The limitations of Google Alerts for media monitoring

Hummingbird

What do the Panama Papers, The Bachelor and house prices all have common? If you’re expecting a witty punch line, you’ll be disappointed. The answer is that they’re all currently trending news topics in New Zealand.

In 2013, Google launched a new search algorithm called Hummingbird. Google said the goal to return pages from a search that better match the meaning of the search words, rather than just matching the words themselves. Hummingbird relies in part on Google’s Knowledge Graph, a project that deduces the relationships between things, places and people from its stock of 570 million unique concepts.

Prior to completing a search, Google will consider more than 200 factors to determine if a page is worthy of display. Not all of these are publicly known, but a page’s popularity and PageRank are included.

This is great when you’re searching for local restaurants or looking to settle a trivia question around the office, but it is problematic if you’re relying on Google Alerts for comprehensive media monitoring.

Google Alerts do exactly what it says in the label, if there’s mainstream news it’ll tell you but as a media monitoring tool it has some significant weaknesses.

If you were to set up a Google Alert for any of the topics mentioned in the opening paragraph, you would receive a set of results from sources that Google’s algorithms have determined are best and most relevant to you, while relegating anything deemed irrelevant. As such, smaller media outlets and blogs are often not presented in results.

So, how does Mediamine compare to Google Alerts?

1. Source – Mediamine is more comprehensive

  •         Mediamine returns the relevant results from all the sources it monitors, regardless of ‘popularity’.
  •         Google Alerts results are determined by its search algorithm, which only returns items from sources it deems worthy.

2. Keywords – Mediamine easily manages many keywords at once

  •         Mediamine allows users to search using an unlimited number of keywords.
  •         A Google Alert becomes unwieldy as you add more and more keywords, meaning you have to manage multiple alerts.

3. Relevance – Mediamine analysts can comprehend and execute complex briefs

  •         Mediamine’s trained analysts also manually edit each report, checking for any irrelevant items that may have made it through the search filters.
  •         Despite its algorithms, Google can still be confused by false positive results.

4. Categories – Monitoring results are structured in a customized and systematic manner

  •         Mediamine’s monitoring reports are split into categories, meaning they are easy to review.

5. Formats – Monitoring results are delivered in flexible formats

  •         Mediamine reports can be delivered in a range of formats – including PDF and CSV – directly to your inbox.

6. Newsroom – Allows ultimate flexibility to sort, analyse and distribute news item data

  •         Mediamine’s Newsroom app allows users to create and distribute bespoke reports to key stakeholders.
  •         Through Newsroom, Auto News customers have the ability to edit their own reports before distributing to stakeholders.

 

<<image credit>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/54548917@N02/14910027643