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 exchanges are happening online. New information is constantly being published on blogs, news, and social media streams, and some of that information is related to subjects that matter to you.

Is there a free, easy and simple way to access information about what is going on 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

Google Alerts - free web monitoring service

(Google Alerts – free web monitoring service)

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

Google Alerts is not only only a great social media monitoring tool for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for sourcing the latest news about people, companies, and any topic you need to know about.

With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s indexing bots crawl a new web page, press release, news update, blog post, 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.

A Quick And Easy Step-By-Step Guide On 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 haven’t got a Google account, create one. Google lets you access many free services with one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run an Adwords campaign or own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account.

Log into your Google Account to set up your alerts

(Log into your Google Account)

Info

You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this will give you fewer options (e.g. you can’t receive Google Alerts via RSS, only email).

Once you have logged into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool here:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up Your Alerts

You can set up alerts for every topic, business, person or website you would like to track. You can keep track of product brands, employees, investors, celebrities, influencers, 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

(Google Alerts lets you create as many alerts as you like)

Step 3 – Set Up Your Preferences & Save

You can specify the keyword(s) you want alerts sent 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

(Google Alerts – preferences)

To narrow where Google sources the information for your alerts, just select an option from the drop-down menu …

Google Alerts - sources

(Google Alerts – sources)

You can also specify alert delivery times in your settings, and whether these should be sent as a single email …

Google alert settings

(Google Alerts – settings)

You can change these settings anytime you want.

You will begin receiving alerts as specified 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)

This brings you to the Google Alerts screen. 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.

How To Delete 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 from Google after unsubscribing.

Practical Tip

If you choose to receive alerts sent to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email program to automatically send all alerts to one or more email folders. This will help 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 smartphone or mobile device.

Once your alerts are set up, you can track information about keywords, brands, competitors, etc., or create content for your business blog in your topic of choice.

How To Publish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Blog

You can display 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:

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, set up your Google 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, this tutorial has been useful. If you would like to know more about using social media monitoring tools to monitor social signals, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Social Monitoring Resources

A Quick Tutorial On How To Set Up A Google Alert

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Author: Martin Aranovitch

Martin Aranovitch is the founder of WPCompendium.org and has authored hundreds of FREE WordPress tutorials for non-techies and beginners. WPCompendium.org provides detailed step-by-step tutorials that will teach you how to use WordPress with no coding skills required and grow your business online at minimal cost!