As you read this, there are billions of exchanges taking place online. New information is continually being published on websites, social streams, and news media, and some of that information is related to subjects you are interested in.
Is there a free, simple and easy way to know what is happening 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 – free web monitoring service)
Google Alerts is a free Google service that will send you an email whenever your brand gets mentioned online.
Google Alerts is not only only a useful social media monitoring tool for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically receiving the latest news about people, companies, or any other topic you are following.
With Google Alerts, you just subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s bots crawl a new web page, blog post, news update, press release, a tweet, video, or any other content related to that topic, you will automatically receive an email or RSS update.
How To Set Up 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 many 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.
(Log into your Google Account)
You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your 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 here:
Step 2 – Set Up Your Alerts
Set up an alert for every topic, business name, person, brand or website address you would like to track. You can track product brands, names of employees, celebrities, competitors, influencers, investors, etc. There is no limit to the number of alerts you can set up.
(Google Alerts lets you create as many alerts as you like)
Step 3 – Set Up Your Preferences And Save
Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword or keywords 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)
If you want to narrow the source of your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …
(Google Alerts – sources)
You can also specify alert delivery times in your settings, and whether these should be sent as a single email …
(Google Alerts – settings)
You can change these settings at anytime.
You will begin receiving alerts as specified in 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 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)
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 the ‘Create Alert’ button …
(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.
How To Delete Google Alerts
You can stop receiving alerts by deleting them from your account …
(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)
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 no longer receive alert emails on the topic from Google after unsubscribing.
If you want Google to deliver alerts to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email program to send alerts automatically to one or more folders. This will help 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 smartphone or mobile device.
Once you have set up alerts, you can track information about topics, your business, the competition, etc., or create content for your business blog in your chosen topic.
How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Blog
You can republish news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your site 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 republish 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)
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 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)
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 useful. If you would like to know more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: Top Social Media Tracking Tools For WordPress
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)