Internet search engines and media monitoring – similarities and differences

In discussions about media monitoring, the topic is often not what works best, but what monitoring tools are better than traditional internet search engines. Followers of the latter claim that you can do the same with them using professional tools and for free. So why overpay?

Internet monitoring is an increasingly popular tool in the PR, HR and marketing departments. Starting your adventure in the industry you can ask yourself – why do you need an additional program for monitoring the Internet and social media, if you can use Google, Binga or Yahoo? Many people, starting to work with the analysis of data coming from the Internet, are convinced about the omnipotence of search engines. And although there are areas in which they are extremely useful, many marketers in their work choose applications designed specifically for the purpose of comprehensive monitoring of the Internet, press and rtv.

In Poland, the undisputed leader in terms of search engines is Google, with the result of almost 98% market share. In our home yard, Bing and Yahoo are also noticeable. The search engines Baidu (China), Yandex (Russia), Seznam (Czech Republic) are also very popular in the world. Each of them differs in the way of collecting and scoring and organizing content – by default, from those considered by the search engine to be the most interesting in the context of the query. However, all of them are quite well suited to the “presumption”, which is important and extremely helpful for the seeker. It is possible to search for documents by its type, language, specific domain. You can also find an option to set up alert-alerts on password data, which is extremely useful. At least to the time when you need to do some deeper analysis or answer the question, how many mentions about the brand appeared, what kind of coverage they had, how the brand is shaped relative to the competition. Then programs for monitoring the media (eg Newspoint) are necessary.

Usually logging in to them is done via the website. Then, enter the selected keywords to get much more information about the publications you are looking for.

The first conspicuous advantage that is the dashboard, which presents the most important information, such as the number of publications, their coverage, pages or profiles most often mentioning the brand / product.

In comparison to traditional search engines, media monitoring tools offer greater freedom of filtering and selection of results (after media types, date, author, range, overtone ….). And it is much more intuitive.

The next option is basic statistics. Search engines do not present charts and aggregate data in the same way as internet monitoring applications, which allow you to get to know the most important sources or authors of publications in just a few seconds. They show not only direct numerical values (how many content matching the search criteria have been published), but also the most frequently shared posts or content that received the highest number of likes. Gender distribution statistics are also available.

For those who deal with the brand’s image or communication that leads it, information, where the discussion takes place, who is its leader and how it has the overtone, can be crucial in many areas. If, however, some other statistics are needed, it is always possible to extract an Excel file with data, which can then be subjected to analytical processing and modification as needed.

Some media monitoring tools, in addition to searching the Internet, offer data from traditional media (press, RTV). And that means that in one place the cross-section of information from various media is aggregated. And what follows – there is the possibility of free comparison of the brand and its competition on many levels.

It can unfortunately happen that the content indexed in Google will not show up in the panel, however, the practice indicates that both in terms of content and their timeliness, programs for monitoring the Internet directed to the Polish market are more detailed than the search engines. Moreover it is not so spammed and sensitive to the actions of positioners. You need to know about the so-called technikaleach: the search engine presents all documents that have been indexed and to which the indexing robot has reached using hyperlinks (with some exceptions). Monitoring, on the other hand, presents only the results relevant to brands – the database of administrators takes care of the documents, and the robots do not have such a large freedom. The monitoring counts the number and date of publication, not the place in the ranking of the results presented.

The biggest advantage of monitoring, however, is the ability to save time. Potentially, it is possible to obtain such information exclusively from Google and search engines on websites, but today it is hard to imagine working in this way, especially for brands more visible in the media. How often did you enter the next subpages with search results? Usually, we focus on the TOP 10 results. Few people know that even if the search engine indicates millions of sophisticated documents, we only have access to a limited number of documents. Typically, this is upwards of a thousand documents. And how to reach the others? In monitoring, we do limit the date of publication.

Most media monitoring applications have their free trial versions, so it is possible to test their capabilities easily and cost-free.

As usually happens in discussions such as “what is better”, so here the answer is one: it depends. Internet search engines perform their function perfectly – they allow you to quickly find the content the Internet user is looking for. However, when it comes to professional work on a large number of data and brand monitoring, tools created especially for this are definitely a better choice.

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