Twitter, The Second Largest Search Engine?

Apr 16, 2010 • 7:59 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Social Search Engines & Optimization

Danny Sullivan broke down the reality of Twitter announcing at the Chirp Conference that they had about 19 billion searches per month. Comparing that to Google, Bing and Yahoo - it passes Bing and Yahoo combined!

  • Google: 88 billion per month
  • Twitter: 19 billion per month
  • Yahoo: 9.4 billion per month
  • Bing: 4.1 billion per month

The thing is, as Danny said, this number is not coming from comScore or Hitwise, an independent stats company, but rather from Twitter themselves. Plus, since 75% of the traffic on Twitter come through APIs, such as TweetDeck and other applications, it is hard to validate this. There are more caveats that Danny covers in his analysis.

Here are some other interesting Twitter metrics:

  • 105,779,710 registered users.
  • 300,000 new users per day.
  • 180,000,000 unique visitors to
  • 60 per cent of new accounts are outside the US.
  • 75 per cent of traffic is not on
  • 100,000 registered apps

With 19 billion queries per month, if they can monetize that with their ad system, they can be making serious cash.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Previous story: Daily Search Forum Recap: April 15, 2010


Doug Belleville

04/16/2010 12:25 pm

Do they know how many of those accounts are dormant or inactive? I have heard this question asked before and no one seems to know the answer. I know a lot of business owners who are on Twitter and abandon their account not long after joining.

Gil Reich

04/16/2010 12:59 pm

The key question IMO isn't whether the search is done through an API or not, it's whether or not somebody is looking at the results. My TweetDeck client performs multiple searches per minute while I'm asleep. From an engineering POV, those are searches. From a business potential POV they aren't.


04/16/2010 01:54 pm

300,000 new users/day means 109,500,000 users in the last year. but they have 105,779,710 registered users.


04/21/2010 05:05 pm

I'm kinda wondering along the same lines as Gil here. Seems like searches might be equal to database queries? I don't know.. if that's true it seems like perhaps a different metric than what Google might have where searches there are people actively seeking something.


01/21/2011 08:29 am

no youtube in this list?

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