Google Alerts is a free tool from Google that has been around since 2004. They are notifications that you receive by mail when there are new search results for certain terms in search engines. To be able to set these notifications, you need a Google account. Google Alerts are especially interesting if you want to be informed about mentions of your brand or company domain and/or want to stay up to date about a certain topic, because you will receive all updates about the corresponding keyword. For example, you will receive an e-mail whenever there is news in articles or news related to your entered keyword. If you set an alert on your company name, you will be informed whenever you are mentioned somewhere on the web. So you have the possibility to get information about all your desired topics.
Create Google Alerts – This is how it works
To set up alerts, the first step is to visit the Google Alerts page. Here, you can enter the topic or keyword you are interested in.
Keep in mind: You need a Google account to be able to create an alert.
Once you have entered this information, the alert preview is displayed. Here you can see examples of what you can receive as an alert. The alerts are divided into different categories.
Via the button “Create alert” you activate your alert. You then also have some options to refine it. You can do that easily – you will learn how it works in the next paragraph.
Edit or delete alerts
Right next to your saved alert, you will find small pencil and trash can icons. With the pencil, you can make various settings that make your alert even more precise. With the trash can, you can delete alerts that you no longer need. Alternatively, you can delete individual alerts by clicking on “Unsubscribe alert” at the bottom of the email. This works similar to unsubscribing from a newsletter.
If you don’t see these icons, you can click on “Show options”, change what you want to change and then click on “Update alert”. For example, you can use the settings icon to specify more precisely when you want to receive alerts. These settings will be applied to all alerts.
If you want to edit only one alert, you can do it by clicking on the pencil icon. Here you have different setting options like:
Frequency of notifications
At most once a day
Once a week at the most
Origin of the individual Google sources
Automatic: Shows you the best results regardless of the source.
News: You will receive a notification when a news item related to your keyword appears on a news portal like WELT or FAZ.net.
Blog: Shows you news about your keyword that are published on blogs.
Web: With this setting, all events on the whole internet will be searched.
Video: This will only give you notifications about videos.
Books: Only gives you search results that appear in newly published books. Since these are often not made available virtually in their entirety, you will receive fewer notifications about them.
Discussion: Shows you results from forums and communities on the internet.
Finances: Provides you with search results from the financial world and financial portals.
Search language in which the news appears
Region or country in which the news appears.
Number of notifications (All events or only the most relevant ones)
Change to which e-mail the notifications should be sent to
If your alert consists of two or more keywords, you can join them by using quotation marks. This search operator ensures that you only get results that really contain all the words you want. You will then receive notifications only for results that were returned in exactly this combination. For example, if you set “eology GmbH search engine marketing” in quotation marks as an alert, you will only receive results in which your keyword is mentioned in exactly this order and context.
Additional function for refining alerts
Using the „site:” search operator, you can refine your alerts and set them for specific pages.
You can use it to pursue different goals:
Track mentions of your own company Using the search operator: “company name” -site:companydomain.com
Monitor competition Using the search operator: “competitor’s company name”-site:competitordomain.com
Detect mentions by name in guest articles or interviews Using the search operator: “first and last name” + business unit -site:companydomain.com
Locate target sites for guest posts Using the search operator: site: .domain extension “become an author” subject area
Identify links to spam pages Using the search operator: site:companydomain.com viagra OR online casino OR diet pills OR other spam pages
It is important to make sure that you write -site: to exclude either your own domain or those of your competitors from the search.
Applications of Google Alerts
Google Alerts are really versatile. You can therefore use the alerts for a wide variety of purposes.
Google Alerts as an information tool
First and foremost, of course, you can use the alerts to inform you about various topics or new web content. This way, you are always up-to-date and can adapt your own website content according to the trends. This helps you to have exactly the content on your site that users are asking for or that is current and relevant. You can also use the tool to feed not only your content, but also yourself with news. This helps you to keep up to date with the current state of affairs on various topics.
