously privacy is a primary concern and this is a step in the right direction. However, privacy on the social Web is an oxymoron of sorts. Once a Tweet is published for example, it is indexed by many other third-party services, networks and applications. And, even if you delete a Tweet, it still may reside somewhere else. For example, if you stream your Tweets to Facebook and Tumblr, obviously you’d have to delete the updates across multiple platforms. But, the other challenge is that there are several other services that pull tweets where they may also reside once deleted.

Either way, to officially have deleted tweets removed from search results is a welcome update that is way overdue, but valued nonetheless.

Oh, and make sure to check out Collecta for real-time search results…it not only indexes the live twitter feed, but also the social web to reveal activity around keywords as they appear online. (Note: I’m a tech adviser to the team.)

Connect with Brian Solis on:
Twitter, FriendFeed, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Plaxo, Plurk,, Posterous, or Facebook

Click image to purchase (book and poster):

« Previous Post

13 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Deleted Tweets Finally Deleted from Twitter Search”

  1. Joseph Manna says:

    There's also a fairly recent change to note — searched Tweets only go back about a week or so. I can't quite confirm it, but old tweets are no longer visible via search. This enhancement validates that Twitter is working on making the search better and more useful (and less straining) on the servers.

    Thanks for sharing this. Good to know!

  2. dbulson says:

    This is a nice update. One of the major issues with social networking is the lack of privacy. Your post on teens using Twitter, more now than ever before, makes his update even more important. Teens often forget how visible social media makes them, and having more privacy is a plus for anyone.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. angelinasimon says:

    How can we be sure if its deleted at all? The moment we type and send it, someone else reads it, and some twitter client would have fetched it. Or maybe, that moment a Google bot caches the page.
    I dont think twitter not saving them is a solution at all. But its a start!Managed hosting

    • briansolis says:

      Angel, truly nothing on the web is ever deleted, although removing it from twitter search makes that particular piece of content much more difficult to discover.

  4. craigspr says:

    Deleting previous tweets from twitter search may not solve everything but at least it's a start.

  5. Clemence Ko says:

    Its great to hear that Twitter is finally implementing this. At least we know our deleted tweets is REALLY DELETED.

  6. Clemence Ko says:

    Its great to hear that Twitter is finally implementing this. At least we know our deleted tweets is REALLY DELETED.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join Our Mailing List

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Stay Connected