Online Reputation Monitoring: How Do the Tools Compare?

By Renee Revetta | Nov 13, 2009
More Articles by Renee

As anyone in the online reputation monitoring (ORM) field knows, there are many reputation and brand tools on the market today. However, is there one tool that can do the bulk of the monitoring? This week, I put six online monitoring tools to the test. Because we can easily access Twitter search via an API separately, which is highly accurate, and there are many monitoring tools that focus specifically on Twitter alerts (like SocialOomph and TweetBeep), I ignored results from Twitter.  My focus was on articles and blog posts, along with other video and image related content.  I compared results for the buzz worthy keyword “John Allen Muhammad,” the beltway sniper, using Radian6, Social Mention, Scout Labs, Giga Alerts, Google Alerts and Trackur. Note that I gathered this data on the day of his execution, when the buzz would most likely be at its highest point. This post will help those that are concerned about their brand’s online reputation determine which tools catch the most relevant results, and cross-reference results found with each tool.

Trackur LogoImage by Andy-Beal via Flickr

Preliminary Test Results

In preliminary tests utilizing other keywords, I found the results weren’t consistent across the board.  Do you need to use six different tools to monitor your brand name? Ideally, no.  However, my initial tests showed yes – if you want to catch as much as you can.

We have a paying subscription for Radian6, Scout Labs, Trackur and Giga Alerts, while Google Alerts and Social Mention are free.  Interested to see if the free tools can keep up with the paid subscriptions? Read on, my friend!


I set up each search for either the past 24 hours, 11/9/09 – 11/10/09 or “last day” options with each tool.  With Giga Alerts was limited in its results due to our current account limits.  Social mention contains more results than articles and blogs, as its search contains Twitter and microblog results.

Search Results

Tool Number of Results (Search 1) Number of Results (Search 2)
Google Alerts



Scout Labs






Giga Alerts



Social Mention






Just by looking at the pure numbers, it’s obvious these tools don’t search and report on all of the same content.  Google Alerts provided the most results, and is a free tool.  In second and third place for the number of results are Scout Labs and Radian6, both paid subscriptions.  Just because there are more results from some tools though, does that mean the results are more relevant? I plan on investigating this further, so check back soon.

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  • andybeal

    Hi Renee,

    Thanks for including Trackur in your review. I’m not sure how other tools work, but when you run any new search on Trackur, we only bring back a sample set of data–we then start collecting actively scouring the web for more results when you save that search. While this does include a lot of current items, it would account for the lower number.

    That said, we try hard to remove duplicate and spam results, so that may also account for the lower numbers.

    Thanks for being such an awesome customer! 🙂


  • Hi Andy,

    Thanks so much for the explanation! Yes, spam is a rarity in Trackur. Thanks for a great product!

    Have safe travels back from PubCon,

  • VargasL

    It is important to find the right tool for the organization’s social media objectives. It is good to ask these questions so you understand how the data is being collected. The Radian6 platform takes the keywords that users enter and uses it, in combination with our crawlers, to discover content that is relevant to your needs and pulls that content in and indexes it.

    If you immediately created a new topic, and then went directly to testing how much content was in the system, you’d be a bit ahead of the platform, as it is designed more for ongoing monitoring needs.

    We took your exact same keyword “John Allen Muhammad”, and same time period Nov 9-Nov 10, and received:

    without twitter: 4543

    with twitter: 7145.

    We hope this helps you understand a bit about our platform and help you decide which tool might work best for you. Feel free to reach out directly if you have any questions.

    Lauren Vargas
    Community Manager at Radian6

  • Hi Lauren,

    Thanks for your insight. Yes, maybe creating the keyword and collecting the data immediately could be the reason for our difference in results. Interesting. About how long does it take for a keyword to index in Radian?

    Thank you,


  • VargasL


    It depends, but is usually completely up to speed in an hour or two… after that, the topic will be continually up to speed.

    Lauren Vargas
    Community Manager at Radian6

  • Hi Renee,

    I just came across this on my return from holiday and thought you might also want to add Brandwatch into your comparison, I’d be happy to show you the system.