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By Arthur Weiss


Abstract:

My work involves helping clients find information which means that I need to use a really eclectic set of sources that go beyond Google, and I sometimes need to look at the minutiae of the web.


Item:

My work involves helping clients find information which means that I need to use a really eclectic set of sources that go beyond Google, and I sometimes need to look at the minutiae of the web. I also train people in finding information so keeping up-to-date on search-related topics and keeping a sense of humour about business foibles is also important. Here are some favourite sites I regularly use (or even view on a daily basis).

Copyscape is a tool that allows website authors and bloggers to find other sites that have stolen their content. It’s simple to use – just enter the URL you want to check and up comes a list of sites that have copied content or phrases. If you click on the links, you get the content from the malcontent’s page, with your text highlighted. It’s a great way of identifying copyright theft – although stopping it is a different question.

DomainTools.com allows you to identify the ownership of a web domain and find information on it – such as other domains owned by the same company, domain history and also sites that share the same IP address. There are several similar sites (another is Robtex.com) but DomainTools is the easiest to use.

Company-Check.co.uk (and the sister site, Company-director-check.co.uk) currently gives free access to UK company accounts. You can generally download the full company accounts going back several years or view a snapshot online. A unique feature is a link to another sister site, Company Comparison, whichallows you to compare different companies. This alone makes it an essential tool for quick UK company analysis.

Pandia.com, SearchEngineLand.com and MarketingLand.com are three sites I’ve linked to on my iGoogle homepage. They are a great way of keeping up-to-date on anything to do with finding, using, managing and sharing information related to online search. Articles can be about the latest changes on Google, new search engines or strategies, or tips to improve search engine marketing.

I read Dilbert every day as he is guaranteed to start the day with a smile. Often his adventures relate to the real world of companies, offices, technology and business relationships. In an ideal world, Dilbert wouldn’t be needed or funny. It’s because the author, Scott Adams, gets it right so often that it is – as Dilbert becomes the mirror that all companies need to look into from time to time.

This article appeared in FUMSI Magazine 52 (April 2012)

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Arthur Weiss is the managing director of AWARE, specialising in marketing intelligence training, analysis and research. Arthur has worked in the information industry since the 1980s, initially with Dun & Bradstreet and now with AWARE, established in 1995.

He has written articles and lectured on a variety of marketing intelligence and information industry related topics and offered the world's first workshop on using the Internet for Competitive Intelligence, at the 1997 Online Information Conference.

Arthur is a Chartered Marketer with the UK's Chartered Institute of Marketing and a member of SLA, the Association of MBAs and the Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) to which he was elected Membership Development Director in March 2012.

Arthur can be contacted from his website at www.marketing-intelligence.co.uk, his blog at www.awareci.com, on Twitter at @awareci and via email at a.weiss@aware.co.uk.

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