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.

WordPressAs you read this, there are millions of social conversations taking place online. New information is constantly being published on social media networks, websites, and news sites, and some of that information is related to subjects that interest you.

Is there a free, easy and simple way to find out what is happening in your niche or industry so that you are not wasting a huge amount of time doing research? Yes, there is. 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 service that lets you set up alerts based on keywords that can be emailed to you.

Google Alerts is not only great for managing your reputation online, but also for automatically sourcing the latest news about people, companies, or any other topic you are following.

With Google Alerts, you just subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s indexing bots crawl a new web page, blog post, news update, press release, a tweet, video, or any other content related to the topic you’ve subscribed to, it will automatically send you 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 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 an Adwords campaign or own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account.

A Google account lets you access great services like Google Alerts

(Log into your Google Account to set up your alerts)

Important

You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your Google Account, but this gives you fewer 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

You can set up an alert for every topic, business name, person, brand or website you want to receive updates about. You can keep track of product brands, names of employees, competitors, influencers, investors, celebrities, etc. There is no limit to the number of 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 And Save

Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword or keywords you want alerts sent 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)

If you want to narrow the source of your alerts, just select an option from the drop-down menu …

Google alert sources

(Google alert sources)

You can also specify alert delivery times in your settings, and whether these should be sent as a single email …

Google alert settings

(Google alert settings)

You can change these settings anytime you like.

You should 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)

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 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 stop receiving alert emails on the topic after unsubscribing.

Practical Tip

If you would like alerts to be delivered via email, you can configure rules in your email application to send alerts automatically to one or more 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 create content in your chosen topic.

How To Repost News Items From Google Alerts On Your Website

You can republish news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your blog 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 publish 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, this post has been useful. If you would like to know more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: WordPress Tools For Social Media Tracking

How To Create A Google Alert

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"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum

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Originally published as How To Set Up Google Alerts.