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Published December 4th 2012

Product Update: Chinese Coverage and Author Metadata

Update: Since this blog post was written, we’ve reviewed our provider for Chinese data and have found that it is falling behind the high standards we strive for. We are therefore in the process of changing to another, more reliable provider to further improve our Chinese coverage and hope to be able to provide this improved coverage to clients by the end of the year. 

The number of exciting projects we’re working on at the moment has got us all hot and bothered, amidst a slight shift in the way we release new features. It’s taking all of our restraint to not scream to the world what we have in the development pipeline.

Instead, just take our word for it: the next few months for Brandwatch users are going to be radical.

In the meantime, we have a reasonably interesting update, one that continues to accelerate Brandwatch’s position ahead of other tools in our industry. This month sees us roll out our extensive coverage of Chinese websites, including author metadata.

The trouble with China

We’ve been able to track mentions in both traditional and simplified Chinese for some time now, though the social landscape in China is understandably different to Western conventions.

We’ve discovered that crawling over 60m sources every day – including 100% of tweets and more – still isn’t enough to provide the standard of coverage and analysis that we are so known for, for our clients interested in Chinese conversation and sites.

In order to remedy this, we investigated a number of avenues to begin crawling the main sites that are used in China.

Unfortunately, it’s a difficult route to navigate, as we have hit roadblocks and obstacles galore. We not only have to contend with the notoriously mysterious government, but also the rigorous and strict terms and conditions of the sites themselves.

After a long series of discussions, we finally managed to secure the coverage through a third party supplier.

Being able to crawl these sites is a privilege extended to a select few, so we’re lucky to be in an excellent position of having a good relationship with a company that does own that data.

Though we’re proud of having complete control and ownership of our crawlers and data centres, meaning we can work to an incredibly powerful blacklist approach in our coverage and subsequently have a much stronger standing than our competitors in this respect, we do appreciate that sometimes the only way to get ahead is through a data supplier.

We only know of one other tool that offers Chinese coverage to this extent – anyone else please correct us if we’re wrong – so our clients are joining an exclusive club with this update.

Chinese site-seeing

We’re now pulling mentions from the following sites in China: weibo, blogs, news sites, SNSs and video sites. Here is a selection of the major ones that we now have over 90% coverage of:

We should also add that if you, as a client or prospect, would like to check our coverage of a particular site, let us know and if we don’t cover it, we’ll look into adding it.

Author Metadata

If you’ve used Brandwatch before, you’ll already know that each mention comes with all sorts of metadata attached. This update also sees the inclusion of a wealth of metadata for the authors of mentions originating from these Chinese sites.

If you need a reminder, here’s a list of the kind of metadata you can get from each mention in Brandwatch:

  • URL
  • Date of mention publication
  • Domain (gender breakdown, site traffic, backlinks etc)
  • Site type
  • Site credibility (MozRank)
  • Author influence (Kred reach, Kred Influence, our own three-part Influence metric)
  • Sentiment
  • Topics (with their own sentiment)
  • Twitter (following, followers, total tweets etc)
  • Forum data (number of posts, views, etc)
  • Location (city, state, country, etc)
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