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, millions of transactions are taking place online. New information is continually being published on social media networks, news, and blogs, and some of that information is related to topics that matter to you.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple and easy way to know what is new in your industry or niche that could save you a massive amount of 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 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, brands and companies, and monitoring what other people publish about you and your business online.

Google Alerts is not only only a useful social media monitoring tool for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for sourcing the latest news about people, brands, companies, or any subject you need to know about.

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

A Quick And Easy Step-By-Step Tutorial On Setting Up Google Alerts

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. A Google account lets you access loads of free services with one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run Adwords or own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.

Use your Google Account to access services like Google Alerts

(Use your Google Account to access great services like Google Alerts)

Useful Information

You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this gives you fewer configuration 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 Your Alerts

Set up an alert for any topic, business, person, brand or web address you would like to receive updates about. You can keep track of brands, names of employees, competitors, influencers, celebrities, investors, 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

(Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)

Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences

You can specify the keyword or keywords you want to receive 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 Alerts - preferences

(Google Alerts – preferences)

To narrow the source of your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …

Google alert 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 alert settings

(Google Alerts – settings)

You can change these settings anytime.

You should begin receiving alerts as specified 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)

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.

Deleting Google Alerts

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

Google alert 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 from Google after unsubscribing.

Practical Tip

If you want alerts to be sent via email, you can configure rules in your email program to automatically send all alerts to one or more folders. This helps 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 keywords, your business, competitors, etc., or create web content about the latest news in your chosen topic.

How To Publish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Blog

You can display 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 republish 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, 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 blog, 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, you have found this tutorial useful. To learn more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: Media Measurement Resources That Can Help Grow Your Business Online

Google Alerts - A Tutorial

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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.