Saturday, January 28, 2006

Google Alerts to monitor your name and blog title

Google Alerts are ideal for tracking citations and links.

I subscribe to Google Alerts, which I define and set up, that are delivered daily to my Gmail inbox.

I won't tell you all the words and phrases I subscribe to, because they give me a definite edge in reporting blog-related events, tools, and organizations. For example, it is the power of Google Alerts that tips me off to such wild and fascinating aspects of blogging as "Blogs and Murder".

But no...I don't subscribe to "blogs + murder", I got those tips from "dangers of personal blogging" phrase subscription.

I subscribe to "steven streight", "vaspers the grate", and "blog core values".

Now, Google Alerts give me a daily message in my Gmail inbox for each of my search terms.

Sometimes, nothing appears for a few of my more esoteric, obscure terms I'm searching, like, here's one more: "interplanetary internet", the NASA project of sporadic connectivity link systems for space, where gamma rays and space object gravity/magnetism fields may interfere with electronic or radio wave transmissions.

I can set the individual alerts (search terms) for frequency of update and for what is searched: news only, news and web, or web only.

Each Google Alert will contain from two to perhaps six links, with brief summaries or introductory text, to give me some idea, beyond URL and post title, of the value of the link.

I get some of my ideas for blog posts from Google Alerts, but I'd say only about 25%. The other 75% of my blog post ideas come from blogospheric explorations, contemplation, and marketing/tech books. Or conversations with real people, the few I stumble into each year.

Today, in my Google Alert for "steven streight", I saw a strange link:

That's the new URL for my art gallery site in France, the former "Full Digital Art".

If you visit my art exhibition, you'll see my art displayed, and the order of display is based on how many times a vistor clicked on each image to see a larger view. That's how they rank the popularity of each art work. My work has ranked rather nicely in their various ranking systems, like recent additions, or overall long-term popularity (I forget the precise term they use for that one).

The name of the host has changed, and, far more importantly, the URL has changed, too. That's a problem, it can cause Link Rot: URLs that trigger a 404 Not Found error message, which is bad from a usability viewpoint.

But, see: I was immediately notified of this change to my art exhibition site. I haven't had time to create any new artworks for it, in fact, I've drastically reduced my art making to concentrate, focus on vital information for bloggers and web site designers.

Google Alerts are a powerful tool. I need to learn more about their methodology, but I can say this: somehow, the Google Alerts are almost always, with few exceptions, valuable, astonishing, up-to-the-minute, and extremely useful for making Vaspers the Grate one clever fellow.

The topic of "Blog Monitoring" and "Buzz Tracking", keeping tabs on what people are saying about you in the web and blogosphere, is a super hot topic.

I've got some of the proven, best answers for anyone who wants to know. While I usually reserve such deep, specific, advanced info for paying clients, what the hell? I'm in a good bad mood today, so I'm feeling generous. Post a comment, request more info, and I'll do another post on this topic, maybe reveal more than you think.

Sign up for Google Alerts today.

Monitor your blog titles, your name, your company name, your competitors!

[signed] steven edward streight aka vaspers the grate

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