Internet is buzzing with conversations. Right now people might be discussing your brand or a topic you are very interested in and you will never know what they are saying. Let's have a look at most effective tools that will allow you not to miss what is important for you.

Search Email Messages: is email messages archive and search engine.

The archive includes many millions of email messages across thousands of lists... It provides end users with powerful search and discovery tools for finding answers and understanding activity in popular mailing lists, such as those used by open source projects.

Tools: The search engine supports various advanced operators:

  • Narrow search by date range: [date:1995-2001];
  • Exclude any term: [-keywords];
  • Narrow search to the sender's name or email: [from:usernamee];
  • Narrow search to the message subject: [subject:keyword];
  • Search for exact match:["key phrase"], etc

Best area of implication: reputation management (i.e. brand mentions)

Tracking: register and add the search to your set

Sample search: amazon

Search messages

Track Comments and Social Mentions by URL

YackTrack is an awesome business intelligence software that will show a wealth of data for any URL you submit:

  • Twitter mentions (including TinyURL backlinks);
  • Actual on-site comments to the post;
  • Comments on Mixx;
  • Reviews on StumbleUpon;
  • Google reader comments;
  • Google Blog Search reactions;
  • Comments on Digg.

Tools: browser bookmarklet for quicker access;

Best area of implication: track comments to a controversial / sensational article;

Tracking: register or subscribe to RSS

Sample search: track comments to this Lifehacker post:

Track URL

Search and Track Forums

Apart from numerous social media networks, many valuable discussions are still help throughout forums. Unfortunately, forum trackers are few and all of them are not really useful.

BoardTracker is the most popular among them. However its index appears to be fairly small.

The good news is that there are not so many powerful blogs in each niche, so you can set up tracking yourself.

Tool: Google search.

Best area of implications: reputation management

Tracking: choose any SERP tracking tool here.

Sample search: [ OR OR OR OR ann smarty]

Note: of course you can also include date operator to catch only recent mentions.

Track forums

Do you track web conversations? Share your tips!

Ann Smarty is an SEO Consulting blogger; you can see her posts at Search Engine Journal and also follow her on Twitter.

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty is a blogger and SEO consultant and professional blogger. Check out Ann's personal project My Blog Guest - the forum meant to connect guest bloggers to blog owner for plenty of mutual benefits. Ann also provides guest blogging services.

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11 Responses to “Most Effective Ways to Search and Track Online Conversations”

  1. Rob Diana says:


    Thanks for the YackTrack mention! One comment about the Lifehacker post you used, Lifehacker has a custom blog platform so YackTrack does not pull their comments very well. For WordPress, Blogger and TypePad/MT we do a much better job.

  2. Good post. I have used MarkMail before and it is super easy and very useful. I actually never heard of YackTrack, but I will take a look at them and see what they are all about.

  3. Ilya Pashkov says:

    Thank you, good post!

  4. rashida says:

    Thanks for providing the information about tracking online conversations.It is very useful and most effective.

  5. Ned Carey says:

    I have been using Google alerts. I am surprised you didn't mention it. Thanks for the tips, I've bookmarked YackTrack

  6. Martin says:

    I've got a few searches bookmarked that I visit a couple times a day on behalf of clients, plus a few Google alerts. The WhosTalkin service seems similar to YackTrack, but (IMO) is faster and more robust. Also using BlogPulse, Technorati search and Delicious search.

  7. andrew says:

    isn't yacktrack kinda of like google's Link: operator only prettier!

  8. Awxus says:

    I can't comment with url, Any suggestions??

  9. Elana says:

    Do you know of a conversation tracker that tracks YouTube mentions? Would be great if YackTrack added that…