Web monitoring software tools like TalkWalker Alerts & Google Alerts are extremely powerful and have a number of practical applications, but they are often overlooked.
If you aren’t using one right now you are missing out big time – oh they are free to use as well!
Basically they monitor the web for certain key phrases and send you an email or update an RSS feed when it finds a new result.
It might sound pretty basic but there are endless ways you can use free web monitoring software across all of your online marketing campaigns.
In fact last year I won The Best Of SearchEngineJournal.com 2012 Award that you see in the header on the blog with a post about how to set up Google Alerts.
You can use web monitoring tools for a bunch of things such as-
- Link building
- Driving targeted traffic
- Monitoring brand/competitors
- Monitoring questions in your niche
- Monitoring content distribution
- Finding new guest post opportunities
- Monitoring link building footprints
- Monitoring site security
- Monitoring shoppers
- Regional based monitoring
- Discovering new niches
Learn how to do all of that & more without spending a penny with this more detailed tutorial.
Talk Walker Alerts vs Google Alerts
For a long time Google Alerts was the king of web monitoring software. As Google indexed new URL’s you would get alerted if they matched your alerts settings.
However over the past 6 months or so people started to notice that things weren’t quite as good as they used to be and were getting less and less alerts.
Towards the end of March we saw the launch of a rival service called TalkWalker Alerts which has a near identical look and feel to Google Alerts.
Which Is The Best Web Monitoring Software?
To decide which one is best I decided to setup identical alerts across both services for the following keywords-
- Amy Bouzaglo (the crazy one from Amys Baking Company)
- Generate Traffic
- Matthew Woodward
- Tiered Link Building
I set these to email all results, once a day and collected the data from May 20th-June 10th.
Google Alerts Setup
TalkWalker Alerts Setup
I then went through every email and extracted every link segmenting them by keyword and service.
The full data set is available to download at the end of this post.
I decided to analyse the data in a number of ways to see which service performed best.
Number Of Emails Sent
The experiment ran for a total of 22 days and across that period the services sent this many emails-
Google Alerts takes the victory on this sending 17 more alerts than TalkWalker Alerts.
Number Of Links Found
Where things change though is the number of links found overall. I extracted every single link from each email which shows-
As you can see TalkWalker Alerts delivered significantly more results than Google Alerts.
But that is not necessarily a good thing – a lot of them might be irrelevant or junk.
Out of the 2,131 links found – Google Alerts found 331, whereas TalkWalker Alerts found 1,800.
What is interesting out of all of those results, only 40 of them were found by both services.
This means there was only a 1.87% overlap between the two services.
Keyword Mentioned On Page?
To test how relevant the results are I decided to see what % of pages actually included the exact target keyword on page.
This was either in the title, meta description or within the page content itself.
In total TalkWalker Alerts delivered 1,465/1,800 URLS (81%) with no mention of the exact key phrase.
Whereas Google Alerts delivered 157/331 URLS (47%) with no mention of the exact key phrase.
I also wanted to see just how many URL’s were actually indexed by Google.
If a URL is indexed by Google this is a good quality metric to look at – because well, if its good enough to be in Googles index, it must be high quality right… ^^
Google takes a clear lead here with a total of 80.36% of the URL’s reported in it’s index compared to just 53.89% of TalkWalker Alerts.
So let’s wrap it up with a quick summary of the statistics-
It is clear that both services perform pretty well and do exactly what they say on the tin.
However from the data above while TalkWalker Alerts found significantly more links – only 18% of those mentioned the exact key phrase.
Further to that 46% of the links found by TalkWalker Alerts were not present in Googles index.
Choosing A Winner
Picking a winner depends on the goals you want to achieve.
This is because out of the 2,131 URL’s returned by both services, only 1.87% of them were duplicates. Using both services allows you to cast a much wider net.
Advanced Tricks n Tips
Now you know which one you need to use – you just need to set things up!
Please see this much more detailed tutorial which shares a whole bunch of tips n tricks you can use Google Alerts or TalkWalker Alerts for.
Also take a look at my tutorial that teaches you how to engage your audience directly with your content – you can use both of these tools to help you out there as well!
You can download the source data for this test here.