Is Twitter filtering you from searches?
Several compers have noticed that their accounts have been filtered out of Twitter’s searches lately. The problem is – when it happens, they don’t know anything about it! But it could well be that none of their competition entries are being seen, because of Twitter’s ‘quality filtering’.
Twitter uses quality filtering to keep the site free from spam. Unfortunately, the timelines of most compers fall into the ‘spam’ category – hundreds of retweets, similar content, lots of links, etc. And Twitter is regularly removing those tweets – and accounts – from their search results. That means tweets aren’t seen in a search, retweets aren’t seen by the promoter, and occasionally mentions aren’t even seen by the recipient!
Have you been filtered?
- When you reply to a tweet, and your comment/reply doesn’t appear underneath it.
- Your tweets don’t appear in search results (test this by searching for from:yourusername at twitter.com/search, then viewing the All/Live tab – are all your tweets there?)
- Tweets you send to users don’t appear in their mentions/notifications.
Why you might be filtered
- If you ‘repeatedly post near-duplicate updates or duplicate links in order to enter contests’.
- If your ‘updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates’.
- If you’re sending too many automated tweets – eg. if you use a service like Twitaculous.
- If you post similar content (eg. retweeting and then sending a ‘copied and pasted’ version of the same tweet content, or retweeting multiple tweets about the same giveaway).
How to avoid being filtered
- Check that you’ve confirmed your email address (in your account settings)
- Add a bio to your profile
- Post original updates
- Don’t send too many automated entries (eg. Rafflecopter or Gleam tweets) at once
- Reply as well as retweet
- Try to get more followers – follow friends, compers and local businesses in the hope they will return the favour!
But it’s not just compers that are suffering – promoters are being filtered too! One user told me that a promoter tweeted her three times to let her know she’d won a prize – but only one of those tweets made it as far as her notifications!
What to do if you’ve been filtered
- If you’ve been filtered from search, it is usually temporary (a day or so) – but you can try filing a complaint using this form, ticking ‘account is not showing in search’
What should promoters be doing?
I’d like to see more promoters taking responsibility for the spam they generate with retweet promotions!
- Promoters should take note of the Twitter promotion guidelines, which state they shouldn’t post ‘duplicate, or near duplicate, updates or links’ and should ‘ask users to include an @reply’ when hosting contests.
- A single tweet should be posted for a retweet prize draw, and pinned to the top of their profile page for the duration of the promotion (which ideally should be less than 7 days, so Twitter search has a better chance of tracking entries).
- Tweets should include a clear closing date and time, and ideally a link to T&Cs (this may not be practical, but without it, the promoter is in breach of the CAP Code) so it doesn’t continue to be retweeted for weeks after it has ended.
- When choosing a winner, promoters should use a paid service that tracks all tweets in real time, but if that’s not possible, use Tweetdraw but add a disclaimer to say ‘Due to Twitter quality filtering, it cannot be guaranteed that every tweet will be included in the draw’ so people are aware of the filtering.
In an ideal world of course, I’d love to see every promoter asking us to interact with a reply or a photo, rather than a simple retweet. It’s more fun, less spam, and makes it harder for the cheats and bots to win. Check my own experience of choosing a winner for a RT giveaway to see how much trouble it is!