As you read this, billions of transactions are taking place online. New content is continually being published on news, websites, and social media streams, and some of that information is related to subjects that interest you.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free, easy and simple way to find out what is new in your niche or industry that would save you a massive amount of time doing research? Well, there is. It’s called …
(Google Alerts lets you monitor the web for new content)
Google Alerts is a service that allows you to set up alerts based on keywords that can be emailed to you.
Google Alerts is not only useful for managing your reputation online, but also for gathering the latest news 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 crawl a new web page, news update, blog post, press release, a video, tweet, or any other indexable content related to the topic you’ve subscribed to, you will automatically receive 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. Google lets you access loads of free services with just one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run a pay-per-click advertising campaign with Adwords or own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.
(Log into your Google Account)
You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this gives you fewer configuration 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:
Step 2 – Set Up An Alert
You can set up an alert for every topic, business name, person, brand or website you want to receive updates about. You can track brands, employees, celebrities, influencers, investors, competitors, etc. There are no limits to how many alerts you can set up.
(Google Alerts lets you create as many alerts as you like)
Step 3 – Set Your Preferences
You can specify the keyword(s) 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)
To narrow where Google sources the information for your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …
(Google alert sources)
You can also specify the delivery time of your alerts in your settings, and if you want to receive all alerts as a single email …
(Google Alerts – settings)
All of these settings can be changed anytime you want.
You should begin receiving alerts as per 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 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)
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 ‘Create Alert’ …
(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.
Deleting 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 from Google after unsubscribing.
If you choose to receive alerts sent to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email application to automatically redirect all alerts to one or more folders. This will help 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 access the information on your smartphone or mobile device.
Once you have set up alerts, you can monitor information about topics, businesses, competitors, etc., or create content in your niche/industry.
How To Publish News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Website
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 display news items from Google Alerts as a blog post, do the following:
Configure 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 blog, 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)
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, you have found this tutorial helpful. If you would like to know more about using social media management tools to monitor social signals, see this article: WordPress Social Media Tracking – Tools
"This is an awesome training series. I have a pretty good understanding of WordPress already, but this is helping me to move somewhere from intermediate to advanced user!" - Kim Lednum