Monitor Your Company Name Online Automatically
How would you like to receive an email every time your company name is mentioned online? Actually, it’s easy.
The solution came to mind when I came across an article about a company in Orlando, FL that found out there was a global identity-theft scheme using its company name to build fake web sites and solicit job applicants’ personal and financial information. The only way they found out about it was from people calling their company to ask about a job application they had submitted.
It makes sense to monitor your business name or brand to see whether you are getting comments, both good and bad, online or if someone is misusing your company name.
The solution is called Google Alerts. While you don’t need a Google Account to use it, it’s better if you have one set up. That way you can also use their tools like Google Analytics, Website Optimizer or Webmaster Tools at a minimum. It’s also easier to manage (i.e. delete) Alerts. You can also see the results via RSS feed.
Try it yourself. Go to http://www.google.com/alerts and type in your search term. Add what you want searched, how often to be notified, how many search results and where to send the results email. But, I would just preview the results. I haven’t found any way to delete a Google Alert other than through a Google Account.
If your business name has common terms in it, like Joe’s Accounting or Sally’s Dry Cleaners, make sure to put the search phrase in quotes so you don’t get results from just the ‘accounting’ or ‘dry cleaners’ terms.
If you don’t see anything in the results, don’t be discouraged. It’s not a complete search of the web, just “new” items from that day, or that week if you opted for “once a week” under ‘How often’.
But, this way if you are mentioned in a blog or a forum you can go there directly and respond. It’s also a good way to keep track of your competition – to see if they are coming out with new products or services, for example.
With Google Search now showing results from social media and YouTube it’s also a great way to get your company involved online.