Is there a simple and easy (and free) way to know what is happening 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 …
(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)
Google Alerts is a free intelligence tool that lets you set up email alerts based on the keywords you set up.
Google Alerts is not only useful for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically receiving the latest news about people, brands, companies, and any other topic you are interested in.
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, press release, blog post, news update, a tweet, video, or any other indexable content related to the topic you’ve subscribed to, you will automatically receive an email or RSS update.
How To Create A Google Alert
Let’s go over the 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 an Adwords campaign or own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account.
(Log into your Google Account)
You can still set up Google Alerts without a 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 by entering the following URL into your browser:
Step 2 – Set Up An Alert
You can set up alerts for every topic, business, person or website you want to track. You can track brands, names of employees, investors, celebrities, influencers, competitors, etc. There are no limits to the number of alerts you can set up.
(Set up as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)
Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences And 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 alert preferences)
To narrow the source of your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …
(Google alert sources)
You can also specify the delivery time of your alerts in your settings, and whether these should be sent as a single email …
(Google Alerts – settings)
You can change these settings anytime.
You will 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:
- 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
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)
This brings you to the Google Alerts screen. 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 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 stop receiving alert emails on the topic after unsubscribing.
If you want alerts to be delivered via email, you can configure rules in your email application to automatically send all alerts to one or more folders. This helps to keep your alerts organized and easier to track and sort through.
If your alerts are sent out via RSS feed, you can use a feed reader to access the information on your smartphone or mobile device.
Once your alerts are set up, you can track information about keywords, brands, the competition, etc., or create content in your niche/industry.
How To Repost News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Blog
You can publish 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)
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 integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: Media Tracking Tools For WordPress Users
"I have used the tutorials to teach all of my clients and it has probably never been so easy for everyone to learn WordPress ... Now I don't need to buy all these very expensive video courses that often don't deliver what they promise." - Stefan Wendt, Internet Marketing Success Group