Paul M. Banas on Consumer Insights, Marketing Research, and the Digital Media Landscape
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10 Easy Steps To Auto Monitor Your Online Reputation

William S. Burroughs once wrote “Sometimes paranoia’s just having all the facts”. However, in today’s world of social media, networking, and blogging, tracking the facts behind what is being said about you, your company, or your website is not just about being a little paranoid, it can also make good business and personal sense as well.

Using two free services, Google Alerts and Technorati Watchlists, you can develop an automated system to easily manage what’s being said about you, your blog, or your company site with minimal effort.

1.) If you haven’t registered yet with Technorati or claimed a blog, simply navigate to the main page and click on the word “Join” and fill out the brief form.

2.) Once you have an account, navigate to the Watchlist feature on Technorati (it’s hard to find if you don’t search for it) and add the following items to the “Add to Your Watchlist” box.

  • The URL of your website
  • The name of your website in quotes (e.g., “Insight Buzz”)
  • Your name or online nickname in quotes. Add any derivation of your name that you may use online.
  • Any company or brand name you want to track as well

3.) Once you have Watchlists that are tracking what you want them to, subscribe to them by clicking the orange RSS buttons.

4.) If you manage your feeds with Google Reader, put all your Watchlist feeds into a single folder. For more tips on managing feeds with Google Reader, you can check out my previous post on 10 Steps To Mastering Google Reader.

5.) Since Technorati is mostly focused on blogs, you will also want to set up some Google Alerts to cover mentions that happen in the broader Internet universe in areas like news or videos. The first step is to access the Google Alerts site.

6.) The nice thing about Google Alerts is that you don’t have to have a Google account. Having an account is useful, though, in managing a large number of alerts.

7.) You can then add the same info as you did for the Technorati Watchlists. If you’re worried about spam blogs scraping your website content, you can even add the following combinations, as suggested by RT Cunningham at Untwisted Vortex.

  • link:http://yourwebsite.com
  • link:http://www.yourwebsite.com
  • Your Website
  • YourWebsite
  • yourwebsite.com
  • www.yourwebsite.com

8.) I’d generally use the comprehensive setting with Google Alerts and set the alert timing to once a day.

9.) Oddly, Google Alerts only sends your alerts to an e-mail address, without an RSS option like Technorati (maybe that’s why it’s still called Beta). You can have all your alerts filtered into a e-mail folder, however, much like you can with Google Reader.

10.) With your online reputation now being automatically monitored, make sure you make adjustments as necessary to ensure you have the right search terms, especially if your terms are bringing in a lot of non-relevant hits.

For those who want to explore an even broader range of available reputation tracking services, Social Media Trader recently provided a wide list of applications that can track everything from keyword trends and comments, as well as conversations that take place on forums that Google doesn’t index.

7 comments

1 robojiannis { 04.07.08 at 7:03 am }

Great combination of two popular tools. I must admit though, that I don’t like technorati at all and I hardly use it.
It’s not user friendly and its ranking compares all blogs regardless their subject.
You can’t say that a gossip blog is more popular than a social media blog, because they have completely different public.
Comparing to objects should go beyond pure numbers.
(what is better 10 apple or 10 oranges?)

2 laurent { 04.07.08 at 8:51 am }

The problem I see with all the point tools available out there is that they’re not integrated and. Thus it makes it hard to do it well every single day without giving up at some point. Do you think otherwise?

3 RT Cunningham { 04.07.08 at 9:10 am }

Thanks for the mention! Hey, by the way since you work for Kraft, what’s up with the Postum getting canceled? Hahaha… I still get hundreds of searches for it.

4 Paul M. Banas { 04.07.08 at 3:29 pm }

@robojiannis
I agree that the comparative data and rankings with Technorati sometimes leaves me scratching my head as well. The Watchlist service, though, is just using them as a data source, and in that respect I think they do a pretty good job.

You are also right about usability. The reason I left the exact link was because nowhere could I find access to Watchlists from the main page or my account page.

@laurent
I agree that lack of integration is a problem and could cause you to give up. That’s why I picked the tools I did, since they automate what could be an arduous task. The other solution is to pay people to integrate for you. However, for individuals and small businesses, this may not be a feasible answer.

@RT Cunningham
Glad to mention your good work! I don’t know much about the Postum business, however I’m guessing it hasn’t exactly been the growth engine that it once was. It probably followed the sad fate of VHS tapes and Polaroids.

5 Chris { 04.08.08 at 10:57 am }

Really nice post, Paul. Loved the quote at the start of the article.

6 Technorati is a bad time investment | social media and green horses { 04.09.08 at 3:11 am }

[...] don’t say, that Technorati is absolutely worthless. It works great as a data source to monitor your reputation. But as a blog aggregator or a traffic-building tool is not our best [...]

7 horset » Technorati is a bad time-investment { 10.19.08 at 7:04 am }

[...] don’t say, that Technorati is absolutely worthless. It works great as a data source to monitor your reputation. But as a blog aggregator or a traffic-building tool is not our best [...]

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