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.

WordPressAs you read this, there are billions of interactions happening online. New content is constantly being published on social streams, news media, and blogs, and some of that information is related to subjects you are interested in.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free and simple way to find out what is happening in your niche or industry that could save you time doing research? Well, there is, and it’s called …

Google Alerts

Google Alerts - free web monitoring service

(Google Alerts lets you monitor the web for new content)

Google Alerts lets you monitor the web when your keyword gets mentioned online.

Google Alerts is not only useful for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for gathering news about people, brands, companies, and any subject you need to know about.

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

How To Create A Google Alert

Basically, there are only three simple steps required to start using Google Alerts:

Step 1 – Log Into Your Google Account

If you haven’t got a Google account, create one. Google lets you access many free services with one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run a pay-per-click advertising campaign with Adwords or own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account.

Log into your Google Account to set up your alerts

(A Google account lets you access great services like Google Alerts)

Info

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

After logging into 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 Your Alerts

You can set up an alert for any topic, business name, person, brand or website you would like to receive updates about. This service lets you track brands, employees, influencers, competitors, investors, celebrities, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.

Set up as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

(Google Alerts lets you set up as many alerts as you like)

Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences

Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword(s) 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 alert preferences)

If you want to narrow the source of your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …

Google Alerts - sources

(Google Alerts – sources)

You can also specify alert delivery times in your settings, and if you want to receive all alerts in a single email …

Google Alerts - settings

(Google Alerts – settings)

All of these settings can be changed anytime.

You will begin receiving alerts as per 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

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)

Type in 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 from Google after unsubscribing.

Practical Tip

If you want Google to deliver alerts via email, you can configure rules in your email program to automatically redirect all alerts 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 view the information on your smart phone or mobile device.

Once you have set up your alerts, you can monitor information about keywords, names, the competition, etc., or start creating web content on the latest news and updates in your topic of choice.

How To Repost News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Website

You can publish news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your blog 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 display news items from Google Alerts as a blog post, do the following:

Set up 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, create an 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 republish 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 post has been useful. If you would like to know more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Social Monitoring Tools

How To Set Up Google Alerts - 3 Easy Steps

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Originally published as How To Set Up Google Alerts.