In the past, we’ve told you about notification services that monitor your online presence and which ones are good for what. As previously noted, however, Google reigns supreme in nearly every aspect of the internet, and online notifications is no exception.
You might have heard someone say that they have a Google Alert on their name, blog name, niche topic or even their competitors.
This fantastic tool isn’t as well-known as it should be, however, and many bloggers are missing out on the perfect way to monitor their brand image or make sure they don’t miss out on news updates pertaining to their industry, such as fashion blogging or blogging as a business.
All you need to do is use your (likely already existing) Google account to add an alert, and you’re set. Here are 3 ridiculously easy steps to create a Google Alert in less than 30 seconds:
3 Easy Steps to Create a Google Alert
1. Go to www.google.com/alerts. On the page, you will see a big search bar. Type in the name of the brand, event, person, etc. that you are looking to keep tabs on. For our example, I’ve used “Blogger Babes”.
2. Below the search bar, there’s a clickable blue text that reads “Show options.” Click that, and you will be given six options for your alert.
- How often: This depends on how much time you can give, and how many alerts you think there would even be for this search term, to looking through the alerts. You have the options of ‘as-it-happens,’ ‘at most once a day,’ and ‘at most once a week’. Keep in mind that this won’t mean that you will definitely get an alert once a day or once a week; if there’s nothing on Google, you won’t get any alerts.
- Sources: This option is specify what kind of Google results you want to be alerted about. If you’re doing this for your own blog or name, ‘Automatic’ is best, as you want to know what people are saying about you, no matter where. But if you only want alerts for, say, video tutorials of Urban Decay palettes, your search term would be “Urban Decay palette tutorial” and you would select ‘Videos’ under Sources. Other options include ‘Blogs’, ‘News’, ‘Web’, ‘Books’, ‘Discussions’, and ‘Finance’.
- Language: Most likely you’ll keep this on English, but perhaps you’re looking to monitor a region-specific topic. It may help to set up an alert in that region’s language (if you know the language, of course!) to get more local in-depth results.
- Region: This goes hand-in-hand with language, but of course, many regions may share a language. This will help you get more specific on what country you want results from.
- How many: Again, this depends on how many Google results you expect there to be on this topic. If it’s your own blog, you may want to select ‘All results’, but if it’s a popular topic like “Coach bags” or “winter dessert recipes”, ‘Only the best results’ might be a good idea.
- Deliver to: Choose whether you want your alerts sent to your Gmail account or if you want an RSS feed. If you choose the latter, a button will appear next to the Alert that looks kind of like a Wi-fi symbol. Click that, and you’ll have your RSS feed.
3. Click “CREATE ALERT”, and you’re all set! Your Alerts will be listed below the Search bar. Repeat for anything else you want to keep track of.
Have you been using Google Alerts? If so, what for? Have you found it cumbersome or useful? Tell us your experiences and how Google Alerts has helped you with your blogging and branding in the comments below!