Google can’t display Twitter tweets and pages in search results as effectively as usual due to changes to Twitter, according to a statement released at The limit. “We are aware that our ability to crawl twitter.com it was limited, affecting our ability to display tweets and site pages in search results,” said spokeswoman Lara Levin. “Websites have control over whether crawlers can access their content.”
Over the past few days, Twitter has made some major changes to the visibility of tweets on the site. On Friday, it began blocking unregistered users from browsing tweets, and on Saturday, it introduced “temporary” limits on the number of tweets people can read in a day. Given Levin’s statement, it appears the changes also had some effect on how Google crawls Twitter.
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In my very unscientific remarks on Monday, I saw far fewer search results include a tweet carousel about a particular search; the only search result that shows a consistent one for me is “white house” (without the quotes). Earth search engine compared Twitter URLs indexed in Google search between Friday and Monday, the results certainly point to something afoot: On Friday, the publication saw Google index 471 million results for “site:twitter.com,” but on Monday it dropped to as low as 180 million.
Since Twitter’s rate limits on tweets are supposed to be temporary, there’s a chance that if they lift, we could see the usual amount of tweets in Google search results in the future. Personally, I’m not holding my breath because of this.
Google’s search results aren’t the only thing that has been dramatically changed by Twitter’s recent changes: TweetDeck was broken for many because it removed legacy APIs, so the company hastily launched the “new” TweetDeck and plans to migrate all. The app, loved by many Twitter power users, will also be available as a Twitter Blue feature only starting in 30 days.