as far as I know twitter has been reluctant to state definite numbers, so 
you'll have to experiment and implement a backoff mechanism in your app. Here 
is the relevant part of the docs:

> Search API Rate Limiting
> The Search API is rate limited by IP address. The number of search requests 
> that originate from a given IP address are counted against the search rate 
> limiter. The specific number of requests a client is able to make to the 
> Search API for a given hour is not released. Note that the Search API is not 
> limited by the same 150 requests per hour limit as the REST API. The number 
> is quite a bit higher and we feel it is both liberal and sufficient for most 
> applications. We do not give the exact number because we want to discourage 
> unnecessary search usage.
> Search API usage requires that applications include a unique and identifying 
> User Agent string. A HTTP Referrer is expected but is not required. Consumers 
> using the Search API but failing to include a User Agent string will receive 
> a lower rate limit.
> An application that exceeds the rate limitations of the Search API will 
> receive HTTP 420 response codes to requests. It is a best practice to watch 
> for this error condition and honor the Retry-After header that instructs the 
> application when it is safe to continue. The Retry-After header's value is 
> the number of seconds your application should wait before submitting another 
> query (for example: Retry-After: 67).



On Jul 7, 2010, at 1:55 , Ramanean wrote:

> Matt,
> What is exact limit..Whether I can write to twitter for whitelisting
> of the IP?
> Whether whitelisting of the IP would do any good?
> Shan

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