25 Apr Icon Interactive creates new Web monitoring tool
Icon Interactive, a technology and marketing firm, announced on Monday the release of an online ranking monitor called I! Alert (pronounced I-Bang Alert). The program observes designated Web sites and lets users know the sites’ ranking on search engines when certain terms are searched for.
Users enter the URL and a set of associated keywords into I! Alert, such as a bank Web site with the terms “mortgage” and “loan.” The program then displays what ranking the site has on Google and Yahoo when those keywords are searched for, alerting users when the ranking changes through sound effects like applause and falling bombs.
Troy Janisch, president of Icon Interactive, said the company decided to create the tool because they wanted ranking information for their site but couldn’t find any programs that worked the way they wanted. (Janisch writes a column for WTN.) The software development team designed the program and decided it was an ideal product for Icon to offer.
“By offering it to the public we could increase the offerings of the software,” Janisch said. “Besides, it was just too cool to keep for ourselves.”
Janisch said the program was designed to be as functional and accessible as possible, since site rankings may change multiple times in a single day. It is not Web-based but installed directly onto the desktop, with one window allowing users to change site information and sound effects. This means that users are not required to sign in or use e-mail alerts to let them know when a ranking changes.
“Most [services] will send emails when it goes up and down, so you have to monitor your email to see changes,” Janisch said. “Here, it’s always in the background.”
Users can compare their site’s ranking to a competitor’s ranking with the same terms. Measuring improvements in rank can also help businesses check if vendors are following through on promises, since making the site come up first during searches is a high priority.
“If your site doesn’t appear in the first two pages of search, there’s a very small chance people will see it,” Janisch said. “By default the tool watches the first 100 ratings, because if you’re not even there you’ve got a lot of work to do.”
He said Icon plans to add keyword analysis to the software and will add Alexa and MSN search engines to its ranking system once the sites become stable.