There are many ways to monitor web about you and your brand whenever someone writes a word about you. If you haven’t done this before you have lost much useful information.
On the internet it is very much necessary to see when you are mentioned anywhere because there are chances that you are mentioned negatively and that will certainly impact your brand and your website too.
On the other hand you can go there and clear any doubts relating to your negative mention. That will increase your brand value as well as trustworthiness.
Today you are going to see a detailed comparison among the two web services for tracking data whenever someone mentions you on the web.
We’ll go through setting up of both the services and then compare it based on same search queries. At the end you’ll find our conclusion about why Mention is better than Google Alerts.
So what is Google Alerts?
Google Alerts is a web monitoring tool which will email you updates about your search query whenever it appears in Google results. Google results include web, news, blog, video, discussions (that’s forums) and books. This is what Google has in its options for alerts.
If someone puts your name on his website or blog or video or a book (which is on Google books) you will get notified via email if you’ve set an alert for it.
Next is the setup process of Google Alerts and if you already know how set Google Alerts you can skip it and read ahead.
How to set Google Alerts?
It is very easy to set up Google Alerts and it only takes about a minute to create it. Let’s see it step by step.
In Search Query type for whatever you wanted to get alerted for. For example if I want to get alerted when anyone mentions theprofitjam I will type it in there.
In Result Type there are six options to choose from. You have to choose any one of them as per your requirements.
You can choose everything if you want everything that going on the internet about your search query. Apart from that you can choose News if you want to get an alert when something in the news has come up related to your search query.
You can also choose other options which are Blogs, Video, Discussions and Books. They all are different media for monitoring on.
In How Often there are three options – Once a day, Once a week or As-it-happens. And again you have to choose any one of them as per your requirements.
In the next tab How Many there are again two options – Only the best results or All results.
Now just enter your email and click the red box Create Alert. Your alert has been created and you’ll receive emails about alerts.
This was all Google Alerts. Now you have understood how simple it was to set up and use Google Alerts.
One more thing about Google Alerts I want to share is that it is totally free to use.
Now moving forward to another player of the game viz. Mention.net and why it is much more powerful than Google Alerts.
What is Mention.net?
Mention is a media monitoring tool that monitors whenever you are mentioned somewhere on the web same as Google Alerts. But it has much more features than Google Alerts and that is the reason why it is ahead.
We’ll discuss and compare every feature of Mention with Google Alerts but before that here’s a quick guide to create an alert on Mention.
Once again it’s just a setup process and you know how to create an alert at Mention you can skip this part and directly jump over to the comparison.
How to create a Mention Alert?
Creating an alert in Mention is only a 2 minute process. Let’s start with it.
Sign up at Mention.net or login to your account. Click on Create alert.
The first thing is to name your alert and that would be the keyword for which you want to track mentions.
Secondly enter the keywords other than the name of your alert you want to track. In Advanced settings you can make your alerts even more specific and can include the keywords that you want to track along with your primary keyword.
Here you can also add the keywords that you don’t want to be tracked along with your mention.
Now select the language of mentions that you want to track and click on the big pink button Next step down there in the right.
In this step you will get a bunch of options to select. The first are Sources which include web, social media, news, blogs, videos, forums and images from where Mention will track your keyword.
Next you can enter URL of a website that you do not want to include in your alert in Blocked Sites.
Under the Technologies tab there is an option called Priority inbox which identifies mentions from influential people and important sources.
The last and a very important feature is Anti-Noise Technology. This if activated automatically removes mentions similar to the mentions you delete. It will surely save your time from mentions coming from spammy sources.
Click on Create my alert and you will get your mentions till date instantly within minutes.
Well, by now you have created a Google Alert and an alert in Mention. Now we will discuss the main crux of the topic i.e. Why Mention beats Google Alerts.
Let me tell you first that Mention does not only beat Google Alerts in one or two features but it beats it from head to toe in every feature that Google Alerts has.
Mention vs. Google Alerts – Showdown
Mention is configured in a much more detailed way to work as against Google Alerts which has only a bunch of countable options. Mention can give you detailed reports about your alerts.
When it comes to creating an alert, Mention has a way to make alerts not just smart but smarter. In Google you can just create an alert while in Mention you can of course create an alert but along with that in advanced settings you can select some other keywords that you want to track along with your primary keyword.
One more important setting here is that you can also enter keywords that you don’t want to track along with your mention. Now this makes a more specific alert for your keyword.
Apart from specification it will save your much valuable time at seeing alerts that you don’t want to see by including a keyword in advanced settings.
Languages are an important factor in determining mentions. You may not know where you may be mentioned and in what language.
Suppose you are being mentioned more in French than English then there is definitely a point to look at and you can accordingly make your future plans.
In Google Alerts you get updates in email and in every language but you don’t get proper segregation of mentions from which language they are. You can’t exactly see what percentage of people knowing French are mentioning you.
From language you can divide mentions regionally that will help you in dividing your audience geographically. This is also a factor having importance.
Another feature in which Mention beats Google Alerts is sources. Sources are the places from which Mention and Alerts actually scan the keyword that you want to overlook.
