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[This article is originally published in bloggingwizard.com By David Hartshorne - Uploaded by AIRS Member: Joshua Simon]  - 

Are you looking for an all-in-one solution to manage your social media presence?

Perhaps you need a smarter way to manage multiple profiles and networks? Or maybe you need to improve team collaboration?

Whatever your situation, managing social media requires the right strategy and the right tools.

And while there are thousands of social media tools, not all of them can be classed as management tools. For instance, Buffer is great for scheduling, but it doesn’t manage network engagement.

This post focuses on social media management tools that include these three key elements:

  • Engagement – A single dashboard where you can monitor all your social network messages and engage with your audience
  • Scheduling – A system of scheduling and recycling your content to each social network
  • Reporting – A method of analyzing and reporting how your content performs on each network

These tools offer other features as well, like running social contests, but that’s not in our scope. However, we have included information on the pricing structure and the number of networks covered by each platform.

Let’s get started.

1. Sendible

sendible Social Media Management Tools BW

Sendible makes it easy to engage with your audience, monitor your brand and track results from one dashboard.

Note

This is the best all-round social media management tool we’ve tried – it’s currently what we use here at Blogging Wizard.

Engagement

The Priority Inbox brings all your social messages from multiple networks and profiles into a single stream. From there you can identify important messages and take action. Only the unanswered messages remain in the inbox.

Scheduling

Sendible lets you schedule your content either individually or in bulk. Everything is stored in the interactive calendar, so if anything needs adjusting you can drag-and-drop the content accordingly. Once you discover your best-performing content, you can recycle it with repeating schedules.

Sendible also takes care of content curation. The content recommendation engine analyzes posts already shared on social media and suggests the best content most likely to generate high follower engagement.

There’s also an RSS Auto Posting feature so you can publish relevant quality content to social networks at regular intervals throughout the day from your blog and other favorites.

Reporting

Sendible has a range of pre-designed templates to help you create in-depth social media reports for your clients and team members. The ready-to-go social media reports provide an instant snapshot of your social activity. Alternatively, you can create your own report by choosing from over 250 modules. Once your reports are looking good, you can arrange to send them via email on a regular basis.

Networks

With Sendible you can connect to most social networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and more. On the advanced plan, you can even publish directly to WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr.

Pricing

Sendible offers a range of subscription plans based on the number of users and services that you want. They also offer a fully-customizable, white-label solution for larger teams and agencies. If you’re not sure what you’ll need, you can start with a 30-day free trial and then upgrade or downgrade as required.

  • Prices start from $29/month or $288/year (basic plan offers scheduling with re-queue functionality and a complete social inbox)

Get a 30-day free trial of Sendible Read Review

2. AgoraPulse

Agorapulse Social Media Management Tools BW

AgoraPulse is an easy and affordable social media management tool for teams and agencies.

Engagement

The social inbox is set up just like your email inbox so you can see what’s been reviewed and what needs your attention. AgoraPulse combines all your content in one place for all your profiles so you can reply, review, assign or tag. Check them off one-by-one, and your inbox will be clear.

You can take things one step further by setting up automated moderation rules to capture spam and assign questions to the right colleague.

Scheduling

AgoraPulse lets you schedule your content in advance with a pre-selected the date and time. Or you can program your posts to run once every hour/day/week/month. You can also take advantage of the queue function to share your evergreen content again and again.

Reporting

The detailed performance reports in AgoraPulse can save you loads of time compared to checking each social media account.

You can measure reach, engagement, response rate, conversation rate, community growth, and customer service. Plus you have the option to select your reporting date range; for example, last 30 days, last week, etc.

You can view your reports on-screen or download them to PowerPoint. And if you have clients you can add custom branding with the white-label option.

Networks

AgoraPulse works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Pricing

AgoraPulse has a range of subscription plans for individuals and teams. Each plan can be customized by adding additional users or profiles rather than forcing you to pay for users and features you don’t need.

