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.

WordPressRight now, there are millions of social interactions happening online. New content is constantly being published on blogs, social streams, and news media, and some of that information is related to subjects that matter to you.

Is there a simple and easy (and free) way to access information about what is new in your niche or industry that can save you a massive amount of time doing research? Yes, there is, and it’s called …

Google Alerts

You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts

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

Google Alerts is a free tool that delivers Google search queries directly to your inbox.

Google Alerts is not only only a great social media monitoring tool for managing your reputation online, but also for automatically gathering the latest news about people, companies, and any other topic you want to know about.

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

How To Set Up Google Alerts In Three Quick & Easy Steps

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. Google lets you access loads of 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.

Log into your Google Account to set up your alerts

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

Important

You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your Google Account, but this will give you fewer configuration 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 here:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up Your Alerts

You can set up alerts for every topic, business name, person, brand or website you want to receive updates about. You can track brands, employees, investors, influencers, competitors, celebrities, etc. There are no limits to the number of alerts you can set up.

Set up as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

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

Step 3 – Set Your Preferences

Google Alerts lets you 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 alert preferences

(Google alert preferences)

To narrow the source of 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 alert settings)

You can change these settings anytime.

You will begin receiving alerts as specified 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 Browsing 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)

Type in your email address and click on ‘Create Alert’ …

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 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 no longer receive alert emails on the topic from Google after unsubscribing.

Practical Tip

If you want to receive alerts sent to your inbox 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 track and sort through.

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

Once your alerts are set up, you can monitor information about keywords, names, competitors, etc., or start creating content for your blog in your topic of choice.

How To Display News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Site

You can publish news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your site 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:

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 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, you have found this tutorial useful. If you would like to know more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Tools For Measuring Social Activities

Google Alerts - A Step-By-Step Guide

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Originally published as How To Set Up Google Alerts.