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.

WordPressAt any given point in time, millions of social transactions are happening online. New content is continually being published on social networks, blogs, and news sites, and some of that information is related to subjects that interest you.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free and simple way to know what is happening in your industry or niche so that you are not wasting a huge 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 – free web monitoring service)

Google Alerts is a free, simple and useful tool for keeping up-to-date with the latest news and information about all kinds of topics, staying informed about people, brands and companies, and tracking what is being written online about you and your business.

Google Alerts is not only useful for managing your reputation online, but also for automatically sourcing the latest news about people, brands, companies, or any subject you are interested in.

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

A Quick Tutorial On How To Set Up Google Alerts

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. A Google account lets you access many 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 alerts

(A Google account lets you access dozens of services like Google Alerts)

Info

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).

Once you have logged into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool here:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

Set up an alert for every topic, business, person or website you would like to track. You can track product brands, employees, celebrities, competitors, investors, influencers, etc. There are no limits to how many 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 & Save

Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword or keywords you want alerts sent for, how often alerts should be sent out (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 Alerts - sources

(Google alert sources)

You can also specify alert delivery times in your settings, and if you want to receive all alerts as a single email …

Google Alerts - settings

(Google alert settings)

You can change these settings anytime you want.

You should begin receiving alerts as specified in your preferences …

Google alerts - email alert

(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

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 ‘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 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 stop receiving alert emails on the topic after unsubscribing.

Practical Tip

If you want Google to deliver alerts via email, you can configure rules in your email program to redirect alerts automatically to one or more folders. This will help keep your alerts organized and easier to track and sort through.

If you choose to receive alerts via RSS feed, you can use a feed reader to view the information on your smart phone or mobile device.

Once your alerts are set up, you can monitor information about keywords, names, competitors, etc., or create content in your niche/industry.

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

You can repost 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:

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, create an 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, you have found this tutorial helpful. To learn more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: WordPress And Social Media Measurement

A Simple Step-By-Step Tutorial On Setting Up A Google Alert

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"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)

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Originally published as How To Set Up Google Alerts.