Google Alerts as an analysis tool
Through Google Alerts you can learn what customers really want, what they are talking about and what they are looking for. It is the perfect analysis tool and helps you to get more insights about your target group. Additionally, you can take a closer look at the behavior of your competitors. What content are they publishing right now? What are they focusing on? Where are they mentioned? Take a closer look at your rivals.
Google Alerts as a monitoring tool
If you use Google Alerts as a monitoring tool, you can observe different topics over a longer period of time. In this way, you can track how topics develop and which trends emerge that you should take into account for your own company. The following questions may be interesting for you:
What is the majority interested in?
How are the trends developing?
How can I react to them?
You can also monitor how your company is received on the internet. For this, you should set up alerts with your own company name and domain and observe how and where you are mentioned.
Google Alerts as a link building tool
In link building Google Alerts is a very welcome and helpful tool. It is often difficult to find webmasters who are interested in linking to your content. Frequently, relationship building comes before link building! So it is hard work and a long way until a backlink is created. There are several ways Google Alerts can be very useful here:
Sometimes it happens that you and your business are mentioned by webmasters without them putting a link. Here it is a relatively simple and very promising possibility to approach the webmaster and ask him to set a link.
You are looking for new pages that are thematically relevant and on which the placement of a link would make sense. Set up alerts and approach webmasters whose pages are relevant.
With these two methods, you have a common denominator through which you can approach the webmaster. This will increase your chances of successful link building.
Google Alerts as a keyword and content tool
Through the notifications of Google Alerts, you can also discover new relevant topics that may be important for your website. This way, you can expand your editorial plan. Additionally, it is a helpful tool for keyword research. Hereby you can find out which keywords are significant for a certain topic and include them in your keyword set.
Google Alerts as a brand and reputation management tool
Google Alerts is an excellent tool to see what the current mood on the web is towards your company. To do this, you set an alert on your company name and check in which context you and your company are mentioned online. This gives you direct feedback on your current campaigns and allows you to see the reactions of your users based on the mentions. You can evaluate these and respond to them in more detail. In addition, the mentions are helpful in terms of your reputation management. You can respond to the feedback given and use it as a good basis for your PR. In addition, you can see where your site has optimization potential and can exploit it.
Google Alerts as a benchmark tool
Just as you can monitor your own business and brand name, you can monitor your competitors. This helps you to create a benchmark analysis. For example, you can find out where your competitors are mentioned and what these pages say about your competitors. You also get information about new publications and in which formats they were published. In addition, you can also see how users and customers feel about your competitors.
Three alternatives to Google Alerts
Talkwalker Alerts is a free alternative to Google Alerts. The tool works similarly to Google’s and notifies you of changes and mentions to the keywords you enter.
The tool evaluates various sources and detects mentions of the keywords in blogs, on websites, in forums and even on Twitter. After that, everything is sent to you by mail.
mention, formerly Alert.io, also searches the web for all mentions of your keywords. With this you can monitor your own company, your campaigns, competitors and the entire industry. However, mention is a paid tool.
The Mediatoolkit works similar to the competitor tools. The whole thing happens in real time, but the tool is also paid. With the help of this tool, you can see mentions almost everywhere on the web:
On classic websites
All in all, Google Alerts is a helpful tool to make sure that you don’t miss any news that is interesting for you. Moreover, it has many other uses and can support you in many areas. For example, you can also use it in SEO OffPage Optimization by using it as a link building tool.
What are Google Alerts?
Google Alerts are notifications that you receive in the form of emails when there are new search results for certain terms that you have previously set to watch. The tool detects content changes and new content.
How do you create a Google Alert?
Setting up a Google Alert is quite simple. You go to the Google Alerts page and enter the topic or keyword you are interested in in the search mask. Then click on the “Create Alert” button, and you’re done. To set up Google Alerts, you need a Google Account.
Where do you find your Google Alerts?
When you open the Google Alerts page, you will see all your alerts in the “My Alerts” field directly below the search bar.
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