Google just released the Brand Impressions tool – a new free way to visualize your brand presence online. Its aim is to compile what people are saying and seeing in an easily digestible and highly visual format. This seems like a step up from Google Alerts, which has some serious limitations, especially for people who totally bombarded with emails. The new Brand impressions tool captures data from Google properties and groups the results in to four high level categories.
- Visuals. Images and videos from Google properties. Including related videos from other YouTube users, and the brand’s official channel, should they have one. Images are described as “top results” from image search.
- Topics. Topics and keyword phrases. Google is pulling this from Google News RSS feed, and includes topics “related” to the brand.
- Actions. Metrics/stats. Seems to be a summary of the above data. Includes comments on Google+ and YouTube, number of video titles involving the brand name, total number of search results.
- Location. Geographically speaking. Google uses location names and lat/long to plot this on a map.
You can click on the headers (Visuals, Topics, Actions) and it brings you to a page where you can click on the actual news articles but you can’t dig in deeply on the actions.
So while it looks great, there are some flaws. It’ll pull in odd images like the one of a man about to get a pile driver, or fairly useless information, like the number of search results for “Room&Board” (today), and there isn’t a way to modify the results with negative keywords like you can with Google Alerts. The top locations for the brand is pretty, but not actionable, and clients always want their information to be actionable. I would love to dig in more to see why Kathmandu, Nepal is showing up higher than one of their store locations in the US, but am not able. I was further disappointed when trying to download my results – it just wouldn’t work. One of the more hidden features is “Compare to Another Brand”. Clients are always asking us how they compare to their competition, and from what I can tell, Google Brand Impressions is NOT the way to find out. Half the time I couldn’t get the results to load, and when it did come up, it simply stacked the results for each brand. What would be nice is to see some new charts comparing statistics from each brand. But hey, it’s FREE, right?! So why not spend 20 minutes playing around with it. Who knows. Maybe you’ll find a video of the Baron von Raschke giving out The Claw.