How to listen to/monitor what people are saying about your company online

Will try to get Fluffy links out later today! Meanwhile. Have this:

It’s the new world of communications where the web has gone all cluetrain (which means it’s not broadcast it’s conversations) so it’s not enough to fire out a press release or write a brochure website and leave it at that. Statements are no longer respected.

Photo owned by anjrued (cc)

Conversations and soliciting feedback is where it’s at and now that the customer is starting to get spoiled with that, many companies will have no choice but to start engaging with the public where on the public’s patch such as blogs, discussion forums and social networks.

But you can hardly just connect to a lot of people and see what they say. This is where technology comes in. Gee whizz! (Internet on computers joke inserted here)

This is another blog post on an ongoing (it seems) series about communications. I previously covered Blog Crisis Management, Corporate Blogging and Community Managers.

How does a company see what is said about them online?

So where does a company start?

You can just use basic Google search to see what is being said about your company and your products. Do searches for the company name, product names but also for the company domain name and even the main staff in your company.

Google Alerts:

Google Alerts

Go to and sign up via email to get web search, blog search, news, video and Google Groups results sent to you for your searches. Google Alerts is fantastic and very useful BUT you only get results via email. Google killed their search API and there’s not an RSS feed for the main Google Search Engine.

If you have a feedreader such as Bloglines or Google Reader or others you can get searches sent via RSS feeds to you for Google Blogsearch, Video (inc YouTube), News, Groups etc. Everything except the main search engine results.

Google Blogsearch:

Go to: and bung in your search and look at the left sidebar on the results page. You can subscribe to the search using via email, RSS or Atom.

Google Blog Search


Bloglines search
Bloglines is a web based feedreader and if you have an account with them (which is free) you can also do searches like Google Blogsearch. I use both just in case one spots something the other doesn’t.


YouTube is a little more difficult to sign up to. If you want to subscribe to an RSS feed for “Bertie Ahern” then the search feed is They don’t really advertise this and there is no quick link at the sidebar of search results.


Like it or who cares what you think 🙂 Twitter has a huge and very active community talking incessantly in small bursts of text. Twitter is a text message rebroadcast service and a lot of the usual first movers are on it. There’s a very healthy community on it now.

twitter Scan

You can now subscribe to searches on Twitter and see who is talking about your name, domain name etc. etc. and what they are saying too. Tweet Scan is a service which allows you to monitor Twitter for various words and phrases and you can be notified via email RSS or even Twitter itself when people mention you. With people moving some of their conversation on to Twitter and away from blogs, this is definitely another place you should have that virtual glass up against.

Yell If It Changes:

Yell if it changes
Yell if it changes is run by Gordon Murray. Yay Cork! It can notify you when

* a website is updated
* a website changes Google Page Rank
* a website receives more incoming links
* a website changes position on Google

This is good just to let you know about new links to your site and if you go up and down in Google rankings but this is much more important for monitoring your competition. You should be watching what your competitors are doing and know when and what they update on their website.

These are some of the free tools available to monitor the net but there are good private ones too. However unless they are using old API keys for the main Google search engine then they might not be as good as the free ones. Enjoy stalking yourself.

5 Responses to “How to listen to/monitor what people are saying about your company online”

  1. Gordon says:

    Hi Damien,

    Thanks for the mention about Yell if it changes. I’ll be adding more to it soon, including telling people if more/less pages or images are available on a site and a few other things.

    Google Alerts is pretty great. I often find it tells me about things faster than the RSS feeds being updated in Google Reader. Though I think this is to do with the time it takes to go through Feedburner.

  2. Cormac says:

    Excellent post. Very useful information for any business.

  3. thumbs up… cormac just said it.

  4. […] is the another in a series of posts about measurement. I’ve written previously about how to monitor what people are saying about you online and the tools mentioned are great ways of seeing what blogs, websites, people on Twitter and […]

  5. Alex says:

    Really interesting Damien, thanks for all the tips.