As you read this, millions of interactions are taking place online. New information is constantly being published on social media networks, blogs, and news media, and some of that information is related to topics you are interested in.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple and easy way to find out what is going on 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 tool that delivers Google search queries to your inbox or via RSS feed.
Google Alerts is not only great for managing your reputation online, but also for sourcing information about people, companies, or any other subject you want to know about.
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, press release, blog post, news update, a video, tweet, 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 Create 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. A Google account lets you access many free services with 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.
(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’t receive Google Alerts via RSS, only email).
After logging into into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool here:
Step 2 – Set Up Your Alerts
You can set up an alert for any topic, business name, person, brand or website you would like to track. This service lets you keep track of product brands, employees, investors, celebrities, competitors, influencers, etc. There are no limits to how many alerts you can set up.
(Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)
Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences
Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword(s) 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)
To narrow the source of your alerts, just select an option from the drop-down menu …
(Google alert sources)
You can also specify alert delivery times in your settings, and if you want to receive all alerts as a single email …
(Google Alerts – settings)
You can change these settings anytime you like.
You will begin receiving alerts as specified in 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)
Type in 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 Alerts – 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 deliver alerts via email, you can configure rules in your email application to automatically send all alerts to one or more email 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 view the information on your smart phone or mobile device.
Once you have set up alerts, you can track information about keywords, your business, the competition, etc., or create web content on the latest news and updates in your niche/industry.
How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Website
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:
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 site, 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, you have found this tutorial useful. To learn more about using social media management tools to monitor social signals, see this article: WordPress Social Media Tracking – Tools
"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