  • Prices start from $49/month or $468/year

Get a 14-day free trial of AgoraPulse

3. eClincher

eClincher Homepage Banner Social Media Management Tools BW

eClincher lets you manage multiple social media accounts, pages, and groups with one intuitive tool. It’s perfect for social media managers, businesses, marketing professionals, teams, and agencies.

Engagement

The Unified Social Inbox from eClincher collects all your social media messages and notifications in one place, so you can respond, thank, follow, or engage with your audience.

As soon as you log into eClincher, you’ll see how many pending notifications you have. Once you’ve answered a message, it disappears from your list so you can focus on the remaining messages.

If you prefer to monitor your social media activities in real-time, then the Live Social Feeds is for you. Inside you can see each of your connected social media profiles, pages, and groups. And from there you can like, comment, and reply, in one place rather than visiting each native platform.

Scheduling

eClincher gives you the ability to plan and schedule your posts, tweets, and pins to multiple social media accounts, profiles, groups, and pages. You can view the schedule as a smart calendar or standard list format.

If your scheduled post includes a URL, then eClincher automatically shortens it using the Google (goo.gl) shortener. There’s also a built-in image editor and integration with Canva to ensure your social imagery is eye-catching.

The Auto Post feature from eClincher lets you recycle your content via three types of queue:

  • Recycle Queue – Recycle your evergreen content
  • One-time Queue – Publish your posts once
  • End-date Queue – Recycle your queue content until a specified end date (great for campaigns).

As Neal Schaefer says:

It’s a killer feature for companies who have lots of evergreen content and want to share it on a periodic basis across a wide variety of social networks.

Reporting

eClincher combines the power of Google Analytics with its Social Analytics module in one dashboard so you can see how your social media activities impact your website traffic.

You can view and analyze the real-time performance of posts on your Facebook pages, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts. Plus you can analyze follower trends and brand mentions.

The customizable dashboard lets you drag-and-drop the reports and graphs so you can see the most important data. You also have the option to generate PDF reports from the dashboard. And agencies can take advantage of the white-label option to add company logos.

Networks

eClincher connects to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Blogger.

Pricing

eClincher has a broad range of subscription plans for individuals, teams, and agencies. There’s a 20% discount if you choose to pay yearly, and you can start with a 14-day free trial.

  • Prices start from $49/month

Get a 14-day free trial of eClincher

4. Hootsuite

Hootsuite Social Media Management Tools

The Hootsuite platform offers you the tools to manage all your social profiles from a single dashboard and automatically find and schedule effective social content.

Engagement

Hootsuite uses multiple Streams rather than an ‘inbox’ to manage engagement. You can set up streams for each social network to monitor its content. And you can use tabs to organize your streams into groups. In effect, you create your own dashboard. If you’re working in teams, you can assign posts to the right person, department, or region.

Scheduling

With Hootsuite’s Auto Scheduling you can maintain a 24/7 presence on social media. Once you have a content schedule, it’s easy to add new posts to fill the gaps. For instance, you can use the Hootlet extension to schedule posts as you surf the net. Or you can upload your content in bulk via a CSV file.

However you choose to add your content, you can always see your schedule at a glance either in a list or a calendar with daily, weekly or monthly views.

Reporting

Hootsuite comes with a default report showing your key metrics on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can take this to the next level by building customized dashboards or using templates to check on engagement.

Hootsuite lets you export your reports in a variety of formats including Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, and CSV. And for those of you managing teams, you can track their response and resolution performance on Facebook and Twitter.

Networks

Hootsuite connects with over 35 popular social networks including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.

Pricing

Hootsuite has a range of subscription plans designed around the number of users and social profiles you want to connect. They also have a Limited Free Plan that’s designed for one user and includes Message Scheduling for three social profiles.

  • Prices start from $29/month or $228/year

Get Hootsuite

5. Sprout Social

sprout social Social Media Management Tools

Sprout Social is a leading social media management platform that provides engagement, publishing, analytics, and collaboration tools for teams of all sizes.

Engagement

Sprout Social has a Single Stream Inbox where you can manage all your messages in one place. You can manually mark completed messages and hide them from the inbox so that you remain focused on the current workload.

