Right now, there are millions of social interactions taking place online. New information is continually being published on news media, blogs, and social media streams, and some of that information is related to topics that interest you.
Is there a free and simple way to find out what is happening 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 …
(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)
Google Alerts is a service that delivers Google search queries directly to your inbox.
Google Alerts is not only only a useful social media monitoring tool for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically receiving the latest news about people, companies, or any other subject you are following.
With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s robots (Googlebot) crawl a new web page, press release, blog post, news update, a tweet, video, or any other content related to that topic, it will automatically send you an email or RSS update.
A Quick Guide On Setting Up A Google Alert
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. Google lets you access loads of free services with just one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run Adwords or have a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account.
(Log into your Google Account to set up your alerts)
You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your Google Account, but this gives you fewer configuration options (e.g. you can’t receive Google Alerts via RSS, only email).
Once you have logged into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool here:
Step 2 – Set Up An Alert
You can set up an alert for every topic, business, person, brand or website you want to receive updates about. This service lets you keep track of product brands, employees, influencers, investors, celebrities, competitors, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.
(Set up as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)
Step 3 – Set Your Preferences
Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword(s) you want 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, just select an option from the drop-down menu …
(Google Alerts – sources)
You can also specify the delivery time of your alerts in your settings, and whether these should be sent as a single email …
(Google Alerts – settings)
You can change these settings at anytime.
You should begin receiving alerts as set in your preferences …
(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)
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Create Alert’ …
(Google News – Create Alert)
Type in your email address and click on the ‘Create Alert’ button …
(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.
How To Delete Google Alerts
You can stop receiving alerts by deleting them from your account …
(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 after unsubscribing.
If you want Google to send our alerts to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email application to send alerts automatically 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 smart phone or mobile device.
Once you have set up your alerts, you can monitor information about keywords, your business, competitors, etc., or start creating web content on the latest news and updates in your chosen topic.
How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Website
You can display 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:
Set up 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 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)
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 tutorial has been useful. To learn more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: Social Media Tools For Business Owners
"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com