Managing your online reputation is critical today. Anyone, anywhere can pretty much publish anything they want about you at any time. Sure, you can try to remedy issues when you’re aware of them—and that’s exactly where online reputation monitoring comes in. Because if you don’t know it’s there, you can’t address it.
The task seems daunting. You have so many presences on the web, so many social profiles, so many contacts, and maybe you’ve even published hundreds of articles on various websites. And that’s only the part that you’ve been in control of. The only solution is to proactively manage your online reputation. But you don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars—we’ve rounded up 25 free, really cheap and pretty neat tools you can use to help you manage what’s floating around the web about you. We know we’re probably missing a few gems, so share your favorite free and cheap apps for monitoring your reputation with us in the comments!
- Google Dashboard – Google’s Dashboard provides insights on virtually everything there is out there about you online. If you’ve never looked at your personal Google Dashboard before, prepare to be surprised by how much dirt the search giant has on you. Data, we meant data, not dirt. And of course, you can manage your Google Alerts from within this Dashboard as well—the perfect way to keep tabs on recently indexed information about you or your brand.
- Reputation.com – Reputation.com provides a free Reputation Snapshot –simply enter your first and last name and generate a report revealing what you look like to other people who find you online. Of course, you want to know what’s up with your business. Reputation.com has you covered there, too, with a monitoring service which starts at just $49 per month. Get notifications when people post things about you online with an analysis of the tone of the feedback, and the company will take steps to push negative remarks lower in the search results.
- Naymz – Naymz measures your influence across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and even compares you to other users. Your RepScore includes peer assessment, social influence and transparency measures. And it’s totally free, so you have no excuse not to use it.
- BrandsEye – Get a complete picture of what’s being said about your brand online with BrandsEye. You’re not only monitoring social sites, but the entire web with notifications and even custom reporting. It’s one of the more expensive rep management tools on our list, starting at $199 per month. All plan levels offer a two-week free trial, so you can check it out before you buy.
- Trackur – Trackur also offers more robust features than some of the free tools listed here. Plans range from $27 to $447 monthly, and you can take advantage of the 10-day free trial offer. As an update: Trackur says they also offer a free plan for users who aren’t ready to commit to paid monitoring. You’ll get full social media monitoring across sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and more, continuous insights into your brand’s reputation, and you can even white-label the software and brand it as your company’s very own social media monitoring tool.
- Whos Talkin – Whos Talkin is a really simple, free-to-use tool. Enter any search term in the search box and instantly search across the social sphere for mentions. You can also get a gadget for iGoogle and a browser search plugin for your standard search bar—so you can get the same results without making a special trip to the Whos Talkin site. Ah, the convenience!
- Yasni – A similar tool to Whos Talkin, Yasni lets you search by name or category, scouring the web for matches in images, video, social mentions, and more—totally free.
- Technorati – Technorati is probably the best-known and most comprehensive blog search engine. Technorati indexes millions of blog posts in real time and also tracks influence and popularity. Search for your own posts and find out what blogs are discussing your company across the web, all for free.
- TweetBeep – Twitter is one of the best places to manage your reputation online. If someone is making remarks about you, there’s a good possibility someone is tweeting about it—especially if the commenter is well-known. Tools like TweetBeep automate the Twitter monitoring process by sending you active alerts when you’re mentioned, even if the user posts a shortened url. TweetBeep is free for basic services, but you can upgrade to Premium for $20 per month and get up to 200 alerts, a 15-minute alert option and even respond to Tweets directly from TweetBeep.
- BackTweets – BackTweets is a free tool that’s as simple as it sounds. Search for backlinks on Twitter by entering a url, keyword, #hashtag, domain name or @username. It’s as easy as that to find out what’s being said about you on Twitter!
- WhoLinkstoMe – WhoLinkstoMe makes it easier than ever to find out which sites are linking to you. The basic version is free, but with a pro subscription you get more comprehensive link data, extensive reporting options and competitive intelligence. To get a free report, simply enter your url.
