Google Alerts is one of the most powerful tools on the web, and it’s completely free. This is one of those things that are too good to be true, which are actually true. If you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the industry – or if you are a small business owner looking to track your company’s mentions on the Internet – Google Alerts are one of the easiest ways to do this. P>
To get the most out of Google Alerts, you need to know exactly why you are using this tool. Signing up for alerts for no specific reason can literally overwhelm you. Google sends out alerts once a day, once a week, or “as needed.” Choosing the latter option can result in dozens of emails a day, especially if the topic you are interested in is popular and covered by many media outlets.
This article will teach you everything you need to know to become an expert on Google Alerts – and get just what you want from them.
Learn about and use operators
Learn and use operators
You can use the Google search operators inside Google Alerts to refine and narrow your results. If you find yourself getting a lot of irrelevant hits, add a few operators to narrow down and refine the results.
Here are a few of the more common operators, but more comprehensive ones can be found here:
- Search social media by adding @ in front of the word.
- Find the exact phrase by enclosing the keyword in quotation marks.
- Combine separate searches by placing OR between words.
- Search a specific site using the site: keyword.
- Search sites using site: name + intitle: keyword.
- Search for a specific file type using filetype: type.
Think of Google Alerts as an automatic Google search that runs continuously. Search operators work the same way as if you were manually searching. The more accurate your search, the more likely you are to find the results you want.
Combine operators to further refine your search results. For example, if you want to create an alert for articles about smart home technology or video games in Online Tech Tips, you should use the following terms:
Take advantage of various Google Alerts tools to create accurate and effective alerts.
Don’t be afraid of trial and error
Don’t be afraid of trial and error
If a particular warning doesn’t work, don’t be afraid to remove it from your account and try another. Finding keywords that will bring results can take several tries, especially if you’re not entirely sure which ones to use.
For example, someone who wanted to keep abreast of trends regarding devices in the Google Home series might find better results using “Google Assistant” as a keyword. If they want both searches, they can set an alert for “Google Home OR Google Assistant” as shown in the screenshot below.
Explore different alert options
Learn about the different options for your alerts
Google provides users with several different custom alert options.
- You can receive alerts once a day, once a week, or as soon as they appear. Choosing the latter option means you will receive an email every time a result matches your search criteria. Unless you’re looking for something urgent, once a day is usually best.
- The next option is sources. You can get results from news, blogs, or the Internet. You can also narrow your results based on videos, books, discussions, or financial topics. If you’re not choosy about where the results come from, leave it set to Automatic.
- Language selection is self-explanatory. If you leave it in English, only English results will be returned, but if you are bilingual and search for results for keywords in another language, there are many options.
- Region allows you to narrow your results by country. Unfortunately, it doesn’t let you filter the results by state, although that would be an incredibly powerful option.
- How much does an auto-sort tool cost that filters keywords by relevance. You can choose to get only the best results or all the results.
- Finally, the shipping option allows you to choose whether to receive your Google alerts to your email address (as I did above) or to an RSS feed.
Search for relevant specific keywords for best results
Search for specific, relevant keywords to get the best results
While keyword needs vary greatly from user to user (and no one can tell you exactly what to look for as needs change depending on context), there are a few keywords that all Google Alerts users should follow.
Watch your name first. If you have a common name, this may not be as effective, but if you have an unusual name, using that as your alert keyword will help you keep track of any mentions that appear on the Internet. This is a great way to monitor your online reputation. If you’re a content creator, tracking your name mentions helps you track the reach of your content.
If you’re a business owner, look for mentions of your brand. Your SEO tools can help you track backlinks, but unrelated mentions provide an opportunity for more links to your site.
Manage your email
Take control of your emails
One final note before closing – you will receive a lot of Google Alerts This is part of him. Even if you set up to send email once a day, you will receive one email for each alert you set up. It can quickly overwhelm even the most diligent person.
To combat this, set up a filter in your email client Filter out all emails coming from Google Alerts and direct them to a separate folder. This will keep your inbox from unnecessary clutter (at least your alerts) so you can quickly find important emails. Just be sure to check your Google Alerts folder.
Google Alerts are as helpful as you make them. With the right understanding and know-how, it can dramatically change the way you follow information, improve your business, and more.