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How To Set Up Google Alerts

As you read this, there are billions of exchanges taking place online. New content is continually being published on websites, news media, and social streams, and some of that information is related to topics that interest you.

Is there a free, simple and easy way to find out what is going on in your industry or niche that can save you time doing research? Yes, there is, and it’s called …

Google Alerts

(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)

Get free alerts when there are new results for your searches, so you can keep up to date on social updates, blogs, and news without having to visit loads of social media and news sites for the latest information.

Google Alerts is not only only a great social media monitoring tool for managing your reputation online, but also for automatically gathering information about people, companies, or any other subject you are interested in.

With Google Alerts, you just subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s robots index a new web site, 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.

A Quick Step-By-Step Tutorial On How To Set Up Google Alerts

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 loads of free services with just one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run Adwords or own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.

(A Google account lets you access dozens of services like Google Alerts)

You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your Google Account, but this will give 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 by entering the following URL into your browser:


Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

You can set up alerts for every topic, business, person, brand or website you want to track. You can track product brands, employees, influencers, celebrities, competitors, investors, etc. There are no limits to the number of alerts you can set up.

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

Step 3 – Set Your Preferences

You can specify the keyword or keywords 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 Alerts – preferences)

To narrow the source of your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …

(Google Alerts – sources)

You can also specify the delivery time of your alerts in your settings, and if you want to receive all alerts as a single email …

(Google Alerts – settings)

All of these settings can be changed anytime you like.

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:

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)

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

(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.

Deleting Google Alerts

You can stop receiving alerts by deleting them from your account …

(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)

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 would like alerts to be sent via email to your inbox, you can configure rules in your email program to redirect alerts automatically 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 smart phone or mobile device.

Once your alerts are set up, you can track information about topics, names, the competition, etc., or start creating web content on the latest news in your topic of choice.

How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Website

You can display news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your WordPress website 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)

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 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)

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, this article has been helpful. To learn more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: Best Social Media Tracking Resources For WordPress Users


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