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How To Set Up Google Alerts

At any given moment, millions of social conversations are happening online. New information is continually being published on social streams, news sites, and websites, and some of that information is related to subjects you are interested in.

Is there a free, simple and easy way to find out what is new in your niche or industry so that you are not wasting a huge amount of time doing research? Yes, there is. It’s called …

Google Alerts

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

Google Alerts is a free tool that delivers Google search queries to your inbox.

Google Alerts is not only only a useful social media monitoring tool for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically gathering information about people, companies, and any subject you are following.

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

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

(Use your Google Account to access dozens of services like Google Alerts)

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

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

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

You can set up alerts for every topic, business name, person, brand or website you would like to receive updates about. This service lets you keep track of product brands, employees, investors, celebrities, competitors, influencers, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.

(Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)

Step 3 – Set Your Preferences & Save

Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword(s) you want 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 Alerts – preferences)

If you want to narrow where Google sources the information for your alerts, just select an option 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)

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:

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.

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 to receive alerts via email, you can configure rules in your email application to automatically redirect all alerts to one or more folders. This will help to 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 access the information on your smart phone or mobile device.

Once your alerts are set up, you can track information about keywords, your business, competitors, etc., or start creating content in your chosen topic.

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

You can publish news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your WordPress 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 display 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, create an 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 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, you have found this tutorial useful. To learn more about using social media management tools to improve your business online, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Social Measurement Resources

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"I was absolutely amazed at the scope and breadth of these tutorials! The most in-depth training I have ever received on any subject!" - Myke O'Neill, DailyGreenPost.com

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