As you read this, billions of social interactions are taking place online. New information is constantly being published on social streams, news media, and blogs, and some of that information is related to topics you are interested in.
Is there a free, simple and easy way to find out what is going on in your niche or industry that can save you a massive amount of time doing research? Yes, there is. It’s called …
(You can monitor the web for new content with Google Alerts)
Google Alerts is one of the simplest and most useful tools available online for keeping up-to-date with news about all kinds of topics, staying informed about people, brands and companies, and monitoring what other people are posting about you and your business online. Google Alerts is also free.
Google Alerts is not only only a great social media monitoring tool for helping you manage your reputation online, but also for automatically gathering news about people, brands, companies, or any topic you want to know about.
With Google Alerts, you just subscribe to a keyword or topic and you’re done. Whenever Google’s robots (Googlebot) crawl a new web page, news update, press release, blog post, a video, tweet, 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 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 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 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 a Google Account, but this will give you fewer 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 by entering the following URL into your web browser:
Step 2 – Set Up Your Alerts
Set up alerts for every topic, business, person or website you want to track. You can keep track of brands, employees, investors, influencers, competitors, celebrities, etc. There is no limit to the number of alerts you can set up.
(Create as many alerts as you like with Google Alerts)
Step 3 – Set Your Preferences & Save
Google Alerts lets you specify the keyword(s) 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)
To narrow the source of your alerts, just select an option 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 in a single email …
(Google alert settings)
You can change these settings anytime.
You should begin receiving alerts as set in 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)
Enter 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.
Deleting Google Alerts
You can stop receiving alerts by deleting them from your account …
(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 Google to send our alerts to your inbox via email, you can configure rules in your email program to send alerts automatically to one or more folders. This will help keep your alerts organized and easier to track and sort through.
If your alerts are sent out via RSS feed, you can use a feed reader to access the information on your smart phone or mobile device.
Once you have set up your alerts, you can track information about topics, businesses, the competition, etc., or start creating content in your chosen topic.
How To Display News Items From Google Alerts On Your Website
You can repost news items directly from Google Alerts on your WordPress your WordPress 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 repost 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 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, you have found this tutorial helpful. To learn more about using social media management tools, see this article: 25+ Media Tracking Tools That Can Help Grow Your Business Online
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