Google is indexing tweets once again. You may have heard about this recently; Twitter and Google had a bit of a falling out a few years back, but they've since made up and they're now BFFs. This agreement was launched in February of this year, and the new service started on May 19th. However, if you're looking to search Google to find tweets now, don't expect too much. StoneTemple has run a study to see exactly how much Google has indexed and is returning in searches and it's a rather lowly 3.4% of tweets. Those tweets that they are sharing in search are generally from what they would regard as influencers, people with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers. Great if you want to keep in touch with current pop culture and which celebrity is rowing with which other one, but for the rest of us, it's a bit 'meh'. Google may increase the percentage of tweets that they index, but with 500 million per day, it's a fairly large amount of data to swallow, even for Google. Suffice to say, if you need to search Twitter, Google isn't going to be your best bet at the moment.
So what can you use instead? The obvious answer is Twitter itself; they've recently ramped up the amount of their own material that they index - it used to be limited to about a week, but it's getting better. However, my preferred option is still Topsy, which indexes over 425 billion tweets going back to when the service started. You can limit your search to tweets with links, tweets with video, with photographs or from influencers. I have always found it a far better interface than the clunky search offered by Twitter.