How To Set Up Google Alerts

Learn how to easily set up Google Alerts and receive email alerts from Google based on specific keywords you would like to track.

WordPressAt any given point in time, there are billions of exchanges happening online. New information is constantly being published on social streams, news, and blogs, and some of that information is related to subjects that interest you.

Is there a simple and easy way to access information about what is new in your niche or industry so that you are not wasting a huge amount of time doing research? Yes, there is. It’s called …

Google Alerts

Google Alerts - free web monitoring service

(Google Alerts – free web monitoring service)

Google sends free alerts whenever your business is mentioned online, so you can monitor social media updates, websites, and news without having to visit loads of social media and news sites for the latest information.

Google Alerts is not only great for managing your reputation online, but also for receiving information about people, brands, companies, or any other subject you are interested in.

With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s indexing robots crawl a new web page, blog post, news update, press release, a tweet, video, or any other indexable content related to the topic you’ve subscribed to, you will automatically receive an email or RSS update.

How To Set Up Google Alerts

Let’s go over the simple steps required to start using Google Alerts:

Step 1 – Log Into Your Google Account

If you don’t have a Google account, create one. A Google account lets you access many free services with one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run Adwords or have a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account.

Log into your Google Account to set up your Google alerts

(A Google account lets you access dozens of services like Google Alerts)

Important

You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this gives you fewer configuration options (e.g. you can’t receive Google Alerts via RSS, only email).

Once you have logged into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool by entering the following URL into your web browser:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

Set up alerts for every topic, business name, person or website you would like to track. You can track product brands, names of employees, celebrities, influencers, competitors, investors, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.

Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

(Set up as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)

Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences

You can specify the keyword or keywords you want alerts for, how often alerts should be sent out (as it happens, once a day, once a week), sources (e.g. automatic, news, blogs, web, videos, discussions, etc.), language, region, how many (all results, only the best results), and how to receive alerts (via email or RSS feed) …

Google alert preferences

(Google Alerts – preferences)

If you want to narrow where Google sources the information for your alerts, just select an option from the drop-down menu …

Google Alerts - sources

(Google alert sources)

You can also specify the delivery time of your alerts in your settings, and whether these should be sent in a single email …

Google Alerts - settings

(Google Alerts – settings)

You can change these settings at anytime.

You will begin receiving alerts as set in your preferences …

Receive alerts via email or RSS

(Google alerts – email alert)

Note that at the bottom of your email notification, you are given various options, including:

  • See more results
  • Edit the alert
  • Unsubscribe (stop receiving the alert)
  • View all your alerts
  • Receive the alert as RSS feed

How To Set Up Google Alerts While Searching On Google News

You can easily set up Google Alerts while browsing the web. Here’s how:

Go to Google News and type in your search term …

Enter a search term in Google News

(Enter a search term in Google News)

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Create Alert’ …

Google News - Create Alert

(Google News – Create Alert)

This brings you to the Google Alerts screen. Enter your email address and click on the ‘Create Alert’ button …

Google Alerts screen

(Google Alerts screen)

If you elect to receive alerts via email, you will be asked to verify your Google Alert request …

Verify your Google Alert request

(Verify your Google Alert request)

After confirming your request, your Google Alert will be set up and you will begin to receive alert notifications via email.

Your Google Alert has been successfully verified

(Your Google Alert has been successfully verified)

You can return to the Google Alerts home page and create as many alerts as you want.

How To Delete Google Alerts

You can delete any alerts you no longer want to receive …

Google Alerts - settings

(Google alert settings)

You can also stop receiving alerts by clicking on the ‘Unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of your emails …

Click the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email

(Click the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email)

Confirm that you want to unsubscribe from your Google Alert …

Click unsubscribe to stop receiving Google Alerts

(Click unsubscribe to stop receiving Google Alerts)

Your Google Alert will be cancelled …

Google Alert cancelled

(Google Alert cancelled)

You will no longer receive alert emails on the topic after unsubscribing.

Tip

If you want to receive alerts sent to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email program to send alerts automatically to one or more email folders. This will help to keep your alerts organized and easier to sort through.

If your alerts are sent out via RSS feed, you can use a feed reader to access the information on your smart phone or mobile device.

Once your alerts are set up, you can track information about keywords, businesses, the competition, etc., or create web content on the latest news in your niche/industry.

How To Publish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Site

You can publish news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your website as blog posts or as a ‘widgetized’ item on your sidebar.

Let’s take a look at both methods:

Publish Google Alerts News Items As A Blog Post

To republish news items from Google Alerts as a blog post, do the following:

Configure your site to post by email …

Post to WordPress by email

(Post to WordPress by email)

If you need help with this step, see this tutorial:

Next, set up your Google Alert to send to the email address you have set up …

Create Alert and send to email

(Create Alert and send to email)

Alerts will now be posted to your site, or come in as ‘drafts’ that you can review and publish.

Publish Google Alerts News Items On Your Sidebar

To repost news items from Google Alerts as a as a ‘widgetized’ item on your sidebar, all you need to do is set up to receive your alerts as an RSS feed as described earlier …

Receive alerts as an RSS feed

(Receive alerts as an RSS feed)

Next, copy the RSS feed link to your clipboard …

Copy RSS link address

(Copy RSS link address)

And add the RSS feed to an RSS widget as described in this tutorial:

Your alert will display as a ‘widgetized’ item on your sidebar and the feed will update regularly as Google sources new items …

RSS Widget with Google Alert feed

(RSS Widget with Google Alert feed)

Hopefully, this tutorial has been helpful. To learn more about using social management tools, see this article: 29 Social Media Tracking Resources For WordPress

How To Create A Google Alert

***

"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

Disclaimer: We have no direct association with WordPress, Automattic, or any WordPress products discussed on this site. We may derive an affiliate commission from sales of third-party products and services mentioned on this site. All images and details sourced from product websites remain the copyright of their respective owners, comply with all license terms and agreements of use are used solely for illustrative or training purposes.

***

Have you found this tutorial useful? Please feel free to use the social buttons below to share this page with others who could benefit from WordPress.

Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE tutorials that show you how to use WordPress to grow your business online with no coding skills required! Get our FREE "101+ WordPress Tips, Tricks & Hacks For Non-Techies" e-course with loads of useful WordPress tips!

Originally published as How To Set Up Google Alerts.