Attend any of my presentations on the topic of competitive intelligence and you’ll hear me recommend various tools for keeping tabs on changes your competitors make to their web pages.
Now, Google Reader has entered the page monitoring business:
For example, if you wanted to follow Google.org’s latest products, just type "http://www.google.org/products.html" into Reader’s "Add a subscription" field. Click "create a feed", and Reader will periodically visit the page and publish any significant changes it finds as items in a custom feed created just for that page.
A quick confirmation:
And Google Reader will start alerting you to any changes it discovers on a page.
I’m going to test it out on a few of my competitors web sites and will let you know if it blows the doors of the previous tools I recommended–which I doubt, but who knows.
Oh, and the new feature isn’t just for competitive intelligence. There are a bunch of uses for it, including:
- New coupons are posted to your favorite retailer
- Reputation monitoring for sites that don’t provide RSS feeds
- New real estate listings
- Hard to find items on Craigslist
Any other cool uses you can think of?