As link builders, one challenge we all have is showing our clients evidence that our work is having the effect we said it would. What would make this part of the process easier is if there was one single universal tool that could identify every single instance when a site is mentioned, linked, tagged, tweeted, or feeded. The sheer size of the web and the volume of new content every day make such a tool impossible, but a few weeks ago Delicious unveiled a relaunch, and what was once really a pain is now a breeze.
Delicious will show the which users are linking to (bookmarking) which URLs, sorted by most recently bookmarked. Go here:
Enter your company URL, or whatever URL you want. Click the arrow to get your results.
Here’s where it gets fun. Delicious feedifies that results page, so you can subscribe to a feed for any URL, and by doing so, whenever someone bookmarks your site at delicious, your feed will have that new link at the top of your feed.
Make it even better…The feed option is nice, but for those of you who have already used it, it’s also lacking in a couple key ways. The feed links show the Delicious username, but nothing more. The link will always be you company URL, since that’s the URL you searched for. So, if you click the link the Delicious RSS feed gave you, you always end up right back at your own URL. This is big fun, but not very useful.
Here’s how to make that delicious feature far more useful. Once you have the delicious search result, notice you have a search result URL string that’s unique. Open another window and head over to the always trusty TrackEngine.com. If you don’t have an account, get the free account now. Then, take the Delicious URL string for your URL search and Track it.
By doing it this way and not relying on Delicious’ own RSS feed version, now you will receive a private email from TrackEngine any time a Delicious user links to your site, and that email will include of the entire delicious page results with the most recently bookmarked username at the very top of that page, highlighted in blue.
If you’re brave, don’t wait until after your publicity/link building campaign to do this. Get a baseline link count before you start.
The obvious limitation here is that this is only useful as a peek into the bookmarking activity at Delicious. The world is bigger than Delicious. But…as you go through the process at Delicious, you might notice you can do similar things with other bookmarking and social media tools. Wondering if your site has been tagged by anyone at Technorati? Set up a Technorati Tag Alert.
Even Google Alerts can be tweaked and then re-tweaked in a away that will then send you almost real time blog mentions of URLs. Keyword search Google Blogs for link:yourURL. Toggle the search result by clicking over on the right side where it says “Sort By Date“. Now look back to the far left where it says Blog Alerts. Click Subscribe. Bingo.
You now have three separate email alerts ready to notify you of new links, in near real-time, from blogs (Google), tags (Technorati), and bookmarks (Delicious). And you can’t beat the price. Free.
As those alerts arrive, take them and forward them via email to your clients. Those emails become real-time proof that your link building and content publicity efforts are working.
Eric Ward has been in the link building and content publicity game since 1994, providing services ranking from linking strategy to a monthly private newsletters on linking for subscribers. The Link Week column appears on Tuesdays at Search Engine Land.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.