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, millions of exchanges are taking place online. New content is continually being published on social networks, news media, and blogs, and some of that information is related to subjects that matter to you.

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

Google Alerts

Google Alerts - free web monitoring service

(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)

Google Alerts is simple, useful and free tool from Google that lets you keep up-to-date with the latest news and information about all kinds of topics, stay informed about people and companies, and track what other people are posting online about you and your business.

Google Alerts is not only great for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically sourcing the latest news about people, companies, and any subject you need to know about.

With Google Alerts, you just subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s robots index a new web page, press release, news update, blog post, a video, tweet, or any other content related to the topic you’ve subscribed to, it will automatically send you an email or RSS update.

How To Create A Google Alert

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 loads of free services with 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 set up.

Log into your Google Account

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

Important

You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this will give you fewer configuration 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 web browser:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

Set up an alert for any topic, business name, person or website address you want to track. You can keep track of brands, employees, influencers, celebrities, investors, competitors, etc. There is no limit to the number of alerts you can set up.

Set up as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

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

Step 3 – Set Your Preferences

You can specify the keyword or keywords you want alerts sent 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 alert preferences

(Google alert 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

(Google alert 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 alert settings

(Google Alerts – settings)

You can change these settings anytime you want. You can also stop receiving alerts by deleting them from your account …

Google alert settings

(Google alert settings)

You will begin receiving alerts as per your preferences …

Google alerts - email alert

(Receive alerts via email or RSS)

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

(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)

Your Google Alert for this topic will be set up.

Tip

If you want alerts to be sent via email, you can configure rules in your email program to automatically redirect all alerts 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 view the information on your smart phone or mobile device.

Once your alerts are set up, you can monitor information about topics, businesses, the competition, etc., or start creating content in your niche/industry.

How To Publish News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Blog

You can repost news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your WordPress 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

(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 repost 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. If you would like to know more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: WordPress And Social Media Tracking

Google Alerts - A Simple Tutorial

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for 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.