Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free, easy and simple 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 lets you monitor the web for new content)
Google Alerts is a free intelligence service that delivers Google search queries to your inbox.
Google Alerts is not only only a great tool for managing your reputation online, but also for automatically gathering news about people, companies, or any other subject you are following.
With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s bots (Googlebot) index a new web site, press release, news update, blog post, 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
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 a pay-per-click advertising campaign with Adwords or have 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 will give you fewer configuration options (e.g. you can’t receive Google Alerts via RSS, only email).
Once you have logged into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool here:
Step 2 – Set Up Your Alerts
Set up alerts for every topic, business, person, brand or website you would like to track. This service lets you keep track of product brands, names of employees, influencers, investors, competitors, celebrities, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.
(Google Alerts lets you set up as many alerts as you like)
Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences & Save
You can specify the keyword or keywords 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 where Google sources the information for your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …
(Google Alerts – sources)
You can also specify alert delivery times in your settings, and if you want to receive all alerts in a single email …
(Google Alerts – settings)
You can change these settings anytime.
You will begin receiving alerts as set in your preferences …
(Receive alerts via email or RSS)
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)
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 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 want Google to deliver alerts via email, 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 sort through.
If you choose to receive alerts via RSS feed, you can use a feed reader to access the information on your smart phone or mobile device.
Once you have set up alerts, you can track information about keywords, names, competitors, etc., or start creating web content about the latest news and updates in your niche/industry.
How To Publish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Site
You can republish 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, 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 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)
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. To learn more about using social management tools, see this article: Essential Media Tracking Resources For WordPress Users
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