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, millions of social interactions are happening online. New information is continually being published on social streams, news sites, and websites, and some of that information is related to topics you are interested in.

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. It’s called …

Google Alerts

You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts

(Google Alerts – free web monitoring service)

Google Alerts is one of the simplest and most useful online tools available for keeping up-to-date with the latest news about all kinds of topics, staying informed about people and companies, and tracking what what is being written online about you and your business. It’s also free.

Google Alerts is not only useful for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically gathering information about people, brands, 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 indexing robots (Googlebot) crawl a new web site, news update, blog post, press release, a tweet, video, 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 Create 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 don’t have a Google account, create one. A Google account lets you access many free services with one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run Adwords 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

(Log into your Google Account)

Useful Info

You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this gives you fewer options (e.g. you can only receive email alerts, not alerts via RSS).

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 An Alert

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

Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

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

Step 3 – Set Up Your Preferences

Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword or keywords 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)

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 alert delivery times in your settings, and if you want to receive all alerts as a single email …

Google alert settings

(Google Alerts – settings)

All of these settings can be changed at anytime.

You will begin receiving alerts as set 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 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)

Type in 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.

Deleting Google Alerts

You can delete any alerts you no longer want to receive …

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 no longer receive alert emails on the topic after unsubscribing.

Practical Tip

If you want alerts to be sent via email to your inbox, you can configure rules in your email program to automatically redirect all alerts to one or more email folders. This helps to keep your alerts organized and easier to track and 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 you have set up your alerts, you can track information about topics, businesses, competitors, etc., or create content in your chosen topic.

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

You can publish 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 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

(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 blog, or come in as ‘drafts’ that you can review and publish.

Publish Google Alerts News Items On Your Sidebar

To display 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 useful. To learn more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Resources For Measuring Social Indicators

How To Set Up Google Alerts - Three Quick & Easy Steps

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the owner of WPCompendium.org and the author of The WordPress User Manual. 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.