I had coffee with a good friend today, who had no idea Google Alerts existed. So I thought this would be a great post for her, for you, or anyone else who isn’t using this free service to its greatest advantage.
What are Google Alerts?
It is a free notification service that will send you an email anytime Google finds something on line that you want to watch for; like your name “King Kong”, your boss’s name “Micro Manager”, your competition, your kid’s names, etc? If Google finds any page on the internet with content matching what you are watching for, you will receive an email with a link to that page. Google seems to be freaky at finding every page eventually.
Here’s how easy it is:
Input the topic, name or any search terms you want to monitor. Select whether you want Google to monitor everything (comprehensive), or choose to target news, video, blogs, the web or online groups. Then select how frequently you want to receive email updates, and then finally how many links per email you want to see (20 or 50).
Click Create Alert and you are done… sit back and wait! Then depending on how common your search term, it could be minutes, days or months before you receive your first alert.
As an example below, here is a Google Alert landing in my inbox from monitoring my own name online.
Here are a few other great resources, tips, & alternatives:
Google Alerts Help http://www.google.com/support/alerts/?hl=en
Yahoo Alerts http://alerts.yahoo.com/
Windows Live Alerts http://alerts.live.com/Alerts/
Jonathon Fields Blog Post http://www.jonathanfields.com/blog/stalking-or-due-diligence-google-alerts-gone-bad/
How are you using Google Alerts?