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.

WordPressAs you read this, billions of transactions are taking place online. New content is constantly being published on blogs, social streams, and news media, and some of that information is related to subjects you are interested in.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a free, simple and easy 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

You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts

(Google Alerts lets you monitor the web for new content)

Google Alerts will email you when your business is mentioned online.

Google Alerts is not only only a great tool for managing your reputation online, but also for automatically sourcing the latest news about people, brands, companies, or any subject 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 site, press release, blog post, news update, a video, tweet, or any other content related to that topic, it will automatically send you an email or RSS update.

How To Set Up A Google Alert

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 loads of free services with one username and password. If you use Gmail, post videos to YouTube, run an Adwords campaign or have a GooglePlus page, then you should already have a Google account set up.

Log into your Google Account to set up your alerts

(Use your Google Account to access dozens of services like Google Alerts)

Useful Info

You can still set up Google Alerts without a 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:

https://www.google.com/alerts

Step 2 – Set Up Your Alerts

Set up alerts for every topic, business, person or website you want to receive updates about. You can track brands, employees, competitors, influencers, investors, celebrities, etc. There is no limit to how many alerts you can set up.

Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts

(Google Alerts lets you set up as many alerts as you like)

Step 3 – Set Up Your Preferences

You can specify the keyword or keywords 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

(Google alert preferences)

To narrow the source of your alerts, just select an option from the drop-down menu …

Google alert sources

(Google Alerts – sources)

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

Google alert settings

(Google alert settings)

All of these settings can be changed anytime.

You should begin receiving alerts as set in your preferences …

Google alerts - email alert

(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

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 from Google after unsubscribing.

Tip

If you choose to receive alerts via email, you can configure rules in your email application to send alerts automatically to one or more folders. This will help 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 you have set up alerts, you can track information about keywords, names, competitors, etc., or start creating content for your business blog in your topic of choice.

How To Repost News Items From Google Alerts On Your WordPress Blog

You can display 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:

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 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

(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 useful. To learn more about using social monitoring tools to improve your business online, see this article: WordPress And Social Media Monitoring

How To Set Up Google Alerts - 3 Simple Steps

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"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)

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