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 billions of data transactions taking place online. New content is continually being published on news sites, social networks, and blogs, and some of that information is related to subjects that interest you.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free, simple and easy way to access information about what is happening in your niche or industry that could save you a massive amount of time doing research? Well, there is, and it’s called …

Google Alerts

Google Alerts lets you monitor the web for new content

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

Google Alerts is a free intelligence service that delivers Google search queries to your inbox or via RSS feed.

Google Alerts is not only great for managing your reputation online, but also for automatically gathering the latest news about people, brands, companies, and any subject you are following.

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

How To Create 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 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.

Log into your Google Account to set up your alerts

(Log into your Google Account)

Important

You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this will give 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

You can set up alerts for every topic, business name, person or website you would like to receive updates about. This service lets you track brands, names of employees, celebrities, investors, influencers, competitors, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.

Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

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

Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences & 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

(Google alert preferences)

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

Google alert 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 should begin receiving alerts as set 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)

This brings you to the Google Alerts screen. 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.

How To Delete Google Alerts

You can delete any alerts you no longer want to receive …

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 no longer receive alert emails on the topic after unsubscribing.

Useful Tip

If you want alerts to be sent via email to your inbox, you can configure rules in your email application to send alerts automatically 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 access the information on your smart phone or mobile device.

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

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

You can display 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 repost 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 site, or come in as ‘drafts’ that you can review and publish.

Publish Google Alerts News Items On Your Sidebar

To display 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 tutorial has been helpful. If you would like to know more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: 25+ Social Media Measurement Tools For WordPress Users

How To Set Up Google Alerts - A Step-By-Step Guide

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

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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.