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 interactions are taking place online. New information is continually being published on news sites, social streams, and blogs, and some of that information is related to topics that matter to you.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free and simple way to know what is going on in your niche or industry that could save you a massive amount of time doing research? Well, there is, and it’s called …

Google Alerts

Google Alerts - free web monitoring service

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

Google Alerts is a free intelligence service that delivers Google search queries directly to your inbox or via RSS feed.

Google Alerts is not only great for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for sourcing information about people, companies, and any topic you are following.

With Google Alerts, you just subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s bots (Googlebot) crawl a new web site, blog post, press release, news update, a tweet, video, or any other content related to that topic, it will automatically send you an email or RSS update.

How To Set Up A Google Alert - 3 Simple & Easy Steps

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 many free services with 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.

Use your Google Account to access services like Google Alerts

(Log into your Google Account to set up your Google alerts)

Info

You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this gives you fewer options (e.g. you can only receive email alerts, not alerts via RSS).

After logging into into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool here:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up Your Alerts

Set up alerts for every topic, business, person, brand or website you want to receive updates about. You can track brands, employees, competitors, investors, celebrities, 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

(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(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)

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

Google alert settings

(Google alert settings)

You can change these settings anytime you want.

You should 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 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 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 stop receiving alert emails on the topic after unsubscribing.

Practical Tip

If you want alerts to be delivered via email to your inbox, you can configure rules in your email application to redirect alerts automatically to one or more email folders. This helps 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, names, the competition, etc., or start creating web content about the latest news in your topic of choice.

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

You can repost 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 publish 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. To learn more about using social media monitoring tools to monitor social signals, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Social Measurement Tools

A Quick Step-By-Step Tutorial On Setting Up A Google Alert

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"This is AMAZING! I had learnt about how to use WordPress previously, but this covers absolutely everything and more!! Incredible value! Thank you!" - Monique, Warrior Forum

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Originally published as How To Set Up Google Alerts.