Website tracking
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:

Website monitoring

Website monitoring
Website monitoring
Website monitoring is the process of testing and verifying that end-users can interact with a website or web application. Website monitoring is often used by businesses to ensure that their sites are live and responding....

 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.

Monitoring the web is a critical component for marketing, sales and product support strategies. Over the past decade transactions on the web have significantly multiplied the use of dynamic web page
Dynamic web page
A dynamic web page is a kind of web page that has been prepared with fresh information , for each individual viewing. It is not static because it changes with the time , the user , the user interaction , the context A dynamic web page is a kind of web page that has been prepared with fresh...

, secure web sites and integrated search capabilities which necessitates tracking of user behavior on web sites.

Website change detection

Website change detection allows interested parties to be alerted when a website has changed. A web crawler
Web crawler
A Web crawler is a computer program that browses the World Wide Web in a methodical, automated manner or in an orderly fashion. Other terms for Web crawlers are ants, automatic indexers, bots, Web spiders, Web robots, or—especially in the FOAF community—Web scutters.This process is called Web...

 can periodically traverse a website to see if any changes have occurred since its last visit. Reasons to track website changes include:
  • Enhanced automations
    • Triggering in Event-driven programming
      Event-driven programming
      In computer programming, event-driven programming or event-based programming is a programming paradigm in which the flow of the program is determined by events—i.e., sensor outputs or user actions or messages from other programs or threads.Event-driven programming can also be defined as an...

    • Updating dependent automations (such as screen scraping programs)
    • Link rot
      Link rot
      Link rot , also known as link death or link breaking is an informal term for the process by which, either on individual websites or the Internet in general, increasing numbers of links point to web pages, servers or other resources that have become permanently unavailable...

    • Change trend monitoring
  • Triggering human actions
    • Analyst classifications
    • Updating documentation
    • Competitive monitoring
    • Compliance monitoring
    • Enforcement monitoring
    • Investigation monitoring

Web press clippings

This is a parallel application to the offline business of press clippings. For web press 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 web press clippings to see what is being said about the Vice President on any given day. To do this, a web press clipping service (aka Media monitoring service
Media monitoring service
A media monitoring service, a press clipping service or a clipping service as known in earlier times, provides clients with copies of media content, which is of specific interest to them and subject to changing demand; what they provide may include documentation, content, analysis, or editorial...

) needs to monitor mainstream websites as well as blogs.
  • provides a list of web press clipping services
  • Google Alerts and provide notifications when keywords are found in newly indexed web content
  • RSS feeds can often be employed in this case since these are the areas in which relevant content will be found.

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 (see Internet Archive
Internet Archive
The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with the stated mission of "universal access to all knowledge". It offers permanent storage and access to collections of digitized materials, including websites, music, moving images, and nearly 3 million public domain books. The Internet Archive...

) 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.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.