Website tracking

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Website tracking refers to the act of archiving existing websites and tracking changes to the website over time. There are many applications to website tracking which can be applied to many different business. The different applications are listed in depth below:

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Website monitoring

Website monitoring allows interested parties to track the health of a website or web application. A software program can periodically check to see if a website is down, if there are broken links or if errors have occurred on particular pages. For example, a web developer who hosts and maintains a website for a customer may want to be notified instantly when the site goes or when one of the web applications returns an error.

Website change detection

Website change detection allows interested parties to be alerted when a website has changed. A web crawler can periodically traverse a website to see if any changes have occurred since its last visit.

Web clippings

This is a parallel application to the offline business of press clippings. For web clippings, a crawler needs to scour the Internet to find terms that match keywords the clipping service is looking for. So for instance, the Vice President of the United States may have staff looking at press clipping and web clippings to see what is being said about the Vice President on any given day. To do this, a web clippings service needs to monitor mainstream websites as well as blogs. Fortunately, RSS feeds can often be employed in this case since these are the areas in which relevant content will be found.

Although "Web Clippings" is a commonly used term, it's actually the legal trademark of WebClipping.com. The concept of monitoring and clipping webpage content was pioneered by WebClipping in 1998. Since then, there has been a growing market of companies focused on tracking and monitoring online news, blog and social media content. As more news content is available online, this has become an increasingly popular solution.

Website archiving

This type of service archives a website so that changes to the website over time can be seen. Unless archived, older versions of a website cannot be viewed and may be lost permanently. Fortunately there is at least one web service that tracks changes to most websites for free. Past information about a company can therefore be gleaned from this type of service, which can be very useful in some circumstances.

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