Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Friday, January 7, 2005

Online Tracking Tools

To be successful online you need to have constant feedback of how you are performing, who is linking to you, how the search engines treat your site and whether your server hasn't had any hiccups recently.

More than these, in order to determine which advertising and marketing efforts are effective you must have some very good 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 this online tracking toolkit and learn how these tools can be used to keep you on top of the critical information items that give you the pulse of your online progress and health status:

WebAlerts - Receive 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.

About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for NotePage, Inc. and FeedForAll.

Sharon Housley -
Readers' Comments    
2005-01-20 00:46:56

S. Housley

Actually, I started using the Technorati Alerts a few weeks ago when they were announced, but unfortunately I find a lot of the items have extraneous or what could be foreign characters in them.

I am hoping this is something that will eventually work itself out, but it appears 1 in 3 or 1 in 4 posts are garbage.

I can provide you a sample if you like (simply email me).

I think the intent of the service is great, and with a little tweaking it will become quite popular.

Sharon Housley

2005-01-09 13:17:42

Robin Good


I am glad you finally came out of the woods.

While Technorati has been clearly identified as a key reference tool to measure credibility and authority multiple times elsewhere on this site, (but no comments from you on those occasions) Sharon Housley, the author of this post has decided not include you.

Maybe that is not an overlook.

As a long time fan of Technorati and its service let me though take this opportunity to express all of my disappointment and frustration with Technorati.

Outside of the well known issues you have been having until very recently (service being spotty, not available, bugs, etc.), I am still very unhappy with Technorati ability to track and update its own numbers.

At least the ones I use.

The calculation of Inbound Links and Sources to hasn't changed in over two months. How can that be when your service lists five to ten new links to my site each day??

(Not that PubSub LinkRanks is doing any better. Though a great idea, their implementation and reliability is still as weak or more. Two weeks ago I was dropped from position 600 something into position 36,000 something with no logical reason. PubSub, wake up too!)

Issue is, that for us, heavy users of resources like yours, these problems and the lack of transparency about them, generate natural distrust.

Especially more when this happens over long periods of time.

I would be happy to see Technorati coming back to be the reliable and useful service it hasn't gotten to be yet.


2005-01-09 09:34:51

David Sifry

I'm surprised you didn't mention Technorati watchlists - Just go to and put in a search or two, either URLs or keywords or phrases (booleans, etc and groupings are ok) - and click on the "Make This a Watchlist" link under each result.

Would love to hear how you like them!

There's more about them on my blog,


posted by Robin Good on Friday, January 7 2005, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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