As you read this, there are millions of social conversations taking place online. New content is constantly being published on blogs, social networks, and news media, and some of that information is related to topics that matter to you.
Is there a free, easy and simple way to find out what is new 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 …
(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)
With Google Alerts, Google will send you an email when there are new results for your searches, so you can keep up to date on websites, news, and social media conversations.
Google Alerts is not only great for managing your reputation online, but also for receiving news about people, companies, or any topic you are following.
With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s bots index a new web page, news update, blog post, press release, a tweet, video, or any other content related to the topic you’ve subscribed to, 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 don’t have a Google account, create one. A Google account lets you access loads of free services with just one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run a pay-per-click advertising campaign with Adwords or have a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.
(Log into your Google Account to set up your Google alerts)
You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your Google Account, but this will give 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 here:
Step 2 – Set Up An Alert
You can set up an alert for any topic, business name, person or website address you want to track. You can keep track of brands, employees, celebrities, investors, competitors, influencers, etc. There is no limit to the number of alerts you can set up.
(Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)
Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences And Save
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)
If you want to narrow where Google sources the information for your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …
(Google alert sources)
You can also specify alert delivery times in your settings, and whether these should be sent in a single email …
(Google Alerts – settings)
You can change these settings anytime you like. You can also stop receiving alerts by deleting them from your account …
(Google Alerts – settings)
You will begin receiving alerts as specified in your preferences …
(Google alerts – email alert)
How To Set Up Google Alerts While Browsing 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)
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Create Alert’ …
(Google News – Create Alert)
This brings you to the Google Alerts screen. Enter your email address and click on ‘Create Alert’ …
(Google Alerts screen)
Your Google Alert for this topic will be set up.
If you would like alerts to be delivered via email, you can configure rules in your email program to send alerts automatically to one or more folders. This will help 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 you have set up alerts, you can monitor information about topics, names, competitors, etc., or create content|web content about the latest news in your chosen topic.
Hopefully, this post has been useful. If you would like to know more about using social monitoring tools, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Resources For Monitoring Social Activities
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