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.

WordPressAt any given moment, there are billions of exchanges happening online. New content is continually being published on news, social networks, and blogs, and some of that information is related to subjects that matter to you.

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

Google Alerts

Google Alerts - free web monitoring service

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

Google will send you a notification whenever there are new results for your searches, so you can monitor news, blogs, and social media updates without having to constantly visit social media and news websites for the latest information.

Google Alerts is not only only a useful social media monitoring tool for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for gathering information about people, brands, companies, or any topic you are following.

With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s indexing bots crawl a new web page, press release, news update, blog post, a video, tweet, or any other indexable 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 haven’t got a Google account, create one. A Google account lets you access loads of 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 have a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.

Use your Google Account to access services like Google Alerts

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

Important Info

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).

After logging into 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 Your Alerts

You can set up an alert for every topic, business, person or website you want to track. You can track brands, employees, competitors, influencers, celebrities, investors, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.

Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

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

Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences

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

If you want to narrow where Google sources the information for your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …

Google alert sources

(Google alert sources)

You can also specify alert delivery times in your settings, and if you want to receive all alerts in a single email …

Google alert settings

(Google alert settings)

All of these settings can be changed anytime.

You will begin receiving alerts as per 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 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)

This brings you to the Google Alerts screen. 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.

Practical Tip

If you would like alerts to be delivered via email, you can configure rules in your email program to automatically redirect all alerts to one or more folders. This will help 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 view the information on your smartphone or mobile device.

Once you have set up alerts, you can monitor information about topics, your business, competitors, etc., or start creating content in your niche/industry.

How To Publish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Blog

You can republish 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:

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 site, 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, you have found this tutorial helpful. To learn more about using social media monitoring tools, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Resources For Monitoring Social Activities

How To Create A Google Alert

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"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)

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Originally published as How To Set Up Google Alerts.