If you need to know what is being said about whom on any outlet on the Internet, Google Alerts has long been the most solid service to turn to. I’m betting more people receive Google Alerts on their name than care to admit it. But, for some people, a new alternative has arrived that might one-up Google Alerts – mention.
mention trawls through the entire Internet looking for your search term – social networks, blogs, forums, videos, and anything else on the Web. It breaks from Google Alerts because it’s smart – over time, mention will learn to ignore certain results based on which results you open and which results you ignore. So, all of those results that fit your search term, but aren’t exactly what you’re looking for (like spam or unrelated stories that happen to use similar keywords) should disappear over time. That, and mention, which comes as a desktop app, a Web app, and a mobile app, allows you to respond to any mentions of your search term from within the app, whether it be through Twitter, Facebook, or on a forum. Analysis tools can be used to monitor how often your search term has been mentioned.
That said, mention is freemium – using the free version limits how many mentions you can have out at one time, the number of alerts you receive, and the amount of history that is saved. For casual users of Google Alerts who use it look up their name or their favorite celebrity’s name, Google Alerts still makes more sense. For business, mention’s analytical tools, along with the ability to share mentions across an entire team, could make corporate planning and strategizing a lot easier and more efficient. Checking up on mentions around the Web of your product and competitors’ products, for example, is easier and smarter with mention, and might just make the $20 per month premium version worth it, especially because of mention’s ability to scour social networks and return all the hits it finds. That said, it’s hard to say exactly how much better mention is than Google Alerts – taking a free spin for a few months would probably be a good idea, to see if mention is as smart as it says it is.