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 millions of exchanges taking place online. New information is continually being published on social networks, news media, and blogs, and some of that information is related to subjects you are interested in.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free and simple way to access information about what is happening in your industry or niche so that you are not wasting a huge amount of time doing research? Well, there is. It’s called …

Google Alerts

Google Alerts - free web monitoring service

(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)

Google Alerts lets you monitor the web whenever your brand is mentioned online.

Google Alerts is not only only a great social media monitoring tool for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically sourcing the latest news about people, companies, and any other subject you need to know about.

With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s indexing robots crawl a new web page, news update, press release, blog post, 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 Set Up Google Alerts

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 many free services with one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run a pay-per-click advertising campaign with Adwords or own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account.

Log into your Google Account to set up your Google alerts

(A Google account lets you access great services like Google Alerts)

Important Info

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

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up Your Alerts

You can set up an alert for every topic, business, person, brand or website you would like to track. This service lets you keep track of brands, names of employees, influencers, competitors, celebrities, investors, etc. There are no limits to how many alerts you can set up.

Set up as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

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

Step 3 – Set Up Your Preferences And Save

You can specify the keyword or keywords you want to receive alerts 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 Alerts – preferences)

If you want 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 the delivery time of your alerts 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 will 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 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)

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.

Deleting Google Alerts

You can stop receiving alerts by deleting them from your account …

Google alert settings

(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

(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 from Google after unsubscribing.

Useful Tip

If you want alerts to be delivered via email to your inbox, you can configure rules in your email application to automatically send all alerts to one or more folders. This helps keep your alerts organized and easier to sort through.

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

Once your alerts are set up, you can monitor information about keywords, your business, the competition, etc., or create content in your chosen topic.

How To Display News Items From Google Alerts On Your Site

You can repost news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your WordPress 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:

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, 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 blog, or come in as ‘drafts’ that you can review and publish.

Publish Google Alerts News Items On Your Sidebar

To repost 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 useful. If you would like to know more about using social management tools to improve your business online, see this article: WordPress Social Media Monitoring – Useful Resources

How To Create A Google Alert

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"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group

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Originally published as How To Set Up Google Alerts.