For teams, there’s the option to add custom tags to categorize messages, filter the inbox and share the workload. You can also see live activity updates in the inbox when a teammate is viewing or replying to a message, so there’s no chance of duplicating tasks.

Scheduling

Sprout Social allows you to schedule, queue and publish messages to each social network from their web app, browser extension, and mobile apps. Sprout’s ViralPost tool determines the best times to post your messages so you can maximize engagement.

The user-based publishing permissions let you set up team members to draft and submit messages, and then have team leaders or managers approve them. Using the shared content calendar you can view and manage social posts across multiple profiles, networks, and campaigns.

Reporting

Sprout Social provides an in-depth suite of analytics and reporting tools.

Their integrated network analytics allow you to view network, profile and message-level insights for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Sprout Social also tracks your team performance so you can measure overall and individual members’ responsiveness and engagement.

Distributing information to clients or management is straightforward with the presentation-ready reports that can be custom-branded and exported in CSV or PDF format.

Networks

Sprout Social integrates with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Pricing

Sprout Social has four monthly subscription plans. Each plan rises in price according to the number of features. And on top of that, you pay for how many users you need. For example, if you required 4 users on the $99 Premium Plan it would cost $396 per month.

All plans include a 30-day free trial, and there’s a 10% discount if you prefer to pay annually.

  • Prices start from $59 per user/month or $637 per user/year

Get a 30-day free trial of Sprout Social

6. MavSocial

mavsocial Social Media Management Tools

MavSocial is a Social Media Management platform with a focus on visuals.

Engagement

MavSocial lets you engage with your audience across all your social networks from one convenient inbox. From its Social Inbox you can:

  • Track and monitor social conversations, messages, and notifications
  • Allocate team members to individual messages
  • View follower replies and comments by network or profile
  • Search, sort, and tag interactions
  • Post a reply, like, or retweet directly

Visuals are an important part of social media engagement. The MavSocial Digital Library lets you upload and manage your photos and videos, plus anything you purchase from their Stock Images Store.

There’s even a built-in photo editing tool where you can add filters and text overlays before posting your content.

Scheduling

With MavSocial you schedule your content through campaigns. You can create campaigns across one or many networks and view your schedule in the calendar. From there you can drag-and-drop content to change the publishing dates and times if needed.

You can reschedule your content by creating cyclical campaigns. For example, you could have campaigns for blog posts, quotes, promotions, and events. Either add your content once and let it repeat cyclically or create variations by modifying it.

MavSocial includes an RSS reader, so you can pull in your content as well as other favorite industry content, giving you ideas of what to schedule. And if you find something while browsing the net you can use the handy Chrome extension to add that into the calendar, too.

Reporting

MavSocial’s built-in social analytics lets you track the performance of your social content. The Reporting Dashboard displays visual data for engagement statistics, detailed follower insights, your top-performing posts, plus the best times for posting.

You have the option to export the graphical reports via PDF or download the data in CSV format. You can run the reports based on time, campaign, network, or individual post, so you know what’s working.

Networks

MavSocial supports Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, and Tumblr.

Pricing

MavSocial has several pricing plans starting with a free limited plan. The premium plan prices for professionals and agencies use features plus the number of social profiles and users, with the option to buy additional users if required.

  • Prices start from $19 per month

Get a 14-day free trial of MavSocial

7. TweetDeck

tweetdeck Social Media Management Tools

TweetDeck is a favorite Twitter management tool that was acquired by Twitter in 2011. It offers a more convenient Twitter experience by letting you view multiple accounts in one interface.

Engagement

Twitter describes TweetDeck as “the most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engagement.”

It makes it easier to engage with your audience by using a series of customizable columns rather than a single Twitter timeline.

You can add columns that show all your mentions, direct messages, lists, trends, favorites, search results, or hashtags. Each column can be filtered to include or exclude words or tweets from users.

Scheduling

TweetDeck allows users to tweet messages immediately or schedule them for later delivery. If you manage multiple accounts through TweetDeck, you have the option to schedule Tweets for each of them.

You can make changes to a scheduled Tweet before it’s published, and you can also add images and GIFs to your message.

