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Stray Thoughts

So What Happens When I Post A Pet Here

I have just realised I have never explicitly outlined on the site what happens when a new lost or found pet is posted to the site.

Basically when someone completes the relevant posting form for a lost or found pet, I receive an email alerting me to a new posting. I then log in to the site’s administration section, review the posting, making any changes I feel will make the posting more useful to site visitors and indeed the search engine spiders who index the content on the site frequently, and then mark the posting as approved which in turn initiates the following actions.

  1. The geotagged  posting goes live on the appropriate section of the site. We are currently seeing around 9,000+ visits per month.
  2. The site contacts the major search engines (Google, MS Bing, Yahoo, and Ask) and alerts them that there is new content to be indexed and tells them explicitly where they can find it. It is only when these search engines come in and index the posting that it can appear in the search results.
  3. A text message with geolocation information is sent out on our Twitter account which appears in our followers (currently numbering around 3,250 Twitter streams and is also publicly available from both our Twitter page and from our own site where we republish our Twitter stream.
  4. If the posting is accompanied by a photo, this photo is sent to our Twitpic account so that people using Twitter can easily view it – currently we are seeing an average of about 50 views per photo this way.
  5. If the posting is accompanied by a photo we also automatically publish it to our Flickr account along with its geolocation information which allows it to appear on our Flickr map and also to our own Flickr group and to other relevant Flickr groups we are members of such as the Irish Flickr Users group. This brings a potential audience for the posting to about 4,000 people on Flickr alone and in addition makes the posting even more visible in search engine results.
  6. If a photo is included it is also published automatically to our Google Picasa account.
  7. The posting is sent to our Facebook page and will appear in all our fan’s activity streams unless they explicitly prevent it – almost 6,100 more sets of eyeballs seeing a posting.
  8. Full details of the posting including the photo if included are posted to our MySpace account.
  9. The posting appears in our main RSS feed (geolocation information once again included) and all relevant filtered feeds so is automatically distributed to individuals and other sites such as Galway SPCA, and – we have provided some tools and help to easily display our feeds on third party sites so we hope more sites will syndicate our feeds in time.
  10. Listings are also exposed via our Google gadget to those who have installed it on their personalised iGoogle homepage or indeed on any other web page where it is installed.
  11. The individual submitting the post is informed that it has been approved and published and they are provided with the direct URL for the posting where they can then share it via their own social networking sites and, if the posting includes a photo, print out a custom poster to distribute locally.
  12. I am now also manually publishing the listings to Google Plus where we have a page at – be sure to add us to your circles.

I also carry out a number of other actions to ensure that the posting is indexed in as timely a manner as possible. Since I use these techniques on some of the commercial sites I have built and/or maintain I can not discuss them here but in general, a listing will be available in the Google search results within 30 minutes of approval and often less.

With current monthly traffic of around 9,000 monthly visits to the site alone,  I believe that currently no other site offers the breath of distribution and therefore exposure of postings this site offers. It is also worth noting the extra benefits in terms of exposure one gets by including a photo with the listing.

I will be updating this post as I add more features – we are a long way from done!

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8 Responses to “So What Happens When I Post A Pet Here”

  1. Ger says:

    Posted two cats on the lost section today. Both have returned home safe and well, having been missing for two days. Your site gives hope to people with a lost pet and I am so grateful to you for hosting such a wonderful website and to the people who take the time to post found pets and help to reunite them with their owners. Well done everyone.
    A truely excellent service.

  2. Ger says:

    Posted two cats on the lost section today, fortunately one has returned safe and well. I am so impressed with your site and in particular the poster which can be downloaded. I am also impressed that I can remove the ad, a wonderful site, very user friendly and reaches so many people, which gives hope to people who have a missing /lost/stolen beloved animal. Thank you so much for the work you have put into this site.
    Hugs to your dogs.


  3. claudia sheridan says:

    hi im just wondering how long it would take for the add to be up on average? also is there any way to change the pic? i had a pretty bad one but i found a better 1. its the same 1 were putting on the lost dog posters.

    • admin says:

      Hey Claudia,

      In general the listings are approved as they come in – obviously weekend responses may be slower but not by much and if the listing is submitted between normal working hours it would generally be approved within half an hour. Those submitted outside those hours would generally be published within 2 hours at most.

      If you have a better photo now please just submit a new listing and remove the original.

  4. Cliona O'Farrelly says:

    Congratulations on a wonderful service. As it happens, my little black cat was found by word of mouth and neighbours – none the worse for having spent a week in the wild. But I got great encouragement from this website

  5. Jane Devitt says:

    difficult to find where you actually post the missing cat ad???? could you please email me on the email above.

    • admin says:


      Not quite sure how I can make it easier given that there is a link to the form directly under the large heading that says ‘Lost Your Pet?’ on the homepage which to date, 663 people seem to have found without issue but if you have suggestions I am eager to hear them. Currently the site is run in my spare time, I do endeavour to make improvements as this time allows.

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