You are correct, you have to do 15 requests.  However,
you can cache the results in your end, so when you come
back, you are only getting the new stuff.

Thanks Scott.  I'm storing the results in a database on my server but
that doesn't stop the search from retrieving the same results
repetitively, because the search string/terms are still the same.

My problem is going to occur when thousands of people start tweeting
my promo codes every minute and I'm not able to retrieve all those
tweets because of the search API limitations.

If I'm limited to retrieving 1500 tweets every 6 minutes and people
post 1000 tweets every minute I need some way of retrieving the
missing 4500 tweets -- but apparently Twitter doesn't offer anything
even remotely close to this capability -- so I can see where it has a
long way to go before it's ready to support the kind of search
capabilities I need.


Have you read this:
http://apiwiki.twitter.com/Rate-limiting

Section on search rate limiting. I do not believe there is a rate limit on search. I am sure there is a very high limit, but you should be ok. I would also suggest you get whitelisted, that bumps you up to 20,000 request per hour I believe.

Further, you could make the users o-auth, in which case, the hit counts to them, not you.

You will still get stuck with the fact that search is a pretty broad thing, and not exacting, but you should be able to complete your searches in the amount you want. I have seen apps that I know are using search on their back end, and they are not requiring auth by the user, and they are further pretty heavily hit.
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