Over on the Lijit blog I wrote about the day that Google broke Google Alerts. It seems that Google changed the way they crawl blogs a while back. It used to be that they would leave the static sidebar content alone and just crawl the active content area of publications. Now it seems that they crawl everything and as a result my real-time information on Lijit is completely broken.
Lijit is a widget or piece of code that gets installed on publisher sites. Typically it's installed in the sidebar or static area of the site. It's named "Lijit" so Google crawlers now regularly run across it and Alert me to its presence.
A lot of times a blogger will write a post after installing Lijit on their blog telling people about it. I like to read those posts to keep a pulse on what people are saying. This used to work great as I would see 10 or so a day with no false alarms. Now that Google crawls everything I get tons of false Alerts for Lijit a day, sometimes hundreds of Alerts a day, but the majority are like these below. Neither of these blog posts are about Lijit, but rather Google is seeing our widget sitting on the site.
This has created a mess for me. I suspect it's no worse than the mess others have using the service however. I have always been lucky in that I have an alert on a fairly unique string of text. People never use the spelling "Lijit" unless they are talking about us, until now.
I have been a long time advocate of Filtrbox as a great idea. I use the service but the lack of real-time alerts has kept me from adopting it as my primary 'alerter' about Lijit references. Getting a once a day update may as well be once a month for our business. If I were Filtrbox, I would drop all other development and rush in to fill this market gap. Real-time Alerts are the killer feature for businesses. Without a viable way to capture them, filter them, and distribute them there is a huge need out there remaining unfulfilled.