Who Indexes Tweets

I was curious who is indexing the links that people tweet on Twitter. It’s obvious someone does since links get ‘clicks’ almost immediately after submission. To do this presumably they are tapping into the xmpp firehose.

Lets take a look:

66.xxx.xxx.xxx - - [06/Dec/2009:20:17:43 +0000] "GET /test HTTP/1.1" 301 20 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Googlebot/2.1; +http://www.google.com/bot.html)"

I guess Google has a deal with Twitter. Googlebot indexed just a few seconds after it was sent. As far as I know nothing is actually announced. This is the first evidence I know of a potential deal of some sort. I’d be shocked if Google is scraping the site this quickly.

Edit: Stephen Duncan pointed out in the comments that this was announced in October. Totally forgot about that.

208.xxx.xxx.xxx - - [06/Dec/2009:20:17:47 +0000] "GET /test HTTP/1.0" 301 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Butterfly/1.0; +http://labs.topsy.com/butterfly.html) Gecko/2009032608 Firefox/3.0.8"

This is Topsy, a twitter search engine. Never saw this site before. Few tests and I actually kind of like the output.

89.xxx.xxx.xxx - - [06/Dec/2009:20:17:58 +0000] "GET /test HTTP/1.1" 301 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0b; Windows NT 5.0) Gecko/2009011913 Firefox/3.0.6 TweetmemeBot"

Tweetmeme mines Twitter links and attempts to build a Digg-like index based on retweets rather than Diggs.

75.xxx.xxx.xxx - - [06/Dec/2009:20:18:05 +0000] "GET /test HTTP/1.1" 301 - "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)"
72.xxx.xxx.xxx - - [06/Dec/2009:20:20:25 +0000] "GET /test HTTP/1.1" 301 - "-" "Python-urllib/2.5"

Can’t identify these AWS hosted services.

70.xxx.xxx.xxx - - [06/Dec/2009:20:20:53 +0000] "GET /test HTTP/1.1" 301 20 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)"
70.xxx.xxx.xxx - - [06/Dec/2009:20:24:23 +0000] "GET /test HTTP/1.1" 301 20 "-" "Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 7.0; Windows NT 6.0)"

This is actually Microsoft. Microsoft’s Bing search engine indexes Twitter. I’m not sure why they indexed twice in such close intervals that seems odd for this day and age.

Mining logs a little deeper it looks like when tweets meet certain criteria (such as retweeted) there are other bots that spider them. It also looks like other search engines may be indexing at a slower rate (Baidu for example).

There are several others from AWS and a few other dedicated providers. These servers are obviously trying to keep a low profile, they don’t even have reverse DNS.

So there you go. Just a matter of seconds after a link hits Twitter this all happens.

Here’s a few more from another Tweet that weren’t in the first set:

Edit: More!:

75.xxx.xxx.xxx - - [06/Dec/2009:20:49:42 +0000] "GET /test HTTP/1.1" 301 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; Feedtrace-bot/0.2; bot@feedtrace.com)"

Feedtrace is some sort of twitter mining service currently in beta.

67.xxx.xxx.xxx - - [06/Dec/2009:20:49:45 +0000] "GET /test HTTP/1.0" 301 - "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (compatible; mxbot/1.0; +http://www.chainn.com/mxbot.html)"

Chainn is a social data mining service with a few apps that make use of the data it collects.

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