At any given moment in time, there are billions of social exchanges happening online. New content is continually being published on news media, websites, and social media streams, and some of that information is related to subjects you are interested in.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free, easy and simple way to know what is new in your niche or industry that could save you time doing research? Well, there is, and it’s called …
(Google Alerts lets you monitor the web for new content)
Google Alerts is simple, useful and free tool from Google that lets you keep up with news about all kinds of topics, stay informed about people and companies, and monitor what other people say online about you and your business.
Google Alerts is not only useful for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically receiving the latest news about people, brands, companies, or any other topic you want to know about.
With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s robots (Googlebot) index a new web site, blog post, press release, news update, a video, tweet, or any other indexable content related to the topic you’ve subscribed to, it will automatically send you an email or RSS update.
A Quick & Easy Guide On Setting Up A Google Alert
Let’s go over the 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 loads of free services with one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run an Adwords campaign or have a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.
(A Google account lets you access great services like Google Alerts)
You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your Google Account, but this will give you fewer configuration options (e.g. you can only receive email alerts, not alerts via RSS).
Once you have logged into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool here:
Step 2 – Set Up An Alert
Set up an alert for any topic, business, person or web address you would like to track. You can track product brands, names of employees, competitors, investors, celebrities, influencers, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.
(Google Alerts lets you set up as many alerts as you like)
Step 3 – Set Up Your Preferences And Save
Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword(s) 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 the source of your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …
(Google alert sources)
You can also specify the delivery time of your alerts in your settings, and if you want to receive all alerts in a single email …
(Google Alerts – settings)
All of these settings can be changed anytime.
You should begin receiving alerts as specified in your preferences …
(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
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)
If you elect to receive alerts via email, you will be asked to 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)
You can return to the Google Alerts home page and create as many alerts as you want.
Deleting Google Alerts
You can delete any alerts you no longer want to receive …
(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)
Confirm that you want to unsubscribe from your Google Alert …
(Click unsubscribe to stop receiving Google Alerts)
Your Google Alert will be cancelled …
(Google Alert cancelled)
You will stop receiving alert emails on the topic after unsubscribing.
If you choose to receive alerts via email, you can configure rules in your email application to automatically send all alerts to one or more 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 view the information on your smartphone or mobile device.
Once your alerts are set up, you can track information about topics, businesses, the competition, etc., or create web content on the latest news and updates in your chosen topic.
How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Site
You can publish news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your website 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)
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)
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 publish 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)
Next, copy the RSS feed link to your clipboard …
(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)
Hopefully, this information has been useful. If you would like to know more about using social management tools to improve your business online, see this article: Top Social Media Tracking Tools For WordPress
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