It's not what you say... Track brand mentions and the sentiments behind them with RankSpeed

Posted by maggie.hunsucker September 10, 2009 at 10:00 am

RankSpeed

They say any press is good press, but negative attention in the blogs and on Twitter can harm your brand’s reputation.   Sure, there are tools to monitor social mentions (there’s one even called Social Mention), but few actually tell you how your brand is perceived by the public.   Is a rash of tweets about your products good or bad?

That’s the idea behind RankSpeed.   This tool analyzes the sentiments associated with a keyword (e.g. your brand) and computes the percentage of people who share that sentiment.  In layman’s terms, if people are talking smack about your brand or products, you can see where it’s coming from and how bad it is.

Here’s how it works.   Plug a search tag into RankSpeed and the sentiments you want it to track.  RankSpeed then combs over 3 million websites and tells you:

  • The origin of the conversation (which sites)
  • The number of people participating in the conversation (sources)
  • The percentage that used those sentiments

You can filter these results by most recent, adjust the relevance, or click on the site to view the actual comments.   In my example, I’m tracking mentions for FriendFeed.  I can see that the majority of the mentions are positive, and when I drill down and look at the actual comments, I can see the context of the mention.

RankSpeed semantic search

RankSpeed appears to be pure search, which means you can’t set up an account and alerts.  Still, it’s a nice tool to have in your arsenal.  If you’re already using a brand monitoring tool, it could provide some insight into a conversation spike.

RankSpeed provides sharing options so you can tweet, email, bookmark, and publish your search results.

RankSpeed is a great brand tool, but really, it's designed for semantic search, so you can find the best, most useful, most popular websites or applications. For example, the "best" "twitter tool" or most "effective" "antivirus".

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  Shutterbug Quickly find and share information on the web with KwiClick Firefox plug-in

Posted by maggie.hunsucker September 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm

kwiClick logAre you a web multi-tasker – the type who has 10 browser windows open, constantly searching, sharing, and publishing information?

Then, you’re a prime candidate for a Firefox plug-in called KwiClick.  KwiClick helps you find and share information on the web.  Once installed, you can access KwiClick by right-clicking a term on a web page or by launching the application from your Firefox toolbar.   Either way, feed KwiClick a search term, and it will pull results from various services, including:

  • Google Search
  • Yahoo Search
  • Windows Live
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo
  • Wikipedia
  • Twitter
  • FriendFeed
  • Flickr
  • Google Maps
  • Technorati
  • Amazon

You can preview results (web pages, comments, images, and video) directly in KwiClick.   Choose to favorite a result, email it to a friend, or publish to your social network of choice (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and more).  There’s also a nifty pin feature which holds the KwiClick application open as you toggle browser windows.   It’s a nice option to have if you want to segment search activities to the KwiClick window and continue working in your Firefox browser.

kwiclick firefox plug-in

In one way or another, we all rely on web search, whether it’s as simple as finding the answer to a question or finding the perfect image for a website.  Here’s a product that helps you search faster and diversifies search results.  It’s free, and if you’re a Firefox user, it will only improve your online experience.  Give KwiClick a whirl and let us know what you think.

Firefox is the web browser of choice for many people, thanks in part to a large library of add-on functionality.

KwiClick is similar to our very own Lizzer, but without the ability to link or embed the content you find. We think there is room for both tools in the market. Lizzer is geared more towards the web publisher, where as KwiClick is for the web surfer.

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  Keeping it real Find relevant, real-time search results with CrowdEye’s CrowdRank search

Posted by maggie.hunsucker September 3, 2009 at 11:52 am

crowdeye-logo real-time search twitterReal-time search is an excellent way to stay on top of news, trends, and social chatter.  Unfortunately, the most au courant results are not always the most relevant, as anyone who has ever sifted through Twitter tweets knows.

CrowdEye hopes to change all that by introducing the first real-time search ranking algorithm, CrowdRank.  CrowdRank brings structure – quality control, if you will – to real-time search.  Of course, when we say “real-time”, we really mean social search.   Services like CrowdEye tap into Twitter’s API and display results based on the most recent tweets.

With the addition of CrowdRank, you can now filter those results by relevancy.  CrowdRank looks at several things to determine rank – followers, retweets, whether or not an account is verified, etc – then assigns a number 1-100 to the Twitter user.   This is their CrowdRank.  The higher the rank, the higher they appear in CrowdEye’s search results.

crowdrank real-time search twitter social media search

CrowdRank also serves up the most popular links with your results.  If you’re less interested in the conversation around the news story, this is great option.   To top it off, if you sign into CrowdEye with your Twitter account, you can retweet any of the search results or follow a user directly from the page.

CrowdEye also offers suggestions for Twitter users to follow. Enter a search term, and the service narrows down the field and ranks each user with the CrowdRank algorithm.

While Google and Bing duke it out (and Yahoo bows out to do some serious soul-searching), real-time search engines are coming into their own. Will they ever replace traditional contextual search? Probably not, but it depends on what you're looking for. For example, if you want the inside scoop on DragonCon (this weekend in Atlanta), CrowdEye makes sense.