Reporting

TweetDeck doesn’t have any analytics and reporting, although Twitter is proposing to add that feature to a future premium version:

The premium tool set will provide valuable viewing, posting and signalling tools like alerts, trends and activity analysis, advanced analytics, and composing and posting tools all in one customizable dashboard.

Meanwhile, you can use the built-in Twitter analytics to track your performance.

The Home tab provides an overview of your activity featuring your Top Tweet, Top Mention, and your Top Follower.

On the Tweets tab, you can find metrics for every single one of your Tweets. You can see the number of Impressions, Engagements, and Engagement rate for each tweet.

The Audiences tab lets you track your follower growth over time and learn more about your their interests and demographics.

Networks

TweetDeck only supports Twitter.

Pricing

TweetDeck is a free tool and is available as a web app, Chrome extension or Mac app.

Get TweetDeck

8. Tailwind

tailwindapp Social Media Management Tools

Tailwind is a social media marketing toolkit for Pinterest and Instagram. It’s perfect for bloggers, small businesses, agencies, and large enterprises.

Engagement

Engagement on Pinterest is slightly different compared to Twitter and Facebook. People don’t comment as much, and Repins are more of an engagement signal.

To boost Pinterest engagement, Tailwind introduced its Tribes feature. (Note: It’s still in beta.)

Tribe lets you meet and grow with other marketers in your niche. You add your own content to a Tribe, and your tribe mates view, schedule, and share your content with their own audience. And as it’s a Tribe, you share the other content too. It’s a win-win.

Here’s what Social Media Manager, Andrea Jones, told me:

For Tailwind, I’ve found using tribes has slightly increased my repins. Overall, comments and replies are on a rapid decline on Pinterest. Community engagement on that platform mostly relies on repins.

Scheduling

Tailwind is packed with powerful features and shortcuts to help you schedule pins and posts each day.

Tailwind’s Smart Queue helps you pin and post at the best times, so your audience gets content when they’re looking for it. To start with, Tailwind recommends the best time when it knows people are active. But over time it evaluates the optimal time based on your history and audience engagement.

You can populate your schedule days or weeks in advance, by adding content in bulk from your desktop or mobile device. Tailwind also tracks your best performing content so you can reuse it again.

Reporting

Tailwind lets you track key performance indicators to evaluate if your marketing strategy is working. For Pinterest, you can measure followers, engagement trends, and virality by pin, board or category. (For Instagram, you can find influential followers and connect with them to broaden your reach.)

Tailwind also keeps you informed of progress with customizable reports and notifications via email.

Networks

Tailwind works for Pinterest and Instagram.

Pricing

Tailwind is priced per account, so if you want to use it for both Pinterest and Instagram, then you’d need two accounts. You can get a 33% discount plus unlimited scheduling if you purchase the annual plan. But there’s a free trial of 100 pins on Pinterest and 30 posts on Instagram to get you started.

  • Prices from $15/month per account or $119/year per account

Get Tailwind

Read our full review of Tailwind.

Conclusion

Each of the social media management tools reviewed here has its pros and cons. And there’s one thing for sure: what suits one person, won’t suit another.

Some people like the idea of an inbox to monitor and manage conversations, while others prefer multiple streams.

Some tools are better suited for teams and agencies, while others are ideal for solopreneurs and small businesses.

It’s important you choose the right tool for your situation and budget. And in some cases, that might mean not using any of these tools at all, even if it’s free. I’ve tried Hootsuite and TweetDeck previously and found myself overwhelmed by the amount of data on the screen.

A tool needs to help you, not hinder you.

Right now, I’m happy to use the native apps for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, plus Tailwind for Pinterest.

Which social media management tool is the best fit for you?

To help narrow down your selection here are some different scenarios.

If you’re just getting started and want a free tool:

TweetDeck is a great option if you need a tool solely for use with Twitter, especially if you’re monitoring more than one account.

Alternatively, Hootsuite and MavSocial both have free plans with a decent amount of features.

If you have clients or need to manage a large number of social accounts:

SendibleeClincher, and MavSocial seem to work out the most cost-effective with large numbers of social accounts.

