Today we’re pleased to announce the beta launch of bitly’s search platform and reputation monitoring service.
bitly shortens 80 million URLs every day, give or take a few. Now, with our new search technology, we’re crawling and classifying every URL we shorten to create an index of the most “viral” content on the web — content that’s broadly distributed, frequently-clicked, and trending at a high velocity.
Here’s an example of bitly search results for the query “onstar”:
You can see that there’s been some controversy about OnStar tracking its customers, and its former customers. The top results include news stories about the company, and a blog post by a single individual, a forensics scientist in Ohio named Jonathan Zdiarski, at zdiarksi.com.
A Google search for “onstar,” by contrast, returns the company’s official website and its wikipedia page — results based on Google’s pagerank algorithm, which prioritizes the pages which are linked to by the most authoritative sites on the web. Not zdiarksi.com.
This is the challenge of the realtime search space — many of the pages are so new, so fresh, that they don’t have any pagerank. A personal blog post isn’t authoritative in the way that the New York Times or Wired magazine is authoritative, but stories don’t find their way into Wired unless people like Jonathan Zdiarski speak out. Increasingly, they do, and often they reach a broad audience on social media before more conventionally-authoritative newsgatherers amplify their messages.
So instead of pagerank we’re using a different filter — for any given search query, we display the stories that we predict will get the most attention over the next 24 hours. Then we use bitly’s analytics to refine our predictions in realtime. Our search technology is based on the the most valuable measure of engagement: the click.
The first product we’ve built on top of this technology is a reputation monitoring service. We added a layer of sentiment analysis to our search results and built an alert system that lets our customers know what people are saying about products, brands, or about any topic on social media. Unlike a typical clipping service, which lets you know the things that people have already said about you on Facebook, this is an early-warning system, designed to alert you in realtime to swings in volume and sentiment related to specific keywords.
In addition to an email alert, there is a dashboard for all the keywords you’re tracking:
Reputation monitoring will be rolling out to our beta testers and current bitly Enterprise users over the next two weeks. It’s just one part of our next bitly Enterprise release — Enterprise 2.0. More on that soon. Meanwhile, if you’d like to participate in the beta test for reputation monitoring, please contact email@example.com. For more information about Enterprise, or to schedule a product demo, please go to http://bit.ly/EnterpriseSignup.
We’re looking forward to your feedback!1 year ago