March 02, 2012

Who is interested in my online profile?

Writing about web page http://uk.news.yahoo.com/who%E2%80%99s-been-looking-at-your-facebook-page--can-you-find-out-.html

This recent news article on Yahoo inspired me to have a little look at what I can find out about people interested in my work online: I already get e-mails from Academia.edu whenever someone googles me and clicks to see my academia.edu profile.

I have never before explored Google's Adwords: I'm not a commercial organisation(!), but it has an interesting "Keyword tool" that you can use for free. I gave it my name as a phrase, and it told me that on average there are 22 searches per month, over the last 12 months for my name. It also came up with 2 keyword ideas: "information science" and "scholarly writing".

You can also give Google Adwords a URL, so I gave it the one for this blog: this time there were 98 keyword ideas. I think that the idea is that you could pay for your advert to appear whenever someone searches for such keywords. Which I'm not going to do, but it could also be an interesting tool for researchers who are looking for keywords to enhance their searching! They could give it the URL or title of a paper of particular interest and see what is suggested, if they are struggling to come up with ideas for themselves.

LinkedIn also tells me how many people have viewed my profile there in the last 90 days, and how many times my profile has shown up in search results. Not quite so high as the figure from Adwords, but then it's only about LinkedIn. On LinkedIn I can see the profiles of the people who viewed my profile, along with some anonymous users... there is more information for those prepared to pay for it, too.

Academia.edu has a "stats dashboard" which tells me how many profile views and document views I've had in the last 30 days: even fewer than LinkedIn. I can also see what country the views were from and which referring site and keyword led them to find my profile/article.

Now of course, there is also Google Analytics which can tell me how many people have viewed my blog, and Twitter and Hootsuite between them can give me an idea of who is following me and how many people click on the links I share and so on and so forth... and if I had the time to track all of this then I might be able to see whether/which blog posts and tweets and activities in general are having some kind of impact... but still, I'm just happy that Google Adwords has suggested some words associated with my work interests!


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