If you need robust team collaboration features that won’t break the bank:

Sendible and AgoraPulse both provide great team collaboration features. And they’re both cost-effective. Sendible feels more refined and easier to use in some areas, but AgoraPulse has the added benefit of Facebook apps for running social media contests.

Sprout Social has excellent team collaboration features, but costs can spiral out of control because their plans are priced per user. For example, on the $99/month plan, you’ll pay just under $400/month for 4 users.

If you’re a serious blogger/marketer and need a good all-around social media management tool that is cost-effective:

SendibleeClincher, and MavSocial all fit the bill.

Sendible has all the important features (even on their most basic plan) and feels very refined.

MavSocial is big on visuals and has plenty of features.

eClincher stands out when it comes to overall features and includes both the social media inbox, as well as streams. That said, it feels a little clunky.

If you need an effective tool to manage your Pinterest/Instagram accounts:

A lot of tools on this list support Instagram scheduling, but when it comes to Pinterest, the best tool is; Tailwind. Especially since they released their ‘Tribes’ feature which can help you get more visibility for your pins.

Source: This article was Published boingboing.net - Contributed by Member: Daniel K. Henry

Google's Project Dragonfly was a secret prototype search engine intended to pave the way for the company's return to China; it featured censored search results that complied with Chinese state rules banning searches for topics like "human rights," "student protest" and "Nobel prize."

Leaked details of Dragonfly, reported in The Intercept, paint a picture of a search tool that doesn't merely limit access to information, but also assists Chinese state agents in retaliating against people who sought access to banned information.

In particular, Dragonfly logged each search and associated it with the user's phone number.

Dragonfly was also reportedly built to help the Chinese authorities falsify pollution data by substituting official numbers for observations made by disinterested parties. Pollution is a fraught political topic in China, with citizens frequently upset over the state's failure to keep their air breathable. The Chinese government has a history of falsifying pollution data and suppressing independent figures.

Sources familiar with the project said that prototypes of the search engine linked the search app on a user’s Android smartphone with their phone number. This means individual people’s searches could be easily tracked – and any user seeking out information banned by the government could potentially be at risk of interrogation or detention if security agencies were to obtain the search records from Google.

“This is very problematic from a privacy point of view, because it would allow far more detailed tracking and profiling of people’s behavior,” said Cynthia Wong, senior internet researcher with Human Rights Watch. “Linking searches to a phone number would make it much harder for people to avoid the kind of overreaching government surveillance that is pervasive in China.”

Categorized in Search Engine

Source: This article was Published bizcommunity.com - Contributed by Member: Jeremy Frink

The third Annual Western Cape Research Ethics Committees Colloquium was hosted by the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Tuesday 11 September 2018

Here, the effectiveness of social media as a research tool and the implications of work conducted on these social media platforms were highlighted. 

According to Dr. Amiena Peck, from UWC’s Department of Linguistics, social media platforms have created many advantages of online research.

Guidelines, privacy, and cybersecurity

“Millions of South Africans use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Linkedin, and more and more people join daily. This makes finding data more accessible, but it does offer challenges,” Peck said. 

“Unfortunately, there are no guidelines and no existing literature for guidelines when using social media for data collection, and there are several other challenges – such as privacy issues and cybersecurity.”

Professor Neil Myburgh, chair of UWC’s Biomedical Research Ethics Committee, said the issue of consent when using social media is often not spoken about – but this should change. “We have seen on Twitter where photos of children were shared in particular campaigns, bringing ethical issues to the surface,” he said. 

Myburgh noted that researchers need to consider all ethical issues when harvesting data from social media and strict ethical guidelines need to be established for social media use.

Proper ethical research methods

These kinds of reviews carried out by Research Ethics Committees allow a collective of multiskilled people to review a proposal and check its scientific veracity, as well as its ethical quality – a useful process. 

UWC rector and vice-chancellor, Professor Tyrone Pretorius said ethics is close to the hearts of most researchers and professionals at universities.

“Colloquia such as these are important to ensure that proper ethical research methods are taught to our young researchers. We have seen what has been happening in the accounting profession, for example – the curriculum needs to be amended so that we can teach the softer skills to our young accountants,” he said.