In Mention the sources include Web, Facebook, Twitter, News, Blogs, Videos, Forums, and Images. These are all in Google Alerts except the 3 mentioned below.
There are three sources more in Mention than in Alerts. And those 3 sources are Facebook, Twitter and Videos (YouTube, DailyMotion…) which you don’t want to miss on.
Social Media is one of the important factors in Google ranking and therefore they cannot be taken for granted. You have to see each and every activity on social media if you want to create and improve your brand there.
Moving to next great feature that Mention has and Google Alerts doesn’t. Block websites. You can block websites about which you don’t want to get mentioned by Mention.
This feature is helpful when you have more than one site. There is no point in seeing if you have been mentioned on another website which you already own.
Moving ahead to another feature called Priority Inbox which automatically puts a pink flag on the mention which it thinks is from important source or influential people.
By activating Priority Inbox the important mentions will get separated and you can reply to them immediately and see less important ones later on.
Following is the mention of Matthew Woodward from Twitter. I thanked him on Twitter for mentioning TheProfitJam on his website and he replied to TheProfitJam on Twitter.
The pink flag indicates that the mention is from influential person or some important source. Google Alerts does not have this kind of advanced functionality.
What if you delete some type of Google alerts in your inbox that you don’t like? Nothing! If those types of mentions are found by Google it will send you again. But that’s not the case with Mention.
Mentions have an Anti-Noise technology which will automatically delete mentions similar to those which you deleted earlier. I’m sure this will save much time and frustration from seeing unwanted mentions again and again. J
In Google Alerts, you can just export your data and analyze them. That’s it. Nothing more than this is provided by Google premade for data analysis.
While in Mention there are reports that are ready and segmented for you to analyze directly and take decisions based on that. The tedious work of dividing data and making reports is all done by Mention. All you have to do is analysis. Plus you can create reports in PDF format also.
You can add all of your social accounts in Mention and monitor them from one place. You can also manage it from Mention. For example if you have one Twitter and Facebook account you can post updates and tweet from Mention directly. You don’t have to roam from Facebook to twitter every time you want to post an update.
You can be mentioned anywhere on the web and if you are thinking that the people mentioning you are just appraising you or writing good stuff about you than you’re totally wrong my friend. There are people who don’t like you and they’ll go on and take revenge.
On the other hand it can be your mistake too. If you do something wrong, people will speak it out no matter who you are, a big corporate or an individual. So be careful while passing information especially on a medium like internet. Mention can help on this too.
Mention automatically says that you are mentioned positively or negatively or neutrally. It is called Sentiment Trend by Mention.
If you are being mentioned negatively you need to look out and sort the issue. This is where Google will tell you nothing. You just get email updates and then you have check out every email and see what is being and how it is being mentioned.
Just suppose if you are being mentioned a several thousand times, how tedious it would be to check each alert to just see that it is positive or negative.
In Mention you can work with a whole team of yours. You can collaborate together and assign tasks and activities for your client to look at. Anyway this feature is useful only when you have a big project.
One more thing, if you have set alerts in Google and want to move on to Mention, what you have to do is just export alerts from Google and import them in Mention and you are ready to go with Mention.
This is how effectively Mention works.
Google Alerts suddenly stopped alerting!
When I was writing this post, alerts coming from Google stopped. I don’t know why and what is the reason for that. But they just pulled it over.
Now you might think that the mistake can be on our side but I checked each and every thing. I reset all the alerts but then too nothing seem to work out.
Then I Googled it and I found out that it was not our fault but it was on the part of Google. It is written on 15th February 2013 by Danny Sullivan so that indicates it’s not just for first time that Google Alerts stopped working. You can read the entire post here.
When you only rely on Google for alerts you can do nothing about it. You can’t complain as it is a free service. You can only go to forums and discuss and wait for the service to start again.
Mention is much more reliable since it is paid and is used by customers such as Microsoft. They can’t go down all of a sudden having such big brands using their service.
Note: We don’t have any objections with Google Alerts. We are just trying to compare tools that are similar in nature of providing services.
My final thoughts on the whole showdown are that Mention is far better than Google Alerts. It’s paid but the money is worth the information and the time it saves. But if you want simple alerts in your inbox and don’t like to pay money for services such as Mention you can use Google Alerts also.
Plus if you have your own clients to work with Mention can be a great way to scan the web and make a brand online.
You can use Mention in an opposite way i.e. by tracking your competitor’s keywords and phrases. This information will be of much use to start an SEO campaign.
So if you want to start with Mention there is a 31 day trial period and after that if don’t want to pay a single dollar then there is free plan for you too.
Free plan in Mention includes 2 alerts on which you’ll receive up to 250 mentions per month in 10 languages and archive of 30 days. So if you are a newbie you can also start.
Mention launched an app with all the features covered as described above. This will make the tracking on the go possible and save more time for tedious jobs other than just tracking your alerts.
I have used the app on iPad and it works quite good same as on the computer. This has literally save my time.
If you’ve any questions or thoughts you can shoot them in comments.