Social-Media Monitoring Problem: Dredging Up Ancient Garbage

I’ve grown increasingly frustrated with social-media monitoring tools, and their inability to filter out old content or spam bots using my old content. It’s very easy for me to assess a social-media tool by querying my own name (Nalts). I know instantly what content about me is new, and can recognize old content that has been repurposed by spam sites, which often grab my old blogs and video descriptions to fool search engines and people into thinking they’re not autobots.

Here’s an example from my Google Alerts, which I am about to discontinue. None of this is new! Even Google can’t determine what’s old anymore... and some of this links to my own blog posts that are ancient. This makes me question the prevailing myth that Google will overtake the social-media monitoring landscape with its own free solution.

Is there a solution? Even the best social-media tools can’t seem to discern between legitimate recent posts (of me anyway) that are on my sites or others.

4 Replies to “Social-Media Monitoring Problem: Dredging Up Ancient Garbage”

  1. I know what you mean. Four out of the fifteen or so Google alert results for “nalts” from Jan. 30 were related to your Kelley Clinton video from way back in 2007.

  2. I was kind of surprised to see myself in today’s Google alerts.

    iPad is Pissed | jellofart’s blog
    By admin
    ROCK ON NALTS! I’M WITH YOU! DrAlexisOlson. February 1st, 2010 – 13:21. I still can’t believe he’s drinking a mike’s “mike-arita” malt cocktail while driving. In Pennsylvania that is a summary offense punishable by up to $300 and/or 90 days imprisonment…
    Jellofart –

  3. It’s true. All media monitoring services do pull up old results, although I think it’s less of an issue than it was 5 years ago.

    The reason for this is usually that the actual website that the old news is hosted on updates the page, so we recognize it as being new.

    If all websites had standard date formats for their webpages, we could look at the actual date on the page and know how old it is. As you can imagine, that’s just very unlikely to happen.

    Other options, such as comparing new results to all previous results to determine originality would require obscene amounts of data processing.

    So, sadly, there’s not a lot we can do about the situation for now although I agree it is very irritating.

    With regard to the spam sites, we have a simple system to block those entirely. It’s not difficult to do from a programming perspective and it’s possible that once Google has a more cohesive product, they will include that functionality.

    Hope that makes you a little less frustrated 🙂

    Hannah Del Porto
    Sr. Director, Analytics
    ImpactWatch Media Monitoring

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