Google to index your embarrassing Twitter trail

Better be careful what you tweet. Google now archives every single tweet for searching.

Billions of Twitter posts will no longer fade into obscurity now that Google is indexing them all in a massive, searchable database.

Google announced a new search feature that lets users look at an entire history of tweets on any subject, in any time frame. The feature will roll out over the next couple of days, but you can see it in action now through a special link (ironically, it didn't work for me in Chrome, but Firefox was fine).

By entering a search term and selecting "Updates" under search options, you can quickly find tweets on that term dating back to February 2010. Google says you'll soon be able to go all the way back to the first Tweet on March 21, 2006.

Twitter status updates never really disappeared with time, they were just difficult to search. Results on Twitter's Web site are displayed chronologically, so going back in time required patience and lots of clicks on the "more" button. Google only showed recent status updates as well.

With Google's new Twitter search feature, you can view all Tweets within a specific day, month or year, using a graph that appears on top of the results. For example, it's possible to see what PCWorld Tweeted on April 3, 2010, iPad launch day.

As explained on the Official Google Blog, the feature's actually pretty handy if you want to see what people where saying on the day of a major event, such as Congress' passing of health care legislation. But as I alluded to in the headline, it also makes it easy for people to look at anything you wrote during a specific date or time period, as long as your timeline is public.

That is, of course, the nature of Twitter, whose greatest asset is that it's out in the open. But if you have a habit pronouncing your seedier weekend exploits to the world, understand your entire history will soon be up for examination.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googlesocial networkingtwittersearch engines

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jared Newman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?