Right now, there are billions of social interactions taking place online. New content is constantly being published on news media, social streams, and websites, 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 know what is going on in your industry or niche that would save you time doing research? Well, there is, and it’s called …
(Google Alerts – free web monitoring service)
With Google Alerts, Google will send you free alerts when your company gets mentioned online, so you can monitor social updates, news, and blogs without having to constantly checking social media and news websites for the latest information.
Google Alerts is not only great for managing your reputation online, but also for automatically sourcing the latest news about people, brands, companies, or any subject you are interested in.
With Google Alerts, you just subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s robots (Googlebot) crawl a new web site, blog post, news update, press release, a video, tweet, or any other indexable content related to that topic, it will automatically send you an email or RSS update.
Google Alerts – A Step-By-Step Tutorial
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. Google lets you access many free services with one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run an Adwords campaign or own a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.
(Use your Google Account to access dozens of services like Google Alerts)
You can still set up Google Alerts without a Google Account, but this will give you fewer 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 or website address you want to receive updates about. You can track brands, employees, investors, influencers, celebrities, competitors, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.
(Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)
Step 3 – Set Up Your Preferences
Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword or keywords 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 Alerts – preferences)
If you want to narrow the source of your alerts, select the source from the drop-down menu …
(Google Alerts – sources)
You can also specify alert delivery times 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 …
(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)
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 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 application to redirect alerts automatically to one or more folders. This will help keep your alerts organized and easier to sort through.
If you choose to receive alerts 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 track information about keywords, brands, competitors, etc., or start creating web content on the latest news in your niche/industry.
How To Republish News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Site
You can repost news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your site 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 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. If you would like to know more about using social management tools to improve your business online, see this article: WordPress Social Media Monitoring – Tools
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