Chances are that if you’ve been using Twitter much lately, you’ve become more familiar the popular microblog’s secondary mascot, the fail whale, who likes to show up and let you know when Twitter is over capacity. Whether it’s the World Cup or simply a networking error, the fail whale has been showing its ugly face more and more. Now you can add one more reason to that list: People are searching Twitter for information more than ever before.

According to Kim-Mai Cutler of VentureBeat, Twitter’s search queries are up 33% from April, a stat that should silence any of those critics who previously asked if the service had gone stagnant.

The article quotes Twitter co-founder Biz Stone as stating that the company has begun handling 800 million queries a day. The company reported at its developer conference, Chirp, last April that it was handling 600 million queries daily.

As Danny Sullivan wrote in SearchEngineLand when these numbers first appeared in April, comparing Twitter searches with Google and Bing isn’t exactly an apples to apples comparison.

“Most of Twitter’s traffic isn’t happening at Twitter itself,” Sullivan wrote. “Instead, it’s happening through API calls — a system for partners to send a search to Twitter and get the info back.”

While the numbers may seem to say we’ve all suddenly begun streaming to Twitter.com, in reality, many of these queries likely come from automated searches set up in third-party clients like TweetDeck or search-enabled widgets displayed on other websites. With Twitter attempting to monetize through sponsored search results, however, any news saying that query numbers are on the rise can be good news for Twitter.