Last week we looked at how easy it is to leave footprints on the Web; today we’ll show you how easy it is to track them.
Although search engines provide a great starting point when you’re searching for someone online, with all of the new social sites that have popped up over the past few years, they’re often just not enough.
In our recent State of Blog Search 2009 post we discussed the various reasons you may choose to use any or all of the following blog search tools: Technorati, Google Blog Search, Ice Rocket, Ask.com Blogsearch, and FriendFeed. While these blog search engines are great to fill specific needs, they’re also another great place to look for your footprints on the Web.
However, you can drill down even more.
1. BlogPulse: Trends in the Blogosphere
Part of Nielsen-Online, BlogPulse highlights the top trends in the blogosphere and is mostly used to determine the hottest topics on the Web and how they got to be that way. But, its value as a personal monitoring tool can not be disregarded. Search for your name then grab the RSS feed to see who is talking about you and what they’re saying.
2. Pipl: Searching the Invisible Web
Pipl claims to search the deep or invisible Web to find documents, blog entries, photos, publicly available information that other search engines don’t serve up. It’s a great, fast search engine that we like; the only disadvantage is it offers no RSS feed.
3. Spy: Watching what Happens on the Web
According to the site, Spy can “listen in on the social media conversations you’re interested in.” This clean visualization search tool watches Twitter, FriendFeed, blog posts, Google reader shares and Flickr for any term you want. An RSS feed is available.
4. Serph: The Social Web Right Now
A brilliant tool for searching the social Web, Serph shows you what is being said about you “right now.” Serph gathers results from blog search engines, social media sites, social news sites and social bookmarking sites and offers an RSS feed for the results.
5. Social Mention: Mentions of your Name on the Social Web
Another great tool for searching the social Web, Social Mention offers a quick glance at mentions of your name on the Web. Just enter your name and switch between blogs, microblogs, bookmarks, comments, events, images, news or all of them at once. Slower than Serph, but occasionally offers different results. An RSS feed is available.
6. Monitter: Tracking Twitter
Monitter is one of the coolest looking monitoring tools for Twitter and one of the most useful. We’ve written about it before and although most people are using Twitter’s own search tool for search and alerts on Twitter, Monitter offers a little bit more. Giving you the option to search for three different keywords at once, Monitter is great if you want to keep your eye out for mentions of your name, your username and your company all at the same time. It also offers an RSS feed.
7. BoardTracker 2.0: The Ultimate Search Tool for Forums
BoardTracker is a forum search engine, message tracking and instant alert system that offers relevant results quickly. One of our favorite search tools for forums and message boards, BoardTracker currently tracks in excess of 1.2 billion posts.
8. Google Alerts: The big G
We couldn’t end this post without mentioning Google Alerts, although likely most of you are familiar with it. Although Microsoft and Yahoo have alert tools, Google’s offering beats them hands down. It offers e-mail and RSS alerts for any set of keywords including your name.
While we’re still waiting for that perfect product that will associate our names with our brands with our usernames, and send us the results instantly, we don’t expect to see it anytime soon (although we’ve got our fingers crossed), but we do hope that this list provides you with some alternatives to track your footprints across the Web.
If you’ve got a great tool you want to share, please let us know in the comments.