As you read this, there are billions of data transactions taking place online. New information is constantly being published on news media, social streams, and websites, and some of that information is related to topics that interest you.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple and easy way to find out what is happening in your niche or industry that could save you a massive amount of time doing research? Well, there is, and it’s called …
(Google Alerts lets you monitor the web for new content)
Google can send you free alerts when your company is mentioned online, so you can keep up to date on social media updates, blogs, and news.
Google Alerts is not only useful for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically receiving information about people, brands, companies, and any subject you are following.
With Google Alerts, you subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s indexing bots 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.
Google Alerts – A Quick 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 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 gives you fewer configuration options (e.g. you can only receive email alerts, not alerts via RSS).
After logging into into your Google Account, access the Google Alerts tool here:
Step 2 – Set Up An Alert
Set up an alert for any topic, business, person or website you want to receive updates about. You can keep track of brands, names of employees, influencers, investors, celebrities, competitors, etc. There are no limits to how many alerts you can set up.
(Google Alerts lets you create as many alerts as you like)
Step 3 – Set Your Preferences And Save
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 where Google sources the information for 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)
You can change these settings anytime.
You will begin receiving alerts as per your preferences …
(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 Searching On 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)
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 stop receiving alert emails on the topic from Google after unsubscribing.
If you want to receive alerts sent to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email program to automatically send all alerts to one or more email 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 access the information on your smartphone or mobile device.
Once you have set up alerts, you can track information about keywords, businesses, competitors, etc., or start creating content for your business blog in your topic of choice.
How To Publish News Items From Google Alerts On Your Site
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 display news items from Google Alerts as a blog post, do the following:
Set up your site to post 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)
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 republish 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 information has been useful. If you would like to know more about using social monitoring tools to improve user engagement, see this article: WordPress And Social Media – Useful Resources For Tracking Social Activities
"These tutorials have so much information and are easy to understand. If you use WordPress or plan to in the future these will help you with everything you need to know." - Valisa (Mesa, Arizona)