At any given moment, billions of interactions are taking place online. New content is constantly being published on news media, websites, and social streams, and some of that information is related to topics you are interested in.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free, simple and easy way to find out what is going on in your industry or niche that could save you a massive amount of time doing research? Well, there is. It’s called …
(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)
Google Alerts is a free, simple and useful tool for keeping up with the latest news about all kinds of topics, staying informed about people and companies, and tracking what is being published about you and your business online.
Google Alerts is not only great for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically sourcing information about people, companies, and any subject you need to know about.
With Google Alerts, you just subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s indexing robots (Googlebot) crawl a new web page, press release, news update, blog post, a tweet, video, or any other indexable content related to the topic you’ve subscribed to, it will automatically send you an email or RSS update.
A Simple Step-By-Step Guide On How To Set Up Google Alerts
Let’s go over the 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. Google 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 own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.
(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’t receive Google Alerts via RSS, only email).
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 Your Alerts
Set up an alert for every topic, business, person, brand or website you would like to receive updates about. This service lets you keep track of product brands, employees, influencers, investors, competitors, celebrities, etc. There are no limits to how many alerts you can set up.
(Set up as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)
Step 3 – Set Up Your Preferences
Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword(s) you want alerts sent 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, 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 in a single email …
(Google Alerts – settings)
All of these settings can be changed anytime.
You will begin receiving alerts as per 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 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.
Deleting 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 stop receiving alert emails on the topic from Google after unsubscribing.
If you want Google to send our alerts to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email program to send alerts automatically 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 topics, your business, competitors, etc., or create web content on the latest news and updates in your chosen topic.
How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Blog
You can repost news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your 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:
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 blog, or come in as ‘drafts’ that you can review and publish.
Publish Google Alerts News Items On Your Sidebar
To display 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: WordPress Resources For Media Monitoring
"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