Google Alerts Trick to Monitor Website Health [fr]

[en] Un petit truc pour être alertée immédiatement si mon site recommence à servir à Google des pages truffées de mots-clés pharmaceutiques: une Alerte Google qui cherche ces mots-clés uniquement sur mon site. Fûté, non?

As you can guess, I’m now a little paranoid about getting hacked and having my blog pages stuffed with pharma keywords for the benefit of search engines. I’m keeping a close eye on my site now, but logging into Google Webmaster Central each day to “Fetch as Googlebot” gets old quickly.

So I had a bright idea I’m pretty proud of and want to share with you.

I simply set up a Google Alert for spammy pharma keywords on my site, like this: keyword1 OR keyword2 OR keyword3

Given I don’t blog about those meds (or any pharma-related stuff, actually), any alert that shows up will be a sign that Googlebot has been served spammy content from my site, which should not happen as it is now supposed to be clean. And if it does, I will know about it immediately (you can easily set alert frequency for your alert in Google Alerts).

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Blogging 4 Business: part 2 [en]

**Next panel: Heather Hopkins, Kris Hoet, Scott Thomson, Simon McDermott, moderated by Mike Butcher**

*steph-note: again, partial notes, sorry*

Blogging 4 Business

Simon McDermott: [Attentio]( monitoring all this social media stuff. Analyse the buzz. Identify what influencers are saying about your product. What are the popular bloggers saying? Reputation monitoring. What issues are being raised?

How to interact with this media?

– monitor and analyse brands
– identify influencers
– communicate with key influentials

Case study: Consumer Electronics Player — monitor buzz around gadget with lower momentum than other recent success story. Better understand online consumer opinion and identify key forums and bloggers. Delivered a dashboard with relative visibility and trend information, etc.

Mike’s question to Heather: what would [Hitwise]( do differently?

Heather: blogs are a rather small category. Two examples: one (Sony Playstation virus or something) story which spread like wildfire amongst the blogosphere (hardly anybody has heard about it in the audience here) and the Coke-menthos video (many more people). Use Technorati,

Kris: Microsoft go to blogger events, try to keep conversations going — for that, they need tracking (what are people saying about Hotmail?) Also use Technorati and, comment tracking *(steph-note: with [coComment]( maybe?)* Best way of tracking is to read all these blogs, of course, but it’s a lot of work.

Moderator (Mike): comments very influential!

Kris: Comments can influence what the blogger writes, so it’s important to engage there. You don’t need a blog to engage with bloggers. Leave a comment. Everybody is a customer.

… *steph-note: sorry, tuning out*

Woman from public: blogged about her Dell nightmare (computer broken after guarantee), and was tracked down two months later by Dell, comment with apologies for the delay in tracking her, got somebody from the UK office to call her, pick up the laptop, repair it free of charge, and then ask her to get back in touch if there were any problems.

Simon: if Dell had been monitoring 18 months earlier, they would probably have saved themselves some trouble — they grew very fast and customer service didn’t follow.

Question: tracking in different languages. Short of one person for tracking each language in each country, what can we do?

Simon: solution is identifying top 5 bloggers in the area we want *steph-note: not sure I agree with that*

Kris: if you’re in contact with bloggers, ask them if they know anybody else who might be interested in joining the conversation too. They know each other.

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Tracking Keywords: PubSub and Technorati [en]

[fr] Comparaison de PubSub et Technorati pour surveiller des mots-clés dans la blogosphère. Aucun des deux vraiment satisfaisant.

One thing I came back with from LIFT’06 is that what one should monitor is more keyword watchlists, rather than blogs. I used to have a few hundred blogs in an aggregator, but gave up using it ages ago. Too much to sift through, considering it isn’t my day job to do so.

During [his talk]( “Link to video of Robert Scoble’s talk.”), Robert mentioned that he used [PubSub]( to track keywords like “Microsoft” or his name. Of course, it makes sense. Tracking topics that are of interest to you. I created a PubSub account and set up a few subscriptions to try to track things like mentions of my hometown, Lausanne, teenagers and weblogs, and of course my name. Tracking your name makes a lot of sense if you’re looking out for conversations. Think of highlighting in IRC: if everybody tracks their name in blogs, then you can just call out to them. Hi, Robert, by the way!

Now, this name thing. I guess tracking your surname with PubSub is all right if you’re named [Scoble]( “Google for Scoble.”), but if you’re named [Booth]( “Google for Booth.”) it makes things much trickier. I added my first name, but that didn’t help much if I omitted the quotes. And as people are likely to refer to me as “Stephanie Booth”, “Stéphanie Booth”, “Steph Booth” or even “Stéph Booth” that’s a bunch to track, but let’s say it’s manageable. But it rules out people who refer to me as “bunny” or even “Tara” (yeah, and if I start tracking those too, it’s not going to make things less messy).

What I really liked about PubSub is that it offers me an out-of-the-box sidebar for firefox. I can get a list of the recent posts containing my keywords in there, browse them, click, check, move on. It has highlighting too, and that’s really nice — helps me see straight away if the Stephanie Booth on the page is me or some homonym. (For some reason it’s not working anymore, but it was nice while it lasted.)

What I didn’t like is that it didn’t seem to be returning as many results as Technorati. Also, I wasn’t always sure if it was responding or not (I guess the current conversation around my name isn’t very busy ;-)). And the “Latest Messages” option only gave me the last three posts in each subscription. It gave me the impression of being a little incomplete in the results it returned. I suspect it isn’t really incomplete, but I can’t really nail what gives me the impression. In any case, [PubSub and Technorati give different results for a search on “cocomment”]( “View screenshot on Flickr.”)

The slight unsatisfaction with PubSub made me go back to Technorati watchlists, which I had never really used. I like the idea of tracking URLs in posts. If somebody links to me, then it doesn’t matter if the person called me “Stéph Booth” or “Tara” or “[la Mère Denis](”, I’ll see it. I can also track [links to my Flickr account]( and [other blogs]( and [stuff]( easily. Keyword searches work too. So, neat, I now have a [watchlist page on Technorati]( “See yours.”) with all my monitoring material. I can subscribe to each of them by RSS.

Gripes, however. And for the sake of it, let’s assume I’m hoping my watchlists will replace my NewsReader, and not go and live in it:

– I can only expand one watchlist at a time.
– Expanding a watchlist shows only the three last results.
– I don’t have a compilation page with the latest results from all/any of my watchlists.
– I’d like a sidebar!
– Blogroll links keep showing up in Technorati search results. It’s nice to know you’ve been blogrolled, but you don’t need to be reminded of it each time you do a search.
– No highlighting!

What it boils down to: I’d like a Technorati Watchlist sidebar for FireFox and highlighting of search terms or URL in the pages which are loaded from it.

Do you monitor keywords, URLs or search terms? Do you use PubSub or Technorati? Do you stick the results in your feed reader to keep track of them?

Update: of course, I’m much more familiar with Technorati, so there might be something about PubSub I’m missing completely. Feel free to educate me.

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