The colloquium enabled fruitful engagement between people closely involved in ensuring both scientific and ethical quality in research, whilst contributing to better practices all around. 

Attendees included participants from research structures at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town, the South African Medical Research Council and the Western Cape Department of Health.
 
Categorized in Research Methods

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Greg Sterling - Contributed by Member: Robert Hensonw

The company is filing new lawsuits, has developed tools and a stronger education program.

Scammers claiming to represent Google continue to prey on small business owners. They often also make threats about removing listings or outrageous claims about ranking improvements. Sometimes they try to charge for things that are free on Google.

In the past, Google has done a number of things to try and stop this kind of fraud, including filing lawsuits. Now, it’s stepping up its efforts and has announced a new set of initiatives.

The company is taking legal action against several entities. In addition, it can now better identify accounts tied to scammers and remove them. Google has also developed a tool to let business owners report scams, and it’s providing a directory of trusted partners.

Here’s an abbreviated version of what Google says in its blog post today:

  • We’re taking legal action against Kydia Inc. d/b/a BeyondMenu, Point Break Media, LLC (and affiliated entities) and Supreme Marketing Group, Inc. d/b/a Small Business Solutions
  • We’ve developed new automated and manual techniques to better identify Google accounts tied to scam efforts.
  • We’ve created a new tool that lets business owners report scammy practices and policy violations.
  • We’ve started providing resources and education to local small business organizations.
  • We’re launching the Google My Business Partners program [with] a directory of trusted partners.

Google is also recommending steps that local business owners should take themselves:

  • Make callers prove they’re from Google.
  • Claim GMB pages.
  • Understand that ranking claims are probably fake.
  • Don’t respond to robocalls.
  • Use the Do Not Call Registry.

The partner directory will be especially helpful. Litigation is also critical. To the extent that Google sues and wins, it will be a deterrent to firms (within the reach of US courts) trying to take advantage of the ignorance of small businesses.

Categorized in Search Engine

Search multiple social networks at the same time on this free website

What is it? A free search engine to help journalists find posts about certain topics on social networks.

How is it of use to journalists? Social media is becoming an increasingly powerful channel for sourcing stories, but with the number of platforms now around it's becoming more difficult to stay on top of the chatter.

It may be that you're looking for reactions on social about certain news events, or you might be trying to find eyewitnesses, photos or videos from the scene of a story.

With Social Searcher, you can search for keywords on multiple platforms at the same time.

The social networking search engine supports a wide variety of platforms, from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and YouTube.



You can save individual searches you may need to perform more often, and use advanced filters to help you find what you're looking for quicker.


search results social searcher
Screenshot of search results.

Social Searcher enables you to search based on 'post types', for example, and find results that include links, photos, videos or any combination of media.

Each search also comes with its own analytics dashboard, where you can see the most popular related hashtags, the overall sentiment of the posts (i.e. if the language denotes a positive view of the topic), or other keywords that are often featured alongside the terms used in your search.

Social Searcher is free to use for up to 100 searches a day, after which you can choose from a number of pricing options available.

These include additional features such as the ability to save individual posts, access web mentions of keywords, and use the 'monitoring' service.

'Monitoring' enables you to save the mentions history, access advanced analytics and export data as a CSV file.

Social Searcher started out in 2012 as an Android app allowing users to search through Facebook without logging in and has since expanded to become a comprehensive tool for finding posts on social media.

 Source: This article was published journalism.co.uk By Catalina Albeanu

Categorized in Search Engine

Google has introduced a catch-all tool for testing rich snippets, rich cards, and other “rich” additions to a website’s content.

Keeping things simple, Google has coined the phrase “rich results” to refer to all of these, which means its new tool is called the rich results testing tool.

Google’s new testing tool will test for all types of structured data that can be shown as rich results. It tests data sources such as JSON-LD, Microdata, and RDFa. It offers a more accurate representation of how a page is displayed in search results, as well as the ability to test structured data within the dynamically loaded content.

