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.

WordPressAs you read this, billions of social interactions are happening online. New content is continually being published on news, websites, and social networks, and some of that information is related to topics that matter to you.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free, simple and easy way to access information about what is new in your niche or industry that would save you time doing research? Well, there is, and it’s called …

Google Alerts

Google Alerts - free web monitoring service

(Google Alerts – free web monitoring service)

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

Google Alerts is not only great for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for sourcing the latest news about people, brands, companies, or any topic you are interested in.

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, press release, news update, blog post, a tweet, video, 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

Let’s go over the 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 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.

Use your Google Account to access dozens of services like Google Alerts

(A Google account lets you access great services like Google Alerts)

Info

You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your 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 here:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

You can set up an alert for every topic, business, person or web address you would like to track. This service lets you track brands, employees, investors, celebrities, competitors, influencers, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.

Set up as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

(Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)

Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences And Save

You can 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 alert 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 whether these should be sent in a single email …

Google Alerts - settings

(Google alert settings)

All of these settings can be changed anytime you like.

You should begin receiving alerts as set in your preferences …

Receive alerts via email or RSS

(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

(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)

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.

Deleting Google Alerts

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

Google Alerts - settings

(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

(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.

Tip

If you choose to receive alerts via email, you can configure rules in your email program to automatically send 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 access the information on your smart phone or mobile device.

Once you have set up alerts, you can monitor information about keywords, names, the competition, etc., or create content in your topic of choice.

How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Site

You can republish news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your 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:

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 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

(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, this post has been useful. To learn more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: Social Media Monitoring Resources For WordPress

How To Create A Google Alert

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and the author of The Small Business Digital Manager. WPCompendium.org provides hundreds of FREE detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress to grow your business online at minimal cost with no coding skills required!

Originally published as How To Set Up Google Alerts.