Friday, May 15, 2009

Track Your Company & Brand Online

The rise and rise of social media and user generated content (UGC) has been taking a big place in the world of search for most of 2009 now. I've recently blogged about the ease of finding real time answers to problems and Google this week has also introduced it's own way of trying to apply a time filter to your results, in keeping with sites like twitter.

Rich Snippets from Googleblog - Barcelona SEO
However, another big move (that will obviously be gradually introduced) is the inclusion of Rich Snippets. We've already had longer snippets introduced, and this is now based on user reviews, possibly including prices, star ratings, etc. There is a html code you need to mark up pages like this so that google knows to include these rich snippets, and you can also opt in for this "experiment" which will be introduced slowly.

This also raises another issue, which is how to control what people are saying about you or your company. Or maybe not to control, but how to track it.

Social media is a big mover in reviews and comments (often unintentionally), but Twitter for example, recently removed @ replies, making it a little more difficult. I suggest you do a Twitter Search for the name of your company and subscribe to the results via RSS. Another great tool for Twitter is backtweet which can help you control the mentioning of any urls of your website - even if they've been or tinyurl'd.
Google Alerts - Barcelona SEO
Another quality and usually relaiable source of tracking your company or personal name is to set up e-mail alerts. Google Alerts can send you details of News, Blogs, Videos, etc. on a daily, weekly, or even "as it happens" basis helping you keep right on top of things. I've been using this for over a year for my sites and some clients, and sometimes things slip though the net, but it's a great tool to combine with other things, too.

Other things such as BackType Alerts which works in the same way as Google Alerts, but seems to pick up much more on sites like digg, reddit, etc. Yahoo! alerts is another you may want to consider. All in all, it pays to keep abreast of what people are saying or tweeting about you or your company, and it's free, too.

Like what you're reading? Feel free to leave a comment and broaden the discussion.

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