Currently, the rich results testing tool is able to test the following types of structured data: recipes, jobs, movies, and courses. Google notes this is just the first step, and support for more data types will be rolled out over time.

Using the rich results testing tool is just like using any of Google’s other testing tools. Enter the URL, run it through the tool, and review the results. An invalid code will be highlighted, so you’ll know exactly what to fix if there are any issues.

If and when you’re satisfied with the results of the test, the page can be submitted to Google’s index directly from the testing tool.

Source: This article was published searchenginejournal By Matt Southern

Categorized in Search Engine

How do you research thoroughly, save time, and get directly to the source you wish to find? GIJN’s Research Director Gary Price, who is also editor of InfoDOCKET, and Margot Williams, research editor for investigations at The Intercept, shared their Top 100 Research Tools. Overwhelmed with information; we asked Williams and Price to refine their tools and research strategies down to a Top 10.

What are the bare-essentials for an investigative journalist?

1. Security and Privacy  Security tools have never been more important. There is so much information that you give out without even knowing it. Arm yourself with knowledge. Be aware of privacy issues and learn how to modify your own traceability. This is paramount for your own security and privacy. Price and Williams recommend using Tor and Disconnect.me for sites that will block others from tracing your browsing history.

More: 

2. Find Specialized Sites and Databases  Do not run a generalized blind search. Think about who will have the information that you want to find. Get precise about your keywords. Does the file you are looking for even exist online? Or do you have to get it yourself in some way? Will you have to find an archive? Or get a first person interview? Fine tuning your research process will save you a lot of time.

3. Stay Current Price highly recommends Website Watcher. This tool automates the entire search process by monitoring your chosen web pages, and sends you instant updates when there are changes in the site. This tool allows you to stay current, with little effort. No more refreshing a webpage over and over again.

4. Read from Back to Front Where do you start looking for information? Do you start reading the headline or the footnotes? Most people start with the headline, however Williams gives an inside tip; she always start at the footnotes. The footnotes inform the articles body, and you can get straight to your information, without obtaining any bias from the author.

5. Create Your Own Archive Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the web. This site makes you see archived versions of web pages across time. Most importantly, Price recommended that you use this site to develop your own personal archive. A feature of the Wayback Machine now allows you to archive most webpages and pdf files. Do not keep all your sources on a site you might not always be able to access.

You can now keep the files not only in your own hard drive, but you share them online. Another useful resource for archiving is Zotero, a personal information management tool. Watch here for Price teaching how to use this incredible archive and information management tool. You can also form your own data with IFTTT. Gary Price teaches us how to do this here:

6.Pop up Archive Sick of scanning through podcasts and videos in order to get the information you need? Audio and Video searches are becoming increasingly popular, and can save you an incredible amount of time. This can be done with search engines like Popup Archive and C-SPAN.

7.Ignore Mainstream Media Reports Williams ignores sites like Reddit at all costs. These sites can lead your research astray, and you can become wrapped in knowledge that might later be deemed as false. Price is also wary of Wikipedia, for obvious reasons; any person, anywhere at anytime can change a story as they see fit. Stay curious, and keep digging.

8.Marine Traffic Marinetraffic.com makes it possible to track any kind of boat and real-time ship locations, port arrivals and departures. You can also see the track of the boats and follow the path to any vessel movement. Check out Price’s tutorial video of FlightAware, a data search that traces real time and historical flight movements.

9.Foreign Influence Explorer Needing to find sources on governments and money tracking? Foreign Influence Explorer will make your searches incredibly easy. This search engine makes it possible to track disclosures as they become available, and allows you to find out what people or countries have given money to, with the exact time and dates.

10.If you are going to use Google… Use it well. Google’s potential is rarely reached. For a common search engine, you can get extremely specific results if you know how. Williams explains that the Congress has a terrible search engine on their site, but if you use google you can better refine your search by typing your keywords next to “site:(URL)”. You can even get the time and date it was published by further specialising. Watch a video demonstration of a Google advance search feature here.

Source : gijc2015.org

Categorized in Investigative Research

Machine learning-driven results entirely bypass the traditional search box.

