Thursday, February 22, 2007

Online Searches of Media Coverage and Blog Posts Yield Varying Results

I was recently working on a report of media coverage for our board of directors. Thankfully, I don’t have to mess with column inches, gross impressions or any of those things. I just give them copies of articles and a list of coverage each quarter. This is the first time I have actually divided the report into “traditional media” and “social media” to distinguish and call attention to related blog conversations.

So that alone, I thought, was pretty hip. But there’s more to this story. It is well-known in the blogosphere that Google is the king of web site searching and Technorati is the queen of blog post searching.

But I’ve re-learned that there is value is using multiple sources.

I’d already set up Google’s cool alert feature to send me links to news articles that mention certain key words, like my organization’s name. But it misses a few here and there, so I also check Yahoo and Lexis.

A couple of months ago to monitor blog posts, I set up some Technorati searches that send results to me via RSS. Then each day, I checked and usually found no change – except for the story I shared with you recently.

But while I was working on my media report, on a whim, I decided to try Google’s blog search. Wow. I found a significant number of blog posts that I’d never seen.

Here’s my score card:

Number of articles in traditional news media identified by each search (January 2007)
Google Alerts = 5
Lexis search = 9
Google News search = 31
Yahoo News search = 32

Number of blog posts identified by each search (January 2007)
Technorati post search (via RSS) = 15
Technorati tag search = 1
Google Blog search = 30
Blogpulse search = 10

I am not promoting one service over another. In a different search, the results would be different I'm sure. I am simply grateful to these search services because I work for a non-profit and can’t afford the paid services (other than a mini-Lexis account). But neither can the average person in the social media space.


Randi Mason, MLS said...

There does not seem to be any one source that covers the entire blogosphere at the moment, nor any meta-blog search. (Someone does need to create a Dogpile-like engine to perform this function, and soon)

Currently, I'm using Ask, Blogdigger and Blogpulse, along with the ones you've mentioned, to do monitoring -- and that's just due to time factors, since I could just as easily be checking Bloglines, Feedster and Icerocket as well.

All pull different articles, and none are completely brilliant in separating out the 'spam' blogs from the real ones.

Most of the blog search engines allow you to set up your search as an RSS feed, so I'm finding it easiest to add them all to one feed reader to keep them all the results in one place. I'm using Google Reader, but Yahoo will work just as well.

Hope this is useful

Christie Goodman, APR said...

This is very helpful. I'd never heard of Ask or Blogdigger. I'm going to try them out. Thanks!