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, there are billions of social exchanges taking place online. New content is constantly being published on news sites, social media streams, and websites, and some of that information is related to topics that matter to you.

Is there a simple and easy (and free) way to access information about 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 …

Google Alerts

You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts

(Google Alerts lets you monitor the web for new content)

Google can send you free alerts when your brand gets mentioned online, so you can monitor news, websites, and social conversations without having to visit loads of social media and news sites for the latest information.

Google Alerts is not only useful for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically sourcing information about people, brands, companies, or any subject you are following.

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

Setting Up A Google Alert – A Tutorial

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. A Google account 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 have a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.

Use your Google Account to access services like Google Alerts

(Log into your Google Account)

Info

You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your Google Account, but this gives you fewer 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 here:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

Set up alerts for every topic, business name, person or website you would like to receive updates about. This service lets you track brands, employees, influencers, competitors, celebrities, investors, etc. There are no limits to how many alerts you can set up.

Google Alerts lets you create as many alerts as you like

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

Step 3 – Set Your Preferences & Save

Google Alerts lets you 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 alert preferences

(Google alert preferences)

To narrow the source of your alerts, select the source 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 if you want to receive all alerts in a single email …

Google Alerts - settings

(Google alert settings)

All of these settings can be changed anytime.

You should begin receiving alerts as per your preferences …

Google alerts - email alert

(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 Browsing 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)

Enter your email address and click on ‘Create Alert’ …

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.

How To Delete Google Alerts

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

Google alert 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 stop receiving alert emails on the topic from Google after unsubscribing.

Useful Tip

If you choose to receive alerts via email, you can configure rules in your email application to redirect alerts automatically to one or more folders. This helps keep your alerts organized and easier to 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 your alerts are set up, you can monitor information about topics, businesses, the competition, etc., or create web content on the latest news in your niche/industry.

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

You can repost 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 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 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, you have found this tutorial useful. If you would like to know more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Resources For Measuring Social Metrics

How To Set Up A Google Alert In Three Simple Steps

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"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

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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 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.