Several weeks ago, without much fanfare, Google added new shortcut icons to its mobile app and website. They appear immediately under the search box to provide quick access to current weather, sports, entertainment and restaurant information.

These are essentially prepackaged queries, using a range of data behind the scenes, to replace typing with tapping. These shortcuts have quietly turned Google’s local search and discovery experience into a powerful competitor to Yelp.

Below is a screen grab of the conventional local-mobile search experience for “lunch near me.” Users see a local pack, a map, organic links and images down the first page (not pictured). Here’s what it looks like — pretty familiar:

But when you tap the “eat & drink” shortcut, you get a different experience that brings a much richer set of results. Also on display is the full range of Google’s mobile and location data capabilities.

Google is providing personalized recommendations and offering a plethora of other choices and options. These are grouped by interest, cuisines, atmosphere and various attributes. All of this is driven and accompanied by rich data. This is also an argument for adding more enhanced data as part of your local SEO strategy.

Google presents “places for you,” based on your location history — your actual visits to other restaurants that establish patterns and preferences. Google also uses machine learning to group venues into useful categories by interest and attributes: “popular with foodies,” “best lunch,” “recently opened,” “great beers” and so on.

It’s not clear how much usage this is getting; Google hasn’t done much to build awareness other than place the shortcuts under the search bar. But it offers a dramatically improved experience that eliminates the need to do multiple queries and click around. It’s like a super carousel on AI. (Note: I didn’t say “steroids.”)

The experience represents a template for other kinds of mobile search results beyond the four categories currently present. Shopping and Travel come immediately to mind. Android features more shortcuts than iOS.

Currently, you can buy movie tickets via the entertainment shortcut. We can expect more transactional capabilities like this to roll out to other categories.

Right now there are no ads, but assume there will be if it gains widespread usage. If it indeed does gain momentum, we could see large numbers of people entirely bypass the search box in certain key categories.

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Greg Sterling

Categorized in Search Engine

OKLAHOMA - Historians are calling it a win for transparency in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health ensuring Oklahomans have easy access to a treasure trove of old vital records, including birth and death certificates, often used to track your family history.

Genealogist Mike Birdsong was filling in some holes in his family tree a few years ago, searching for a birth certificate for his grandmother, Annie Birdsong.

Mike paid for an OSDH search for the document, but the vital records department turned up nothing.

"My grandmother was born in 1899, before birth records," Mike said.

He paid $15 and some change for the search and then waited for results that never came.

Now, thanks to a new online tool, the state is offering online confirmation for free.

For Mike, he thought that meant he could now confirm Annie did not have a birth certificate on file.

But, to his surprise, he searched for her record and found confirmation.

"I looked online and found she filed for a delayed birth certificate in 1935," Mike said. "Now, I'm able to get her birth certificate as part of my family history."

Turns out, the online search was more accurate than the human search done years ago.

"Culture and history is just so valuable to our community, because we are such a diverse state," said Kelly Baker, OSDH Registrar of Vital Records.

A quick peak inside the vital records vault reveals eight million issuable records.

With such volumes maintained by the State Health Department, you can understand why sometimes record's like Annie's fell through the cracks and why many people don't even try - because of the hassle.

"In order to have access to the records search, people would have to apply, and we would have to do the search for them and they really wouldn't know if there was a record," Baker said.

Now, you can search online for death certificates more than 50 years old and birth certificates more than 125 years old.

Those documents are open record in Oklahoma.

Their existence can now easily be confirmed online.

To view the document or request a copy, the customary $15 fee remains.

Historians and genealogists are thrilled the state has unlocked the first hurdle in every search.

The vital records site just launched.

CLICK: OK2Explore to search the OSDH vital record database.

The site officially went live during the monthly meeting of the Oklahoma Genealogical Society meeting.

Source: This article was published kfor.com By ALI MEYER

Categorized in Search Engine

Of course you know about Google, Yahoo, Bing and AOL, but have you heard of the DuckDuckGo search engine? Well, it’s an internet search engine that emphasizes protecting searchers’ privacy and avoiding the “filter bubble” of personalized search results.

Categorized in Search Engine
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