Comparing Twitter Retweet Data Services

I mainly use BackTweets but am always looking for better solutions. I actually switched from TweetMeme to BackTweets once I learned about BackTweet’s advanced functionality and Google Analytics integration. But now I feel it’s time to take a look back and see where the world of Retweet counts, buttons and stats are really at.

backtweets

Let’s start off with my current favorite. BackType is a conversational search engine that scans the web for comments about your posts not necessarily on your posts. Where their original intent was to connect blog comments from one blog to another, one can see why they eventually got into the Twitter game. Using their existing technology they expanded their offerings to a site called BackTweets which became one of my favorite sites in an instant.

BackTweets keeps a fairly up to date list of all mentions of your blog. You can search for all links back to your blog or for specific posts. The data isn’t much different than Topsy’s and TweetMeme’s, I just feel like it’s the fastest and cleanest, but that’s just my personal opinion.

I think BackTweets really shines with their TweetCount widget which lets you customize everything from the color and source to weather or not you want it to be RT or “via”. Oh, and they automatically add Google Analytic parameters complements of Awe.sm. Doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks BackType!

tweetmeme

Now on to the grandfather of Retweet tracking and indexing. TweetMeme is still my favorite Digg style Tweet aggregator for instant notification on hot topics and trends. Their RT button is probably the most used because of the websites popularity and is almost as dynamic as the BackTweet TweetCount button but falls short at color customization and Google Analytics integration. However, to compensate for the lack of GA integration, they have developed their own analytics that can track the viral nature of Retweets as they spread throughout Twitter. While I appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit, I prefer integrated analytics where available and prefer the BackTweets button for this reason.

Topsy

I had heard of Topsy but never really learned what they are about. Topsy is basically a Twitter search engine that ranks links being shared based on relevance and influence of those sharing the links. They offer a Retweet Count button as well as a list of all tweets linking back to your posts. What really struck me was that they also displayed which shortened URLs were used as well as all tags and authors involved in the process. This could become my new favorite dashboard for viewing Twitter activity around a specific link but it will take a bit more before I switch over to their Retweet button.

Some Things Worth Mentioning

Bit.ly uses BackType’s data to display conversations relevant to your shortened links

TweetMeme has a site very similar to it called Retweet.com however it is pretty much just a ripoff of TweetMeme and TweetMeme seems to work much better

Sometimes, BackType’s data will differ from TweetMeme and Topsy however the BackType TweetCount widget seems to display correct data

Be sure to check out this post from SEOptimise for a nice break down of the Retweet buttons mentioned in this post.

- Photo by Steve took it

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  • http://blog.trushots.com Trudy

    Does a RT button exist that can be placed near the blog title that DOES NOT have a count? I changed to a custom blog domain so it erased all of my tweet counts from the tweetmeme button. Please let me know.

  • http://www.tedgoas.com Ted Goas

    Got me thinking about retweet alternatives now, always nice to revisit details like this. Sounds like you’re with Backtype now but may switch to Topsy?

  • http://serial-box.net dan

    topsy is pretty neat. Not sure about the other services but topsy sends pings to wordpress blogs so they appear as trackbacks or comments. thats how I found out about the service as some of my links made it there.

  • http://seo2.0.onreact.com Tad Chef

    Thanks Jon for mentioning my post over at SEOptimise and for the added info. Some of it I didn’t know yet. You got one thing wrong though: I think Retweet.com was there before Tweetmeme. They weren’t the first either. Twitturly was first I think.

    • http://www.jonbishop.com Jon Bishop

      Thanks for the comment Tad.

      Actually TweetMeme did come out before Retweet.com. I remember the buzz when it happened which was weird because it seemed like an exact copy of TweetMeme which it eventually turned out to be. Here is an article from mashable from when that happened:
      http://mashable.com/2009/08/19/retweet-launches-tomorrow

      In my eyes, TweetMeme was really the first one to do it right. Retweetist, Twiturly, Repeets, etc were all very laggy and never got the support that TweetMeme got. It was their button that made them famous.

    • http://seo2.0.onreact.com Tad Chef

      Yes, I remember the Tweetmeme/Retweet feud but I thought it was the other way around…
      i like your subscribe to comments plugin. Can you customize the “manage” page?

  • http://www.backtype.com/cg Christopher Golda

    Thanks for the kind words! Glad you’re enjoying Tweetcount :)

    • http://www.jonbishop.com Jon Bishop

      Thanks for creating such a great service.