- BoardTracker – If your brand is being discussed on some obscure discussion board across the web, it could fly below your radar. But not with BoardTracker, which searches discussion forums for mentions of your name or your brand name. Basic searches are free, but a new premium version is coming soon.
- Barracuda Labs – Barracuda Labs offers a free, simple search allowing you to enter a domain name, IP address or email address to dig up juicy details on anyone you interact with online. Bonus: Tweet Grade is another tool offered by Barracuda Labs. Just enter a Twitter username to obtain your grade from A through F. If you like your grade, you can Tweet about it to show off your Twitter prowess.
- BrandMentions – BrandMentions is like Google Alerts, but for social media. Get real-time search results from blogs, microblogs, bookmarks, images, news, videos and more. Create an alert to get notifications or install a real-time buzz widget to show off what people are saying about you on your website or blog—all for free.
- Lookup Page – With Lookup Page, you can create your own page and benefit from additional search exposure as well as track where your page is being searched and by whom. Basic plans are free, or you can opt for more features with packages ranging from $4.95 to $19.95 per month.
- Yext – Yext offers a free scan to find out how your business appears across the web. Monitor reviews, track results and mentions and more, or get comprehensive review analytics and other features with Yext’s small business or enterprise packages.
- FriendFeed – You’ve probably heard of FriendFeed, which is essentially a social aggregator to show you all your contact’s updates from multiple social sites in a single news feed. But FriendFeed’s advanced search feature is incredibly useful—and free–for monitoring your online reputation. Search all users, search phrases in the title or comments, liked by a specific person, or use advanced search operators to get even more specific.
- Watch That Page – Sign up for a free account at Watch That Page to get updates and alerts when content has changed on pages you’re watching. Watch That Page is also a handy little tool for keeping tabs on your competition. Install a useful little browser button to select pages to watch while you browse the web. Find a mention of your business? Watch That Page to see what follow-up commenters have to say. It’s that easy.
- SiteMention – SiteMention is another simplistic yet highly useful app for monitoring your online reputation. Enter your url in the search box and instantly search mentions across a number of social sites.
- Boardreader – With Boardreader, you can search what’s being said about a topic, business name or website across online discussion boards. Hint: Also a great way to uncover hot topics for your next blog post.
- Twenty Feet – Twenty Feet tracks Facebook, Twitter, Google Analytics, YouTube, MySpace and bit.ly for mentions of your business. You’ll get an activity stream of important changes, historical charts of your performance, and an analysis of the development of service-specific variables. It’s not free, but it’s very affordable. Pricing is based on the number of services you want to track per year, using a credit-based system. We strongly recommend you check this one out!
- Klout – Klout is probably one of the most well-known free apps for gauging your online influence. Connect your various social networks to Klout and it will offer you a score to indicate how influential you are online—based on the number of connections you have, how engaged your connections are with you and other metrics. Don’t forget to brag about your Klout score on Twitter and Facebook.
- Topsy – Topsy lets you search trending topics, Tweets, photos, videos, links or just all-out everything for topics, people, keywords or websites. It’s free, but if you want more sophisticated insights you should consider purchasing Topsy Pro Analytics to be among the first to find out what’s trending and what impact certain topics have had over the past few years. Did you ever want to be one of those bloggers who provides a super-detailed data analysis of a certain trend over the past two, five or ten years? You can do just that with Topsy Pro Analytics.
- Hyper Alerts – We all know how important it is to stay on top of Facebook comments and be responsive to our followers. With Hyper Alerts, you don’t have to check your Facebook notifications every five minutes all day long. Instead, the service will notify you of new comments and activity via email. And it’s free. You have no excuse not to liberate yourself from constant Facebook monitoring.
- HubSpot Marketing Grader – Last but certainly not least, if you haven’t tried HubSpot’s Marketing Grader yet, you must do so. Today. All you have to do is enter your url and email address, and you’ll get a complete report on the performance of your online marketing. You’ll get an overall score, action items you should pay attention to and a breakdown of recent blog posts and shares. Sign up for updates and you’ll get an email outlining your performance improvement in your inbox every Monday morning. Hint: Run one on your competition to see how you’re measuring up.
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