Monitor Online Activity: Goodbye Google Alerts, Hello Mention

We all need to monitor online activity; we need to know who our content reaches. Who shared our blog posts? Who commented on our products and services? Which news sites publish our press releases?

Until recently Forbes Baxter Associates had relied on Google Alerts. It’s a free service, it comes from Google and it monitors online activity about all the subjects we specify – right?


Google Alerts only alerts you to posts that make it into the top news, web or blog searches for a given subject. This misses a huge amount of traffic. Take a look at these stats comparing Google Alerts to a new service called Mention:

Results for May 2013
Google AlertsMention
174 items found9 items found


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Monitor online activity: goodbye Google Alerts, hello Mention
Monitor online activity: goodbye Google Alerts, hello MentionMonitor online activity: goodbye Google Alerts, hello Mention

That, in itself, is enough to justify the switch. But Mention does more.

  • It marks some items as priorities if they come from popular sites with high traffic and engagement
  • It lets you ask other users to track and comment on mentions; social media is all about managing the content team, after all.
  • It lets you post responses to FaceBook and Twitter from within Mention so you don’t have to flip between screens.

Mention has two shortcomings when compared to Google Alerts. Firstly, the free plan only lets you monitor 3 subjects. Google Alerts has no limit. If you want to monitor more subjects, the $19.99 monthly plan allows 100.

Secondly, it’s a new service. As such it’s not entirely bug free. It’s only crashed once on us in a four week test but we have to, er, mention it.

The Free Tools Series

The “Free Tools” series is a personal and independent summary of the tools I find useful in my marketing activities. I have no connection with the authors of the tools.

Have Your Say

Have you used Mention? Do you know about a better alternative? Let us know your thoughts.

Comments: 2

  • Cara Lynn says:

    Hey Steve – Check your title above the graphs:
    174 for Google and 9 for Mention – should these be reversed?
    Thanks for the info

  • Nathan says:

    Yeah we’ve noticed the same results when using Google Alerts.
    Meltwater is actually a really good alternative combining editorial news and social media.
    The analytics is also a lot more in depth, the ones above seem very basic.

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