Q. Why do deleted tweets sometimes still show up on the web when you search?
A. Search engines that constantly index the pages on the web can scoop up your Twitter posts as you make them. If you delete the tweet, though, it may still be cached away and therefore available to show up in search results — until the site goes indexing again and updates itself with a fresh copy of your Twitter profile and posts.
How long it takes for the search engine to go out and index your page again can vary, so if the deleted tweet is still appearing in search results and making you uncomfortable, try contacting the search company and requesting that the material be manually removed. The Bing and Yahoo sites have posted information on how to remove certain pages.
Twitter’s help guide provides its own instructions for making the same request to Google. To do so, find the Twitter post that is still turning up in Google search results and copy its URL before moving on to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals. Paste in the URL and click the red Request Removal button on the page. Twitter warns that you may be asked to log into your Google Account (if you have one) or create a Google Account (if you do not have one) to complete the process.
If someone is searching for you online, your Twitter handle and a selection of recent public tweets often appear in the results. If you find this sort of thing invasive, you can try dodging the indexing webcrawler by changing your Twitter posts from public to protected in your account settings, but future followers will have to ask for your permission to see your posts. Changing your profile name or Twitter user name is another way to modify your identity for search engines.
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