Everyone now uses at least some (if not all) of Google’s products or services and are familiar with all the tools Google offers, but Google Alerts is one of those tools still not used by many.
Launched in 2003, Google Alerts is a free notification service by Google with which you can monitor the Web for interesting new content.
When you set up a Google Alert, you get notified whenever your search term comes across by Google crawlers … so you don’t have to waste your time looking for same things daily.
In this post, we’ll show you how you can create, edit or delete Google Alerts, tips to make your alerts more effective, and finally, the different types of alerts you can have.
So let’s get started…
- 1 Why should you use Google Alerts?
- 2 How to create a Google Alert?
- 3 How to edit a Google Alert?
- 4 How to delete a Google Alert?
- 5 How to Make your Alerts More Effective?
- 6 Types of Google Alerts you can set
- 7 Are Google Alerts accurate?
- 8 MyTweetAlerts
- 9 Frequently Asked Questions about Google Alerts
Why should you use Google Alerts?
Google Alerts, ignored by the many, is very useful for receiving all the latest updates as they happen all around the world.
With the alerts set up, you don’t have to look for the news all the time, and Google Alerts can help you a lot with your research.
You can use the alerts to track what your competitors are doing and to make sure all your marketing campaigns are working fine across different channels.
One other reason to try Google Alerts is that they are completely free with no upsells.
And it only takes a few minutes to set up the alerts — so you might as well try these out.
How to create a Google Alert?
Setting up Google alerts is fairly easy … follow the below steps, and you will have Google notify you of your search terms in no time.
Step 1: Go to google.com/alerts (you will have to log in with your Google account to use this service).
Step 2: Enter a search term you want to track (Example: your name, your company name, your competitors, any particular topic, etc.).
Step 3: Click on “Show Options” and select the frequency based on how you want to receive the alerts. If you need all the alerts as they happen — select real-time, else; once a day or once a week.
Step 4: Select the source for your alerts: automatic, news, blogs, web. Best is to keep on automatic if you’re not sure about the source.
Step 5: Select your language and region (for example: if you want alerts in one particular language or if your brand is present in a few regions only).
Step 6: Select how many results you want to receive — only the best results (as selected by Google) or all the results.
Step 7: Select where you want to receive your alerts: on your email address (same as logged in Gmail account) or to an RSS feed.
Step 8: Finally, hit “Create Alert.”
The alert is created now and you will receive emails as soon as Google finds something related to your search term.
How to edit a Google Alert?
Let’s say you made a mistake while setting up your Google Alert, so instead of deleting the alert and setting it up again, you can edit it.
Step 1: Go to google.com/alerts.
Step 2: Hover over the alert you want to edit and click on the pencil icon next to the alert.
Step 3: Select “Show Options.”
Step 4: Edit the alert and click on “Update” to save all the changes.
That’s it; you’re done!
Now, if you have to delete an alert, follow the below steps…
How to delete a Google Alert?
If you no longer want to receive your alerts or if the results aren’t what you want, you can delete the alerts.
Step 1: Go to google.com/alerts.
Step 2: Hover over the alert you want to remove and click “Delete.”
And your selected alert will be removed.
You can also delete the alert by directly unsubscribing from the alert email.
How to Make your Alerts More Effective?
While Google alerts setup is easy, sorting through hundreds of alert emails to find the useful ones isn’t.
So here are a few tips to make your alerts valuable…
Avoid Generic Keywords
If you have set up alerts for say, Apple or Google, you will naturally receive many irrelevant alerts which will not be useful for you.
So create alerts for specific keywords like “Apple Watch.” With this alert, you will only get information related to the Apple Watch and nothing related to all the other products of Apple.
Using specific keywords will not only save you time, but it will save your inbox also from flooding with hundreds of unnecessary alert emails.
Use Search Operators to Receive Exact Alerts
If you’re not aware of search operators Google support, you can check them here.
You can use quotes to pinpoint the alerts to specific terms such as if you set up an alert for Apple, everything will be included from fruit-related topics to the Apple company.
But with “Apple,” you will only receive specific mentions of Apple company.
You can also use the hyphen (-) operator to exclude the search terms in your alert.
For example, Apple -“Apple Watch”, will exclude all the results that include the Apple Watch related topics.
Use Filters Where Possible
While there are limited options to customize Google Alerts, you can still use a combination of those options to get you the most relevant results.
For example, if you’re looking for only the latest developments on Apple products, you can select the source as “News,” which will filter out all the other generic results.
This will help you keep your inbox clear and focus on the critical alerts only.
Types of Google Alerts you can set
Before you start, it’s better to define what you really want to achieve with the alerts so that you don’t waste your time as, without clear goals, it can be difficult to get value out of this tool.
Here are a few things for which you can set alerts…
Google Alert for your Name
If you have a significant presence on the Internet, and you’re working to increase it further, you can take advantage of Google Alerts easily by setting up alerts for your name.
Google Alert for your Company Name
You can use Google Alerts to know what your users are saying about your company — whether good or bad.
This is really useful for PR companies as they can track the results of their campaigns and what effects they’re having on their audience.
You can track your company name and the domain to get notified whenever someone mentions you or links to you from any blog or article.
Google Alert for your Competitors
If you don’t know what your competitors are doing, you might lose a lot without even knowing.
To keep yourself ahead in the game at all times, you can set up Google Alerts of your competitors and then apply the same or even better strategies as of your competitors to beat them.
Google Alert for News
Google Alerts is best to track all the latest news stories as they happen and reported by publishers all over the world.
You can track the popular topics or the topics which are not reported by the mainstream media such as NGO related articles.
Google Alert for Jobs
You can use Google Alerts to find out all the latest jobs in your location and then apply to those jobs before someone else does.
To track the jobs, you can enter your search term with “company hiring,” select the desired location and then just wait for the job opportunities to pop up in your inbox.
Are Google Alerts accurate?
Google Alerts, being a free service, isn’t very accurate.
It can miss a lot of relevant data mostly when there is not enough search volume for the keyword in the alert.
To make sure you’re receiving all the updates on your alerts, perform a quick Google search on your selected query, change the time to the past week or month, and check if you have received all those alerts or not.
If you’re only receiving only a handful of alerts, change from “only the best results” to “all results,” and that will definitely get you more mentions of your search terms.
If you want to catch all the mentions of your search terms on Twitter — try MyTweetAlerts.
This tool is specifically designed to discover the tweets that are important to you, which are then delivered straight to your inbox.
You can use MyTweetAlerts to create customized Twitter alerts with which you can monitor many things, such as your brand, company, customer feedback, and all the latest news on your selected topics.
Frequently Asked Questions about Google Alerts
What are Google Alerts?
Launched in 2003, Google Alerts is a free notification service by Google that sends emails when it finds relevant results to the search term used by the user.
Google Alerts is very simple to set up and many professionals in marketing, PR, strategy, and competitive intelligence use Google Alerts to track specific keywords such as names of brands, topics, and more!
How many Google Alerts can you have?
You can set up to 1,000 Google alerts with all the Gmail accounts you have, which is enough for most of the users to track different search terms.
How to manage Google Alerts?
You can manage all your alerts on google.com/alerts. Here you can create new alerts, edit the existing ones, and delete the alerts which are no longer useful for you.
How to use Google Alerts to Monitor Twitter?
Google Alerts can source the data only from blogs/news/web so you cannot directly use Google Alerts to monitor Twitter.
But MyTweetAlerts is a tool designed specifically for this purpose. You can use this tool to create and customize your alerts for Twitter and then MyTweetAlerts will send you all the tweets matching your search criteria directly to your inbox.