If you want to keep an eye on what is being said about your company / brand on the web, then searching Twitter is pretty essential nowadays.
Twitter is currently testing new versions of its search engine and it needs to, because the current version can be frustrating to use at times. There are plenty of third party Twitter search tools around though, so I've been trying out a few of them...
This doesn't search Twitter exclusively, but this microblogging search engine does the job pretty well, and also allows you to get results from other services like Jaiku, though the majority of searches I tried returned results from Twitter.
It has a nice clean and uncluttered search page, and returns up-to-date results quickly, displaying Tweets in full.
This searches MySpace, blogs and news as well as Twitter, and also provides good up-to-date results. It is useful that you can reply to Tweets direct from the results page, but you need to go to Twitter to view the entries in full, and the page is a bit too cluttered:
This didn't seem to update very quickly when I tried it out; the Twitter search tool on our homepage (showing mentions of Econsultancy) was more up-to-date than Tweetscan. If you want to subscribe at $15 per year though, it does have some useful features, including a user search tool.
Not a straightforward Twitter search tool like the others I've mentioned here, BackTweets allows you to enter a URL and then brings back entries from Twitter users that have linked to that URL.
A great tool for publishers to see how many links they are getting from Twitter and who is doing the linking, though a summary of the number of Tweets mentioning the URL would have been useful:
The search results are fine on Twitscoop, and allow you to reply from that page, though the results seem to be about 20 minutes behind. There is a nice graph which charts the popularity of your chosen keyword though.
Flaptor's Twitter search engine has a nice clean interface, bit unfortunately the results seem to be a few days out of date. Another tool shows keyword trends on Twitter and allows for comparison, but couldn't produce any results for 'Econsultancy' despite there having been hundreds of mentions over the past few days.
Results are ranked according to the user's 'authority' which takes a number of factors into account, including number of followers, number of tweets, RTs (re-Tweets), and so on.
This allows users to search the biographical information from users' Twitter profiles, which is useful if you want to search for people with related interests, jobs, or in this example, it can show the people Twittering from a particular company.
TweetDeck is an excellent desktop client for Twitter users, and the search function is one very useful part of the tool. You can search and filter by keyword, and keep an eye on certain search terms over time. Each search is segmented into a new column within the TweetDeck interface, which makes it very easy to monitor.
This search engine indexes the web pages that people are linking to on Twitter by analysing Tweets with links in them. So I can search for 'Econsultancy' on OneRiot and find out which of our pages are being linked to.
It also provides some useful stats for each entry, showing the number of Tweets displaying that URL, the person who first mentioned it, and when the most recent mention was.