It’s hard to remember whether a site uses subdomains, or specific routes to point to core features such as login, search, dashboard, admin, etc. On Twitter.com, if you want to search something you’ve got to hit search.twitter.com or twitter.com/search.
The other day, I needed to find something on Twitter, and therefore hit twitter.com/Search. I can’t recall why I did it with a capital S, but I did. You can imagine my surprise when I landed on someone’s profile page rather than on Twitter’s own search engine.
Even if this sounds nearly inconceivable, @Search exists, and the account – created in October 2013 – doesn’t seem to be operated by Twitter at all. The @Search account has more than 2.7k followers, with just a few that don’t look like bots. Let’s not even discuss the 68 cryptic tweets you can find on @Search’s timeline or the very appropriate magnifying glass avatar.
At this point, it is already interesting to see Twitter had not reserved the /Search route like it has for /search, but there is more. On top of letting users creating handles that could confuse others, Twitter let them thrive.
If you search for twitter on Google.com, and check the sitelinks out, you will find a few important links, and amongst them will be a Search link. This sitelink is not pointing to search.twitter.com, but to the @Search account. How cool is that? One of the biggest social network on Earth can’t manage its sitelinks properly… It’s not that hard is it?
Sitelinks are just an example. If like thousands others, you search on Google for search twitter, the first result will be the @Search account. Even more confusing, if like hundred of thousands you search for twitter search you’ll find the @Search account on the third spot.
I’m not too sure what to think of this whole situation. It’s kind of a deal, kind of not. But for sure, there is some work to be done on Twitter’s end to adjust their Google results appearance, and how they deal with handles vs product URL routing.
Update March 2018
I was checking to see if this is still true, and it’s not. The @Search account has probably been deleted as it will now drive you to a 404. Come on Twitter, a redirect to /search-home was too hard to setup?
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