Tools for Online Tracking

In order to determine which advertising and marketing
efforts are effective you must have ways to measure the
results of those efforts. Alerts and instant notifications
can be instrumental in monitoring search engine position,
trademarked terms, monitoring competitors and staying
abreast of online occurrences. And, of course, the
notification can be used for “ego searches”.

Ego Searches

What is an ego search? Find out where your name or company
is mentioned, view forum posts or online articles that
mention your name or company.


The best offense is a good defense. By monitoring newsgroups
or search engines for trademarked terms, you often head off
a future conflict. As a trademark owner, it is your
responsibility to actively protect your mark. Otherwise, you
could lose your trademark rights. Monitoring tools send
immediate notification should any suspected trademark
infringements occur.

Search Position

Statistics show that more than 85% of Internet users find
web sites with the help of the search engines. Therefore, a
website’s search engine position is crucial to its success.
Prudent webmasters regularly check their search engine
position. Monitoring fluctuations and re-indexing of major
search engines affects keyword terms and phrases. Monitoring
of positions will alert webmasters to any shifts before
sales decline.

Competitor Watch

Monitoring newsgroups for mentions of competitors may allow
you opportunities to chime in and offer an alternative
solution in a helpful, friendly way. Knowing exactly what
your online competitors are doing provides a competitive
edge that can be used to your advantage.

Website Downtime

Accessibility is the most critical measure of your website’s
performance. If customers can’t access your site, they can’t
shop; and if they can’t shop, they can’t buy. More
important, your business could gain a bad reputation among
your customers, which translates into negative word of mouth
and even worse, if you’re highly visible, negative press. So
regardless of what else you monitor, you want to monitor
websites for downtime.

Take a look at the various tools available and how they can
be used to keep you current on relevant issues.

WebAlerts – Recieve email updates of the latest relevant
Google results based on your choice of query or topic.
Alerts can be sent based on information in Google News,
Google Searches or both.

PubSub – PubSub matches your requests against new
information as it appears real time. Searches can be
categorized to search, blog entries, SEC/EDGAR Filings,
press releases, news group posts or flight delays.

Ego Alerts – Google news search turned into an RSS feed.

Ebay Alerts – Ebay Alerts monitoring will create an RSS feed
to monitor Ebay auctions for specific keywords or phrases.
When a new item that contains those keywords is added to
Ebay you will receive notification via your RSS feed!

Amazon Alerts – Generate a URL which you can use to
automatically search with your favorite RSS news
reader. It will automatically update you when new items meet
your search criteria. I personally use it to look for new
books on topics I’m interested in, and I have the defaults
set to do the same, but you can adjust it to search any of
Amazon’s stores. You can also adjust the search order and
what kind of items you wish to search.

Internet Seer – InternetSeer remotely monitors your website
to insure that your site is available 24/7. If InternetSeer
is unable to reach your site, we will send you an immediate
e-mail alert that your site is unreachable.

NetNewsTracker – NetNews Tracker is a clipping service for
Usenet newsgroups. Newstracker searches newsgroups twice
daily for any specified words or phrases and delivers alerts
via e-mail. Newstracker can be used to monitor newsgroups
for names, company names, products, URLs, or any other topic
of interest.

Other Suggested Resources –

Monitoring Tools – Monitoring Tools is a directory of online
monitoring tools and applications

Monitoring Software – Monitoring Software is a collection of
downloadable monitoring software solutions.

Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. and FeedForAll