Right now, there are billions of exchanges taking place online. New content is continually being published on websites, news sites, and social media streams, and some of that information is related to subjects that matter to you.
Is there a free, easy and simple way to access information about 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 …
(Google Alerts – free web monitoring service)
With Google Alerts, Google will send you an email when there are new results for your searches, so you can keep up to date on websites, social conversations, and news without having to constantly be visiting social media and news websites for the latest information.
Google Alerts is not only great for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for sourcing the latest news about people, brands, companies, or any other topic you are following.
With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s indexing robots crawl a new web page, news update, press release, blog post, a tweet, video, or any other content related to the topic you’ve subscribed to, it will automatically send you an email or RSS update.
How To Set Up A Google Alert In 3 Simple & Easy Steps
Basically, there are only three 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. A Google account lets you access loads of 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 own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.
(Log into your Google Account to set up your Google alerts)
You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your 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
Set up an alert for any topic, business name, person or website address you want to track. You can keep track of brands, names of employees, investors, influencers, competitors, celebrities, 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 – Set Your Preferences
You can specify the keyword(s) you want to receive 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, select the source from the drop-down menu …
(Google Alerts – 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 want.
You will begin receiving alerts as set 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 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)
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.
How To Delete 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 deliver alerts via email, you can configure rules in your email program to send alerts automatically to one or more folders. This helps 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 smart phone or mobile device.
Once you have set up alerts, you can track information about keywords, businesses, the competition, etc., or start creating content in your topic of choice.
How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Blog
You can republish 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 repost 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, this tutorial has been useful. If you would like to know more about using social management tools to monitor social signals, see this article: WordPress Social Media Monitoring – Useful Tools
"If you're new to WordPress, this can stand on its own as a training course and will stay with you as you progress from beginner to advanced and even guru status." - Bruce (Columbus, Ohio)