Little Known Brand Monitoring Search Tricks

Long gone are the days when “Googling” yourself was enough to monitor your online reputation. Things have gotten more complex: there are much more Internet-savvy customers who blog and tweet about your business. Being in the right place at the right time to talk to your customers is the key to the successful social media marketing strategy.

You are most likely to be already tracking your business name mentions online. However there’s much more you want to listen to.

Here are a few little known search ideas you want to play with now:


Google has made it easier to monitor your name mentions via its “Dashboard” that gives you a few search ideas and even lets you set up Google Alerts for all or any of them. Here are a few search ideas to add to the list (except for your first and second name).

Google Reputation management search tips:

  • Before “Googling” yourself, you’d better sign out of Google and switch to “Hide personal results” mode to get unbiased results;
  • Be sure to play with additional search tools (i.e. “Time” settings) to get most recent results (from one hour to one year).

Google Reputation management search tips

Now try searching for the following:

1. Your business official email OR phone number: If someone mentions your (customer support) email address, they must be either helping followers to get in touch with you or sharing their experience with you. In either case, you should be there to help.

Your business official email OR phone number

2. Your name misspelling. Does Google correct the typo to show your correct name spelling?

Tip! Use this typo generator to get some examples of how your name can be misspelled. If your company name contains a common noun (like “apartments,” “affiliate,” etc.), try looking into this list of most frequent misspellings.

Your name misspelling

3. Your name Google Search Suggest results. Google Search Suggest is automatic “as-you-type” recommendations of popular searches.

Unless users have “Google Instant” disabled (which few people can do), they are also getting instant results for each of those “suggest” recommendations. So when users are typing your name into the search field, they are getting all sorts of results that might have nothing to do with you (best scenario); they might also be getting some negative search ideas (like “your name reputation,” “your product name torrent,” etc.). No matter what it is, you want to know which brand-name-based search suggestions they are getting).

Your name Google Search Suggest results

Tool!  Ubersuggest will help you scrape all sorts of Google Search Suggest results by searching your name and adding a letter or a digit after it. So, you’ll get suggest results for [your name]; [your name a]; [your name b]; etc. If you are popular, you may need this tool as well – it will try to go one level deeper and extract phrases for each of your suggested phrase as well:

Google search suggest tool


Twitter has a wide variety of interesting advanced search operators I described earlier. Besides, you are probably already monitoring your company @name or your own @username via Twitter replies. However, there are still interesting search hacks to play with.

Twitter reputation management search tips: Twitter is real-time search, so it’s probably useless to simply search it once. So it can be a good idea to monitor search results using one of your preferred social media dashboards. You can also save Twitter search if you are using Web interface more often.

Now the tricks:

4. Search for questions: Is there anyone on Twitter looking to ask a question about your product? You want to be there to reply. To search for brand-related questions, simply add a question mark to your query (with the space included):

Search for questions on Twitter

5. Track disappointed buyers. This trick is especially useful if you have just launched a new feature or a new product. Tracking negative sentiment is easy with Twitter.

Track disappointed buyers on Twitter

6. Monitor proper “unlinked” reviews. You are probably already tracking your Web mentions via Google Alerts or other tools, so it’s not that useful to monitor them being retweeted again and again. How about pure “unlinked” Twitter conversations about your brand? Easy. Just filter out links (-filter:links) and exclude tweets referencing your Twitter username to unclutter your search (-@myusername):

Monitor proper "unlinked" reviews on Twitter

More Reputation Management Search Tricks

Those will work on both Google and Twitter:

7. OR operator to combine several ways you can be referred to as. For example, [myblogguest OR my blog guest OR]

8. Define yourself. See how people usually call you: Search [“Your Name is *”]. Don’t forget the parentheses to force the exact match:

Define yourself

There are quite a few great (paid) reputation management tools that make brand monitoring much easier. However, nothing works better than manual search: playing with various search tricks may give you lots of insight into what customers and followers say about your brand.

And here are a few actual tips for improving your brand-related search results:

  • Guest blog on high-profile blogs in your niche;
  • Claim your brand name across multiple social media sites (Try KnowEm for that);
  • Get your business profiled (there are tools like Business Profiles that let you get a separate local page for your business);
  • Get interviewed (HARO is a great tool for this. Here are some tips for getting podcast-interviewed and John Chow’s tips on getting interviewed by ABC News)
  • Verify the authorship of your articles (here are simple steps to do that)

Tip! To get organized, add a reputation monitoring task to your calendar as a recurring weekly task.

Are there any other little known reputation management tricks you are using?


Ann Smarty Ann Smarty is the founder of My Blog Guest, a free community of bloggers. Ann is also the Community and Brand Manager of Internet Marketing Ninjas.

12 Reactions
  1. Great post!

    I love learning more cool things that I can do with Google.

    And, I’ve checked out Knowem before. I’m due to pop by there again, soon.

    Thanks, again.

    The Franchise King®

  2. Good point telling people to log out. Many don’t even realize their search results are being altered.

  3. Hi Ann, another great post from you. Following your blog posts all over the web and now it feels like you are truly inspiring for newbie internet marketing guys like me. Thanks and keep writing.

  4. You gave an answer above regarding differnt countries and search results. What about search results in the same state? will they be different and if so how close together when you search do you have to be before there is no difference.

  5. Really helpful tips for brand monitoring Ann. I need to search for misspellings of my name because I know that happens a lot.

    btw – I found out that someone set up a fake Google+ profile with my name. Do you know how long it will take for Google to remove it after I make the report?

    I can’t imagine why someone would try to impersonate little ole me!

    • Wow! That’s awful! Have you reported them? Have you heard from G yet? Please keep me updated! I’ve never had experience with reporting fake profile to Google, so I don’t know the turnaround. I am hoping it will be fixed soon!

      • It was reported about 2 weeks ago but I haven’t heard anything yet. Honestly I’m not too worried about it at this point but I’d still like to see the account shut down.
        If you search my name on Google+ you’ll see the impostor but I have no idea what they intend to gain from setting up this profile. I found out about it from a Google Alert. If I hear anything more I’ll let you know.

  6. Very intesting post… i’ve never have thought about misspelling my name.. thanks Ann

No, Thank You