We work hard to ensure our technology is powerful and flexible enough to deliver market-leading coverage, even as the web changes and evolves. In fact, we crawl over 80 million sources and bring you clean, accurate data, as it happens.
The language around what constitutes a ‘source’ can also be confusing, so understanding just how much data is available in each platform can be a difficult endeavor.
What is a ‘source’ in Brandwatch Analytics?
A source is a single website that we are able to crawl. A source could be a social network (Twitter, Facebook, Google+), a visual media site (YouTube), a blog or news site (Mashable, The New York Times), a forum (BodyBuilding.com), a review site (TripAdvisor) or any other type of site.
Some competitors count each individual Tweet as a source which can be misleading. At Brandwatch, we don’t count Tweets or individual webpages on the same site as separate sources. When we increase our number of sources, it is because we are finding websites to crawl, not just new user generated content.
We’re proud to say that we crawl, index and store nearly all of our data ourselves, a distinction from many other products on the market, which aggregate or buy conversation data from other (often multiple) sources.
Doing it ourselves means that we have complete control over what we crawl and how often we do it. For you, that means better-quality data, more quickly. It also means that we can be agile in our approach – so if there’s a site we don’t already cover that becomes the next big thing, or just one that you specifically need, we can add it into the system.
For some networks, such as Twitter, we maintain a close, direct relationship to ensure the best coverage possible.
We provide coverage of conversation from all major social networks as well as lesser known ones.
As an Official Twitter Partner we offer full Twitter coverage in real-time as standard, as well as the option of full historical Twitter data all the way back to the first ever tweet in 2006.
As well as coverage of social networks, with the Channels feature you can also track all posts and comments on any public Facebook page, and all mentions, replies and retweets for specific Twitter profiles (including those of competitors).
For more information on our social media coverage, visit our social networks coverage page.
Visual social media
We track videos that match your search terms in the title or description for sites such as Dailymotion, YouTube, and Vimeo.
We also gather images that match your search terms in the accompanying text for networks like Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr and Imgur. Some of these visual sites have limited coverage in terms of volume, due to the way these networks manage access to their data. With Instagram we can provide improved coverage of hashtag terms by offering account authentication within the platform.
Covering image and video sites is often challenging, because many images and videos don’t mention the brand directly in the accompanying text, or don’t have any text at all. We’re currently developing new and innovative ways to track visual media to improve coverage of the most popular sites and bring you even more data.
We cover millions of blogs, including the most popular platforms such as WordPress, Blogger and Typepad, but also news blogs from major publishers.
We crawl popular blogs at least once an hour and others at least once a day, though low-ranking blogs may be crawled less often. If there is a specific blog you want to track, you can request for us to add it or crawl it more often.
We cover hundreds of thousands of forums, including popular sites such as moneysavingexpert.com, mumsnet.com, pistonheads.com, babycenter.com, Yahoo! Answers… we could go on, but we’d be here all day.
Want to know if we cover a particular forum? Just ask. If we don’t already, we can add it into the system.
We cover every major news publication that isn’t behind a paywall, along with tens of thousands of smaller, local news sites.
We cover review sites, including Amazon, urbanspoon.com, Review Centre, CNET and TripAdvisor, plus many more. We can normally add specific review sites that you need to cover, if we don’t already crawl it.
From major social networks not already listed like Reddit and Digg, to more functional sites like Wikipedia, IMDB and corporate web pages, if a site contains public data and we’re legally allowed to provide coverage of it, it’s likely that it’ll be available in Brandwatch Analytics.