Never miss a thing thanks to Google Alerts

12 min

Google Alerts – What is it?
Create Google Alerts – How it works
Areas of application of Google Alerts
Three alternatives to Google Alerts

Google Alerts – What is it?

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.

The picture shows you a screenshot of the search mask of Google Alerts. In the bar you can enter what you want to set an alert for.
The search mask of Google Alerts

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.

The image shows you a screenshot of Google Alerts. Here you can see the alert preview for the keyword "eology GmbH" and get insight into the kind of alerts related to your keyword.
Insights into the alert preview

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.

The screenshot shows you an overview of the alerts you have already set. In addition, the functions Settings (yellow), Edit (blue) and Delete alert (red) are marked.
Overview of your set alerts – with the functions edit and delete

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.

The screenshot shows you advanced settings of Google Alerts:
- Display time
- Digest (this setting determines that you will receive notifications for all queries in a collected mail)
Advanced settings of Google 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:

In the screenshot you can see how to edit or update an alert. You have the following options:
- Frequency
- swell
- language
- region
- number
- Send to
Editing a single alert

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.

The screenshot shows you the possibility to customize and refine your alert using search operators.
Setting an alert using search operators

You can use it to pursue different goals:

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:

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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

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 screenshot provides an insight into the Talkwalker Alerts tool - an alternative to Google Alerts. You can see the user interface of the tool including the bar where you can enter the keyword you want to set as an alert.  © Talkwalker
Talkwalker Alerts – an alternative to Google Alerts © Talkwalker

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.

Das Bild zeigt eine Animation der Auswertung von Talkwalker Alerts. Hierbei siehst Du eine Grafik, die anzeigt an welchem Tag, wie viele Ergebnisse zu Deinem Schlagwort gefunden wurden.  © Talkwalker
The evaluation of the mentions, © Talkwalker
In der Animation siehst Du, wie Deine die Ergebnisse Deiner Alerts empfängst. Erwähnungen Deiner Schlagwörter erhältst Du beispielsweise als Mail.  © Talkwalker

The most important mentions at a glance, © Talkwalker


mention, formerly, 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:

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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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