How To Set Up Google Alerts

Learn how to easily set up Google Alerts and receive email alerts from Google based on specific keywords you would like to track.

WordPressRight now, millions of exchanges are taking place online. New content is constantly being published on news, blogs, and social networks, and some of that information is related to topics 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 industry or niche so that you are not wasting a huge amount of time doing research? Well, there is, and it’s called …

Google Alerts

Google Alerts - free web monitoring service

(Google Alerts – free web monitoring service)

Google Alerts is simple, useful and free tool from Google that lets you keep up with news and information about all kinds of topics, stay informed about people and companies, and track what other people say online about you and your business.

Google Alerts is not only only a great tool for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for sourcing news about people, companies, or any topic you want to know about.

With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s indexing bots (Googlebot) crawl a new web page, blog post, news update, press release, 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 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 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.

Log into your Google Account to set up your alerts

(Log into your Google Account)

Info

You can still set up Google Alerts without accessing your Google Account, but this will give you fewer configuration 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:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up An Alert

You can set up an alert for any topic, business, person, brand or website you want to receive updates about. This service lets you keep track of brands, employees, competitors, influencers, celebrities, investors, etc. There are no limits to how many alerts you can set up.

Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

(Google Alerts lets you create as many alerts as you like)

Step 3 – Configure Your Preferences

You can specify the keyword(s) 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 Alerts - preferences

(Google Alerts – preferences)

If you want to narrow the source of your alerts, just select an option from the drop-down menu …

Google Alerts - sources

(Google alert sources)

You can also specify alert delivery times in your settings, and whether these should be sent as a single email …

Google alert settings

(Google alert settings)

All of these settings can be changed anytime.

You should begin receiving alerts as per your preferences …

Receive alerts via email or RSS

(Receive alerts via email or RSS)

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

(Enter a search term in Google News)

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ‘Create Alert’ …

Google News - Create Alert

(Google News – Create Alert)

Enter your email address and click on ‘Create Alert’ …

Google Alerts screen

(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

(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

(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 alert settings

(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

(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

(Click unsubscribe to stop receiving Google Alerts)

Your Google Alert will be cancelled …

Google Alert cancelled

(Google Alert cancelled)

You will no longer receive alert emails on the topic after unsubscribing.

Tip

If you want Google to send our alerts to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email application to automatically send all alerts to one or more email folders. This helps 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 smartphone or mobile device.

Once you have set up alerts, you can monitor information about topics, your business, the competition, etc., or create web content on the latest news and updates in your niche/industry.

How To Display News Items From Google Alerts On Your Site

You can display news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your WordPress 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 republish news items from Google Alerts as a blog post, do the following:

Configure your site to post by email …

Post to WordPress 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

(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

(Receive alerts as an RSS feed)

Next, copy the RSS feed link to your clipboard …

Copy RSS link address

(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

(RSS Widget with Google Alert feed)

Hopefully, you have found this tutorial helpful. If you would like to know more about integrating social media with WordPress, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Social Tracking Tools

Google Alerts - A Step-By-Step Guide

***

"Learning WordPress has been a huge stumbling block for me. I've been looking for something that covers absolutely everything but doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Thank you so much ... you have just provided me with what I have been looking for! Truly appreciated!" - Tanya

***