Back in January, we mentioned that Pronet Advertising had an online reputation monitoring tool, Serph, in open beta. Well, they don’t anymore. Cameron Olthuis has announced that Serph left beta today.
I thought I’d give it a whirl. I got 23 results for my full name. Number 21 and 22 were the first results from Marketing Pilgrim itself. Two of the top ten results are from domains that look like random strings of letters and numbers (which will not load in my browser).
Four of my top ten results are scraped content from one article I wrote for a client almost a year ago republished four times on the same blog (I suppose I’m lucky that they preserved my byline). One top tenner appears to be scraped from the one ranked right after it.
My oldest results come back from mid December, but there’s nothing between December 23 and March 8, and I didn’t go anywhere.
So, in summary:
- Very easy to use. If you can’t type your own name in a search box, you probably don’t have an online reputation to monitor.
- RSS feed of results and Firefox plugin if you want to be constantly posted on how your name or brand is being used around the Internet.
- “Ghosts out” (lightens) visited links so you can see which sites you’ve already examined
- Heavy emphasis on social media and reverse chronological order listings emphasize what people are saying about you/your brand right now
- The sources seem almost imbalanced. Although the About Serph page shows more than a dozen sources, I saw results from about four: Sphere, Bloglines, Feedster and several flavors of Technorati.
- The heavy emphasis on blogs and social news sites, while also a pro, might lead reputation management novices to neglect to monitor other important sites talking about them (mainstream media sites, forums, non-blog websitesetc.) simply because they assume that if it doesn’t show up in Serph, it’s not there.
- So, like Andy mentioned in his comments from January, it would be nice to be able to choose which sites you monitor.
- I know this is really the fault of the sources that Serph uses, but judging from my results, some spam control would be highly useful.
All in all, it’s fun. Go see what people are saying about you.