Is “Free” Online News Monitoring Service Good Enough?

We have previously discussed why Google’s Boolean search capabilities may not be enough for your online news monitoring needs. In this post, let’s take a look at why free online news monitoring services will never really measure up.


While the good news is that we have a wide choice of services to choose from, choosing what’s best for you may prove to be not too easy. Each has its own strong points and unique selling proposition.


Now as a start, let’s have an example when you set up keywords in your search results. Say you work for Tim Cook who happens to be the CEO of Apple. Just imagine your news feed coming up with search results on apple recipes and cooking apples? What a nightmare, right – with you having to sort through all those useless content and thereby using your time in a non-productive way? You not only wasted your time but you also missed the opportunity to yield results that’ll matter to you the most.


The point is that with free online news monitoring services, chances are you’ll be getting irrelevant results. Most free services are programmed in a way that they track all news for fear of leaving something important out. They also need to sort through a lot of spam and filter them.

When monitoring news for your business or brand, balance amongst the following is of utmost importance:

  1. Boolean capability
  2. Source restriction and selection

Many small business organizations settle for free services like Google Alerts or Yahoo! News to deliver relevant news to them. This may indeed be useful in the short term. But just how “free” are those services exactly? When you have a full time staff that needs to filter through all the irrelevant information that you get every single day, the free service you’re getting may not be free after all.

Even with a small amount of news that you need to gather and monitor, a reliable media monitoring service can prove to be cost-effective and reliable.

Remember that you’re not subscribing to know what are the latest news out there – you also subscribed because of market intelligence. The cost of making a wrong decision because of some information you missed can prove to be more costly to your business compared to the price you need to pay for subscribing to a monitoring service.

If you are really serious about proving your authority in your niche, settling for free tools should be out of the equation.

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