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, billions of exchanges are happening online. New content is continually being published on social media streams, websites, and news, and some of that information is related to topics that matter to you.

Is there a free, simple and easy way to know what is going on in your industry or niche so that you are not wasting a huge amount of time doing research? Yes, 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 is a free, simple and useful tool for keeping up-to-date with news and information about all kinds of topics, staying informed about people and companies, and monitoring what is being published about you and your business online.

Google Alerts is not only useful for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for sourcing news about people, companies, and any other subject you are interested in.

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

Google Alerts – A Tutorial

Basically, there are only three 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. Google lets you access many free services with just 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 set up.

Log into your Google Account

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

Important Info

You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this will give you fewer options (e.g. you can only receive email alerts, not alerts via RSS).

After logging into into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool here:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

You can set up alerts for every topic, business name, person, brand or website you would like to track. This service lets you track brands, names of employees, celebrities, investors, competitors, influencers, etc. There are no limits to the number of alerts you can set up.

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

(Google Alerts lets you create as many alerts as you like)

Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences

Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword or keywords you want alerts for, how often alerts should be sent (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, select the source from the drop-down menu …

Google Alerts - sources

(Google Alerts – sources)

You can also specify the delivery time of your alerts in your settings, and if you want to receive all alerts as a single email …

Google alert settings

(Google Alerts – settings)

You can change these settings anytime you want.

You should begin receiving alerts as set in your preferences …

Google alerts - email alert

(Receive alerts via email or RSS)

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.

Deleting Google Alerts

You can stop receiving alerts by deleting them from your account …

Google Alerts - settings

(Google Alerts – 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 stop receiving alert emails on the topic after unsubscribing.

Practical Tip

If you would like alerts to be sent via email, you can configure rules in your email application to automatically redirect all alerts to one or more email folders. This helps to keep your alerts organized and easier to track and sort through.

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

Once your alerts are set up, you can monitor information about topics, brands, the competition, etc., or start creating content in your niche/industry.

How To Repost News Items From Google Alerts On Your Site

You can republish news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your WordPress 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 publish 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, 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 blog, 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 post has been useful. To learn more about using social media monitoring tools to improve user engagement, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Social Monitoring Resources

How To Set Up Google Alerts

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. 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.