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How to Monitor for Search Results for Specific Criteria
How to Monitor for Search Results for Specific Criteria
See our Step by step guide for how to use the Manual User Actions feature to Monitor for specific Search Results
Maya avatar
Written by Maya
Updated over a week ago

Often times users ask come to us needing to be alerted if / when there's an update to a specific set of results that they can't monitor because the URL is dynamic (meaning that the URL displayed once the search has been rendered does not change and thus you can't enter the search results URL for changes). Note that if the URL does in fact change, then you do NOT need the Manual Actions feature suite (skip to Step 7!) as you can simply copy and paste the URL for the search query and enter that into ChangeTower.

The below is a detailed guide that provides an overview for how to use ChangeTower's Manual User Actions to navigate to the search results of interest. This specific example covers how to receive an alert if / when a publicly traded company files a Quarterly report with the SEC (the governing body in the United States of America). 

Step 1: Enter the URL of page that includes the search fields (we're going to be examining the SEC Company Filings search page, open on the Manual Actions feature suite, and choose the option to "Add a Mouse Click". 

A screenshot of the set of user actions offered by ChangeTower

Step 2: add a mouse click to the search text box. This will let the system know that you would like to add a cursor to this box so that you can then add the text you would like to search for (step 3). Click "Save & Refresh". 

Add a mouse click to the search box

Step 3: re-open the Manual User Actions suite and enter the text you want to search for. Click Save & Refresh.

Enter the text into the search box

Step 4: Once you've used whatever number of clicks + text entries required to fill out your search fields, you're now ready to have the system conduct the search. Just as you would in your own browser, you need to click on the "SEARCH" button to trigger the search (this seems fairly obvious but you'd be surprised how many people forget this step!). 

Here's a screenshot of the full sequence of User Actions that we've added to this Monitor. Each and every time the system runs this Monitor, it will repeat the pre-recorded steps:

A screenshot of the sequence of user actions added to the monitor

Now, if done properly, the UI of the search results should be showed in the preview on ChangeTower. If it's not fully rendering (e.g. blank screen or only partially loaded), then you can add an additional user action (custom crawl delay) after the final mouse click which will tell the system to wait a little longer before performing the crawl.

Step 5: Now that you've added all the requisite User Actions, it's time to set the custom criteria of which you need to be alerted (click "Continue"). 

In this example, we chose the Custom Criteria Monitor-type. Given that we want to be alerted if / when a specific company files a new Quarterly Report with the SEC, we're going to tell the system to continually check this page and alert us if / when there is a NEW instance of any of the following "phrases": "10-Q" and "Quarterly Report".

Set up the monitoring criteria

Note the requisite syntax that must be used for ChangeTower to know if / when there are multiple, discrete strings of text to search for. If you do not properly separate the phrases with the "pipe character" as shown here, then your Monitor will never work!

Step 6: Check your work! This requires a little creativity as you inherently don't have any control over the pages you're monitoring so it's tough to know if you've properly set up your Monitor. As an example for this use case, we're going to set a calendar alert for when this company is tentatively scheduled to announce its quarterly earnings so we can check to see if a new report has been posted. If there was a new report posted and we were NOT alerted by ChangeTower, then we know there was an issue and we'll need to troubleshoot!

So remember how at the beginning of this article we mentioned how this somewhat cumbersome process is only necessary if / when the search results don't load in a custom URL? 

A screenshot of a dynamic URL

Well in this case, the search results are hosted on a URL containing specific query parameters for the search results (i.e. Company Name) so to monitor this page for results, you only need to copy and paste the search results URL directly into ChangeTower and there is no need to use the Manual Actions feature suite! 

Step 7 (but really this is Step 1)!

Enter the URL of the page to start monitoring it

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