You’ve worked on a site, the code all validates, analytics are the way you want them, the proper files are excluded in robots.txt, and everything is great. Great, until you look back at the site a bit later and find someone else broke part of the code when they did a content update. Or released a new portion of the site from the development server and copied over the robots.txt file that now excludes the entire live site from the search engines. Or you want to see when your competitor changes a page. Or you want to see when your dream company updates their employment opportunities page.
Now you only need to wait until the morning after to see what’s happened. Pole Position Marketing’s CodeMonitor has been around for some time now (I’ve been using it at least two years), and it’s an automated free tool that once daily compares the current code on a site with the saved version of the code, and emails you when there is a change. I’ve had it save me a couple of times when a robots file was changed — I was able to get to the file soon after the change, before there was a negative impact in the search engines. While my monitoring has been fairly simple, Stoney deGeyter of Pole Position wrote a great post describing how he uses CodeMonitor, including great screenshots, how to monitor only specific sections of a page, and other ways of using CodeMonitor for competitive intelligence. I ran into some SEMs on Twitter who weren’t aware of this tool, but needed something like it, thus the post. Thanks to Pole Position for a great tool!