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, millions of social conversations are happening online. New information is constantly being published on news sites, social networks, and websites, 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 find out 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

(Google Alerts lets you monitor the web for new content)

Google can send you an email whenever there are new results for your searches, so you can keep up to date on blogs, social media updates, and news.

Google Alerts is not only useful for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for sourcing news about people, companies, or any other topic you want to know about.

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

Google Alerts – A Simple And Easy Step-By-Step Tutorial

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 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 set up.

Log into your Google Account to set up your Google alerts

(Use your Google Account to access great services like Google Alerts)

Info

You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your Google Account, but this gives you fewer 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 by entering the following URL into your browser:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

Set up an alert for any topic, business name, person or web address you would like to receive updates about. This service lets you keep track of brands, employees, competitors, influencers, investors, celebrities, etc. There are no limits to how many alerts you can set up.

Google Alerts lets you create as many alerts as you like

(Google Alerts lets you create as many alerts as you like)

Step 3 – Set Up Your Preferences

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 alert preferences

(Google alert preferences)

To narrow where Google sources the information for your alerts, just select an option from the drop-down menu …

Google alert sources

(Google Alerts – sources)

You can also specify the delivery time of your alerts in your settings, and whether these should be sent in a single email …

Google Alerts - settings

(Google Alerts – settings)

You can change these settings anytime.

You should begin receiving alerts as specified 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 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)

Enter your email address and click on the ‘Create Alert’ button …

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 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 after unsubscribing.

Useful Tip

If you want to receive alerts via email, 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 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 track information about keywords, businesses, the competition, etc., or start creating content in your topic of choice.

How To Repost News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Website

You can display 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 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, set up your Google 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 publish 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 tutorial has been useful. If you would like to know more about using social media monitoring tools to monitor social signals, see this article: Best Social Media Tracking Tools For WordPress

How To Create A Google Alert

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!

Originally published as How To Set Up Google Alerts.