Google remains the most powerful search engine available, but if you want real-time, niche results, consider using a social media search tool. The ones listed in this post are free with some offering premium plans for a monthly fee.
On a side note, if you choose to register with one of these sites, it might require that you provide an email address. My suggestion is to not provide your private email addy as it could be sold to a third-party vendor, such as another database. Instead, try setting up an alternate email via one of the below options.
A few ways to create alternate email addresses:
Have a public email address that you use for such requests. For example, create an account on Gmail (such as firstname.lastname@example.org) that you use for online registrations. If you decide you want to see emails from an organization, you can set forwarding for its emails from email@example.com to a personal Gmail account.
Create a disposable email address. One of my favorites is guerilla.com.
Use a Masking Service. I use the free version of MaskMe for email addresses and passwords. As I start to enter my email address into a form, a MaskMe window opens that asks if I’d like it to generate a secure email and/or password. If yes, it adds these to a table I can access at any time. For $5/month, Mask Me will also protect phone numbers and credit card numbers.
Now let’s check out social media searches.
Four Social Media Search Engines
Listed in alphabetical order:
SmashFuse: Immediate real-time results in social media sites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and others. Easy-to-view layout with share buttons.
SocialMention: Real-time search in over a hundred media properties, from blogs to comments to images. It also provides social media analysis broken down by Strength, Sentiment, Passion, Reach, Top Users, Top Hashtags and Sources.
Social Searcher: Searches content in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+ in real time. You can also sign up for “monitoring” that includes history, advanced analytics, increased email alerts and more.
Topsy: Real-time results and analytics for Twitter only. Search by links, tweets, photos and more. This search engine has been around since 2008 and is still going strong, unlike a few that fell by the wayside over the years.
Social Media Search Sites That Are No More
Sorry to see these sites go…
Kgbpeople.com: This used to be one of my favorite search sites, which checked a variety of social networking sites, search engines, websites, photos and more. The search results used to be comprehensive, but these days are slim to nonexistent.
Kurrently.com: Formerly combined results from Twitter and Facebook in an easy-to-read format organized by date stamp, but the site is now dead.
Whos Talkin: This social media search tool once searched conversations in over 60 social media gateways, but my last search attempts went into an endless “search spin.”
Have a great weekend, Writing PIs