At any given point, there are billions of interactions taking place online. New content is constantly being published on social streams, 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 free, simple and easy way to find out what is going on in your industry or niche that could save you time doing research? Well, there is, and it’s called …
(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)
Google Alerts is simple, useful and free tool from Google that lets you keep up-to-date with the latest news and information about all kinds of topics, stay informed about people, brands and companies, and track what is being published about you and your business online.
Google Alerts is not only only a great tool for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically sourcing information about people, brands, 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 bots index a new web page, press release, news update, blog post, a tweet, video, or any other indexable content related to that topic, you will automatically receive an email or RSS update.
A Quick & Easy Step-By-Step Guide On Setting 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 haven’t got a Google account, create one. Google 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)
You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your Google Account, but this will give you fewer options (e.g. you can only receive email alerts, not alerts via RSS).
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 An Alert
You can set up an alert for every topic, business name, person or website you want to track. This service lets you track product brands, names of employees, investors, competitors, celebrities, influencers, 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 – Set Your Preferences & Save
Google Alerts lets you 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 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 as a single email …
(Google alert settings)
All of these settings can be changed at anytime.
You should 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 Browsing 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 ‘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 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 from Google after unsubscribing.
If you want Google to send our alerts via email, you can configure rules in your email program to redirect alerts automatically to one or more email folders. This helps to keep your alerts organized and easier to track and sort through.
If you choose to receive alerts via RSS feed, you can use a feed reader to view the information on your smartphone or mobile device.
Once your alerts are set up, you can monitor information about topics, names, the competition, etc., or start creating web content about the latest news in your niche/industry.
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 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:
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 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 tutorial has been useful. To learn more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: Top Social Media Tracking Tools For WordPress Users
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