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, billions of conversations are happening online. New content is continually being published on news, blogs, and social networks, and some of that information is related to topics that interest you.

Is there a free, easy and simple way to know what is new in your niche or industry so that you are not wasting a huge amount of time doing research? Yes, there is, and it’s called …

Google Alerts

You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts

(Google Alerts – free web monitoring service)

Google can send you an email when your business gets mentioned online, so you can monitor news, websites, and social conversations.

Google Alerts is not only great for managing your reputation online, but also for automatically receiving the latest news about people, companies, or any other topic you need to know about.

With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s indexing bots (Googlebot) crawl a new web site, press release, news update, blog post, a video, tweet, or any other indexable content related to that topic, it will automatically send you an email or RSS update.

How To Set Up Google Alerts - 3 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. 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.

Log into your Google Account to set up your alerts

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

Useful Info

You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this gives you fewer 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 here:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

You can set up an alert for every topic, business, person or website address you want to receive updates about. This service lets you track brands, employees, celebrities, influencers, investors, competitors, etc. There are no limits to the number of alerts you can set up.

Google Alerts lets you set up as many alerts as you like

(Set up as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)

Step 3 – Set Your Preferences & Save

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

Google Alerts - settings

(Google Alerts – settings)

You can change these settings anytime you like.

You will begin receiving alerts as specified in your preferences …

Receive alerts via email or RSS

(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

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 stop receiving alerts by deleting them from your account …

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 no longer receive alert emails on the topic from Google after unsubscribing.

Practical Tip

If you want to receive alerts sent to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email program to automatically redirect all alerts to one or more folders. This will help to 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 you have set up alerts, you can track information about topics, businesses, the competition, etc., or create content for your blog in your topic of choice.

How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Blog

You can publish 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 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 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

(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 information has been useful. To learn more about using social monitoring tools, see this article: 25+ Social Media Monitoring Resources For WordPress Users

How To Set Up A Google Alert In 3 Simple Steps

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. 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.