How to Create Google Alerts and Monitor the Web for New Contents

Google Alerts are a notification service that is offered for free by Google and sends email messages to subscribers, summarizing the search activity around certain search keywords or terms. This service was launched in 2003 with the aim of helping you monitor contents on the Web that capture your interest and attention.

Google Alerts are a powerful tool: That they are one of the best ways to stay updated on current and trendy happenings online, is unassailable.  The tool leverages Google’s ever-prying eyes, which can see the majority of the stuff that is circulating online, to help you monitor the Web for interesting content.

So, if you want to always be in the know about the latest trend in your niche or industry or are planning to know when the premiere date of your favorite blockbuster movie will be out, Google Alerts are always at your service. You can also monitor reactions to your enterprise on the Internet with the aid of Google Alerts.

How Do Google Alerts Work?

The way this content change detection and notification service works is quite straightforward. Once you set a keyword, Google Alerts will run an algorithm of this keyword on the internet after which it will send you email messages at a specific frequency. You are the one to determine how often those emails will come in, which could be daily, weekly, or monthly.

Google Alerts primarily collates mentions that are sourced from leading news websites and blogs, which are related to your keyword. To get more accurate results, it is safer that you try optimizing your keywords, correctly. And the best part is, this service is 100% free so you won’t incur any charges as you use it.

Do Google Alerts Come with Any Limitations?

Whenever we come across free things, a question often pops up in our mind: Are there any limitations? And the answer, in this case, is — yes, Google Alerts has some limitations. They are summarized below:

  • Number of alerts: We are only talking about this here due to the definition of the word, “limited”. A single user is allowed to set up to 1000 alerts per email address via this service. You can’t really exhaust them all. So, this service isn’t technically limited. Even if you find that 1000 alerts are not enough for your needs, you can also set alerts on your other email addresses, too.
  • There are no analytics reports
  • There are also no social media results

Before we expound the steps, you need to take set up Google Alerts, let’s briefly discuss what your business by using with this great tool.

Ways You Can Get Maximum Benefits of Google Alerts for Your Business

Here are some tips on how you can fully leverage this powerful tool to monitor the online presence of your enterprise:

Newly Indexed Web Content

As every marketer that knows their onions understands, the best means to get found in organic search is using online content creation through inbound marketing. For this reason, you need to set up alerts to stay updated about when your newly published content gets indexed by the search bots of Google. This can be done by tracking the name of your company, the URL of your page, or the title of your blog post.

When you track the title of the blog article, you will find it easy to monitor if other websites re-publish your web content. Once you get an alert, make sure that you check you are receiving proper credit and that they have linked to your original blog post. You will miss out on SEO value without a link.

Tracking Backlinks to Your Site

Google Alerts will equally send you a notification when another website links to your webpage. Link building is a particularly crucial aspect of businesses with blogs since you would want to know those websites that are linking to your content, that are helping to drive traffic to your website.

Tracking Company Mentions

One of the easiest strategies for monitoring online mentions of your business in real time is through Google Alerts. You will get notified by email immediately the search bots of Google index your content. Apart from mentions in online articles and blog posts, you will also receive a notification of mentions in conversations on social media networks.

Monitoring Product Mentions

This is similar to tracking mentions of your company. It is a smart idea also to track specific names or categories of your products. Due to the fact that they are free, you can go ahead and set up as many alerts as you want. But you shouldn’t forget to consider how often you would like to get these alerts so as to avoid overburdening your mail inbox.

Steps to Set Up Your Google Alerts

The concluding part of this guide, we will now show you how to set your alerts:

setting up google alerts keywords
  1. Head to google.com/alerts. As you are taking this step, make sure that you are logged in with your Gmail account, which you want to receive the alerts on.
  2. Choose your keywords. You should try to optimize your keywords as much as possible. In order words, ensure that you make them specific and unique. For instance, selecting the keyword, “Samsung”, means that more emails will come in than another related keyword like “next Android smartphone release”. And you might find the excessive emails disturbing.
  3. Set your preferred alert frequency. You will now select “show options” below the search portal. After this, the next thing is to specify how often you would like to receive Google Alerts.
  4. Choose your sources. After the dialogue box named “How often”, you will see another one with the tag, “Sources”. Here, options like Automatic, news, blogs, books, video, web, books, finance, and discussion will come up. Now choose your preferred source using your discretion.
  5. Pick your preferred language.
  6. Choose your region.
  7. Specify your kind of results. You will see this section in the dialogue box, “How many.” You can pick your choice between showing “only the best results” or “all results”.
  8. Enter your delivery email address. Here, you will input the email to which the alerts will be delivered.
  9. Create Your Alert. The last step is, creating an alert by clicking the option for it.
how to create Google alerts

That is all!

Following the outlined tips above, you will find that setting up Google Alerts is quite straightforward. You can now start monitoring the web for new content to reap the benefits we mentioned above and lots more.  

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Posted by Deji

Deji is a freelance writer and Physics graduate from the University of Ibadan. Passionate and meticulous, he is a keen follower of developments around the world on a number of issues ranging from science, tech, history, politics, among others. Deji loves playing football and meeting people. Please, follow on Twitter and Facebook

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