As you read this, there are billions of interactions taking place online. New content is continually being published on social media networks, websites, and news media, 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 new in your niche or industry that could save you time doing research? Well, there is, and it’s called …
(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)
Google Alerts is one of the simplest and most useful online tools available for keeping up with news about all kinds of topics, staying informed about people and companies, and tracking what other people are posting online about you and your business. It’s also free.
Google Alerts is not only great for managing your reputation online, but also for gathering news about people, brands, companies, or 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 site, press release, news update, blog post, a video, tweet, or any other content related to the topic you’ve subscribed to, you will automatically receive an email or RSS update.
How To Set Up Google Alerts In 3 Quick & Easy Steps
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.
(Log into your Google Account)
You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this gives you fewer configuration options (e.g. you can’t receive Google Alerts via RSS, only email).
After logging into into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool by entering the following URL into your web browser:
Step 2 – Set Up An Alert
Set up alerts for every topic, business, person or website you want to receive updates about. This service lets you keep track of brands, names of employees, investors, competitors, celebrities, 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)
Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences And Save
You can specify the keyword(s) 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)
If you want to narrow where Google sources the information for your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …
(Google Alerts – 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 alert settings)
You can change these settings anytime.
You will begin receiving alerts as set in your preferences …
(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)
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Create Alert’ …
(Google News – Create Alert)
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 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)
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 from Google after unsubscribing.
If you want Google to send our alerts to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email program to redirect alerts automatically to one or more email 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 you have set up alerts, you can track information about keywords, brands, competitors, etc., or create content in your chosen topic.
How To Publish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Blog
You can repost 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 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)
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 blog, or come in as ‘drafts’ that you can review and publish.
Publish Google Alerts News Items On Your Sidebar
To republish 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 integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Tools For Measuring Social Indicators
"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