Today I’ve been checking out Andy Beal’s latest venture – Trackur.
Trackur is an online reputation monitoring tool that has been developed for companies and individuals wanting to take a serious look at what is being said about them in the blogosphere. I can also see the possibilities for using this tool for higher end bloggers who want to track what’s being written about them and/or their niche topic.
The best way to get a handle on Trackur and what it does is to signup for the free 14 day trial. The second best way to understand it is to watch Andy Demo Trackur in the following video.
There are of course free tools that you to monitor the blogosphere (including Google’s News Alerts and Technorati’s Watch Lists) but Trackur is a much more integrated package that is sure to appeal to a higher end user. You can see how it compares to Google News Alerts here:
The importance of such tools to bloggers is significant. Not only do they allow you to monitor what is being said about you and your company in the blogosphere – but to be able to set up tools to monitor when keywords in your niche are being mentioned is very important – particularly if you have a blog with a news focus.
Starting at $18 a month and ranging up to $188 a month I suspect that a lot of ProBlogger readers will stick with the free tools – however for those looking for a more feature rich package Trackur will be a real option.
PS: Speaking of Google News Alerts….
Just as I was writing this post an email hit my inbox with one of my News Alerts. I set up one for “Darren Rowse” and here’s what it sent me today (click to enlarge):
It’s great to get news results and blog results like this each day – however….
1. The first result (highlighted in green) is actually for a post written in May 2007
2. The second result (highlighted in red) is actually for a scraper site that picked up one of my own posts. What I find interesting is that Google News found the scraper site and ranked it and it didn’t find my own site’s version of that post. This is something I see every day in News Alerts – they attempt to cut out the duplicate content but in doing so seem to be promoting scraper versions instead of the original content.
3. Lastly I’m a little confused as to why they sent me an email with 5 search results for my name when their Blog Search Results for my name show 20 or so results in the last 24 hours.
Don’t get me wrong – Google News Alerts rock and are an important part of my own monitoring of keywords that are relevant to me – however they’re not perfect and I know they miss a lot and put up flunky results from time to time – I guess you get what you pay for.