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  Three tweets to the wind Monitor topics and trends in real time with social media search engines, OneRiot, Tweetmeme, and CrowdEye

Posted by maggie.hunsucker June 19, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Traditional search engines are having a tough time keeping pace with social media. Of course, a number of tools have emerged to fill the gap, offering real-time search results for Twitter, Digg, and the likes.

Three notable mentions are OneRiot, Tweetmeme, and the latest contender, CrowdEye.   The idea behind all three being web search engines (like Google and Yahoo) can only tell you what people are – technically, were – searching for.   Social media search engines can tell you what people are talking about now – and what they are willingly promoting.  From a viral marketing perspective, this measure of influence is often the missing ingredient.   But I digress, let me give you a quick rundown of these services:

oneriot-logoOneRiot crawls the links people share on Twitter, Digg, and other social sharing sites.  Search results reveal a bevy of information, like the exact date/time in which a tweet or bookmark was shared, who shared it (links to their profile), the number of times it was forwarded, and the link provided.  There’s also a sidebar for “Most Shared Items Today” and a trending topics tag cloud.

tweetmeme-logoTweetmeme is the most link-centric offering of the three, focusing solely on Twitter tweets.   You can run a basic search, check out the most popular tweeted links, view a live activity stream, or narrow down your focus by channel (e.g. Iran or Swine Flu Outbreak).  You can also browse by categories like Comedy, Gaming, Sports, etc.

crowdeye-logoCrowdEye offers a straight-forward dashboard view of Twitter activity.   You can view popular links and tweets, as well as a graph of your term’s Twitter saturation over the past few days.  Clicking on a related term in the tag cloud filters those results further.   CrowdEye also throws in a Top Hashtags and Top Searches feature.

A great case example of how to use one, if not all, of these products is the recent SquareSpace Twitter promotion.   SquareSpace is a simple website solution (and feed growth! topic).  To drum up visibility for their product, SquareSpace is giving away 30 iPhones in 30 days (06/08/09-07/07/09).  Participants need only include the #SquareSpace hashtag in any of their tweets to qualify.  Since the contest launch, SquareSpace has gone from negligible mentions on Twitter to over 12,000 tweets a day.  The #SquareSpace hashtag is now a top “trending topic”, and the company is receiving the type of publicity most social media strategists would salivate over.

crowd-eye-screen

We’re curious to see how many new signups SquareSpace generates off this promotion (feel free to share with the class); that’s the true litmus test.  Still, social search engines like OneRiot, Tweetmeme, and CrowdEye are providing play-by-play action of this marketing tactic, and if the numbers are any indicator, SquareSpace should do nicely.

All Twitter Search results are available via ATOM or JSON Feeds. You can even stream real-time results in your reader (like a Google Alerts for Twitter), which comes in handy if you want to keep tabs on your brand or products in the social media sphere.

Of course, Twitter offers its own real-time search engine, but it lacks the well-rounded view and filtering capabilities of these products. It will be interesting to see if Twitter Search evolves and how Google may meet this rising social media search demand (rumor has it their microblogging search service is coming soon).

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  Just add water Target customers by their search patterns with Concentrate

Posted by tom klein January 28, 2009 at 9:02 am

concentrate_logo

The path to your website or products is never a straight shot.  Most users are just riding the proverbial wave that a search string of keywords leads them on (there’s a reason why they call it “surfing the web”).  So how do you anticipate the non-linear thinking of your customers and translate it into a useful SEO strategy?

Simple, just Concentrate.

Concentrate is a search analytics tool and welcome supplement to your Google Analytics and paid search campaign.  It analyzes your existing data (you can connect directly to Google Analytics or upload files from any other major analytics software), looks for keyword patterns, then identifies the specific search structure and queries that lead to the most traffic. Ergo,  opening up new search opportunities.

Patterns are the key with this service.  A pattern is merely the structure built around a particular keyword, like “web design [X]“, with [X] representing a group of similar query terms, such as location or web-design software.  Sounds like Algebra class – I know.  Bare with me.  Concentrate identifies these patterns, then lets you drill down and see the specific query terms that fit this pattern.  In this example, it could be “web design [Atlanta]” or “web design [Virginia Highlands]“.  As the system learns, i.e. analyzes your raw data over time, the [X]’s will eventually be replaced.  But for now, looking at the individual queries within a pattern is pretty useful.   Our business may be Atlanta-based, but a large chunk of my web traffic is coming from people searching for “web design [Tennessee]“  – a market I may or may not have considered when designing my Adwords campaign.

So, what is the [X] amount for such a service?  Concentration has 4 different packages to choose from with queries up to the hundred thousands.   They also offer a free package suited for blogs and small sites that will analyze a month of search history.  All you need is a Google Analytics account (required for this service), and you are good to go.

So, how does a tool like Google Analytics actually gather data to be analyzed? As with most analytics tools these days, all you need to do is add a piece of code to the bottom of every page on your site, and you'll be able to track every site interaction. Learn more about it from analytics guru Avinash Kaushik on his superb blog - Occam's Razor (pardon the gushing - we're big fans).

The beauty of a service like Concentrate is it accounts for the long-tail search habits of users and identifies where their interests (and queries) lie. If you find search engine marketing to be a mystery or somewhat overwhelming, here is a way to gain both insight and actionable data.

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  • RankSpeed
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  • crowdeye-logo real-time search twitter
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