It’s not often that you come across something that is both free and yet incredibly valuable. If you haven’t heard of Google Alerts before then you’re in for a treat! I’ve put together a crash course on this fantastic feature from Google, We’ll look at what Google Alerts is and what it can do for you, prepare to be impressed!
Google Alerts, What Are They?
Google Alerts is the name given to a free content detection system that sends the user an email alert if it finds new or amended content on the internet including news, blogs, articles and webpages that matches the search terms that they user has set. It’s never really been promoted heavily and unless you’ve stumbled across it or know of someone who uses it then it would easily stay under the radar. I’ve used it for a while now usually when working on clients websites to see who is linking in or mentioning a particular website. I figured that any business regardless of if they have a website or not could make good use of this free tool so I put together this short Google Alerts guide and an accompanying video. Let’s take a look.
Getting Started With Google Alerts
Simply go to www.google.co.uk/alerts (or.com if you’re elsewhere in the world). You’ll see this screen, If you’re already signed into Google then you won’t see the blue sign in button at the top right and instead you’ll see your normal Google account information.
At this point you’re probably better to spend a couple of minutes watching the short video below, it’ll reveal
- How to use Google Alerts find out who links to you
- How to use Google Alerts to get notification when someone is talking about you or your brand
- How to use Google Alerts to discover what your competitors are up to
- How to use Google Alerts generate new business leads in minutes!
A Video Guide To Google Alerts
Some Useful Tips For Google Alerts
I hope after watching the video, you’ve seen how useful this little tool can be! What I didn’t mention during the video was that you can click the options button to set things like frequency of notifications, all or only relevant alerts etc. I’m tempted to say that I assumed that you’d just figure it out, but the reality is I’d forgotten, I’d rushed making the video as I was having to find a gap between noises outside my office window including lawn mowers, low flying jets, ice bucket challenges and so on, I figured making it short and snappy was a good idea just in case Aerosmith decided to set up an impromptu rehearsal on the patio!
- Use quotation marks to group words into phrases, for instance “planning application” will ensure that you only get alerts with that exact phrase.
- Use the minus sign to exclude words from an alert so for instance donuts -jam will only return alerts about donuts but not jam donuts!
- Use the :site modifier to get results from just one website so for instance special offer site:boots.com will only send alerts about special offers from boots.com
Be specific, the more specific you are, the more relevant your alerts will be. If however, you find that you’re simply not getting many alerts then it’s worth going to the settings and in the “how many” section select “all”.
Using Google Alerts To Have Information Removed From Google Search Results
Since a Spanish court ruling in May 2014, Google can now be asked to remove personal information from their search results, don’t get too excited, there are only certain things that Google will remove, such as financial information etc. So, if you do find something in an alert that you think shouldn’t be in the search results then you can contact Google via this page How to request that information is removed from Google index.
How Are You Using Google Alerts?
I’d be really interested in knowing how you use Google alerts, let us know in the comments section, maybe you’ve thought of a novel way to set an alert to look for a job in your area or to find a classic car for sale, the options are endless!