As you read this, billions of social interactions are happening online. New content is constantly being published on social media 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 free, easy and simple way to access information about what is happening in your niche or industry so that you are not wasting a huge amount of time doing research? Well, there is. It’s called …
(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)
Google Alerts will send you an email notification whenever your brand is mentioned online.
Google Alerts is not only only a useful tool for managing your reputation online, but also for automatically receiving the latest news about people, companies, and any other subject you need to know about.
With Google Alerts, you just subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s bots (Googlebot) crawl a new web page, news update, press release, 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.
How To Set Up Google Alerts - Three Easy Steps
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 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 a Google Account, but this gives you fewer configuration 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:
Step 2 – Set Up Your Alerts
You can set up alerts for every topic, business, person, brand or web address you want to receive updates about. This service lets you track brands, employees, investors, influencers, celebrities, competitors, etc. There are no limits to how many alerts you can set up.
(Google Alerts lets you set up as many alerts as you like)
Step 3 – Set Your Preferences And Save
You can specify the keyword or keywords you want 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)
If you want to narrow where Google sources the information for 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 in a single email …
(Google alert 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 Searching On 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 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 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 after unsubscribing.
If you want Google to send our 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 track and 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 your alerts are set up, you can monitor information about keywords, brands, the competition, etc., or create web content on the latest news and updates in your topic of choice.
How To Display News Items From Google Alerts On Your 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 display 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, 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 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 tutorial has been helpful. To learn more about using social monitoring tools to improve user engagement, see this article: WordPress Social Media Measurement – Resources
"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