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How To Set Up Google Alerts

Right now, billions of social transactions are taking place online. New information is constantly being published on social streams, websites, and news sites, and some of that information is related to subjects that interest you.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple and easy way to know what is new in your niche or industry so that you are not wasting a huge amount of time doing research? Well, there is. It’s called …

Google Alerts

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

Google Alerts is a free tool that allows you to set up email alerts based on the keywords you set up.

Google Alerts is not only great for managing your reputation online, but also for receiving the latest news 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 robots crawl a new web page, news update, blog post, press release, a video, tweet, or any other indexable content related to that topic, it will automatically send you an email or RSS update.

A Quick Step-By-Step Tutorial 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 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 have a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.

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

You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your 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 An Alert

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

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

Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences And Save

You can specify the keyword or keywords you want to receive 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)

To narrow where Google sources the information for 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 in a single email …

(Google alert settings)

You can change these settings anytime.

You should begin receiving alerts as per your preferences …

(Google alerts – email alert)

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 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 delete any alerts you no longer want to receive …

(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 would like alerts to be delivered via email to your inbox, you can configure rules in your email application to automatically send all alerts to one or more email 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 view the information on your smart phone or mobile device.

Once you have set up your alerts, you can track information about keywords, brands, the competition, etc., or create content in your topic of choice.

How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Site

You can republish 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 repost 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 site, or come in as ‘drafts’ that you can review and publish.

Publish Google Alerts News Items On Your Sidebar

To repost 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 information has been helpful. If you would like to know more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Social Measurement Resources

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