What Is Google Alerts & How to Use it Right (Guide w/ Tips)

What Is Google Alerts & How to Use it Right (Guide w/ Tips)

Have you been searching a lot about what is google alerts, the best ways to use them, and

Have you been searching a lot about what is google alerts, the best ways to use them, and their advantages? Well, look no more, because in this article we have everything you’ve been searching for.

We understand that reputation management and social media presence are highly important in the digital world and google alerts are known for their contribution to the field, so we gathered all the necessary information to help you get acquainted with how google alerts work.

What is Google Alerts?

Google Alerts is a content detection and notification free tool, offered by Google, that drops email alerts to subscribers, to sum up, the activity around search terms and presents new results. Users can set daily, weekly, or monthly notifications. 

The service is beneficial for every business, as it generates information about the brand. More precisely a user can get alerts whenever their company or product name is mentioned, or every time someone leaves a comment about your current or new products or services. You can also monitor and organize mentions of company executives, as it affects the reputation of the organization.

google alerts logo

Simultaneously, the algorithm helps you stay on top of your customers’ activities while keeping an eye on your competitors and discovering influencers. Staying up to date with everything related to your industry is the most efficient way to evolve your niche. Google Alerts can easily be overwhelmed with irrelevant information if the search criteria are too extensive, so don’t overlook the methods that will help you filter out the noise from your search results, for example, specific words, exact phrases, negative keywords, and specific site searching.

So, google alerts affect the business world in various ways, as it grants information and insights about companies, products, competitors, executives, and influencers, and helps you stay up to date about industry developments and technologies.

How does Google Alerts work?

To create a google alert you need to go to google alerts and introduce a topic you want to follow in the search box. To change your settings, click Show options and then customize the notifications you receive in terms of frequency, sources, language, region, and more. You can also choose the number of results you want to receive and what accounts get the alert. Then press “create alert” and you’ll receive your emails whenever search results that match appear. There are the “only the best results” and “all results” filters; the first only generates the most popular search results while the second one has a wider result range.

P.S You can always edit and delete an alert.

6 Ways to Use Google Alerts

It’s time to check the six most common use cases for google alerts that will boost your brand monitoring game.

ways to use google alerts

1. Tracking brand mentions

Tracking mentions concerning your brand is highly beneficial, as you can gain useful insights about what is being said about your brand online. Media monitoring and tracking allow you to receive feedback, and objective insight and take advantage of reputation management opportunities. Protecting your online presence is more than necessary in the digital world where everyone trusts online recommendations, comments, and reviews in real-time.

Understanding the way others interact with your products or services is crucial for your business. Online conversations can help you monitor your competitors’ actions, find influencers and lead on social media, while sentiment analysis allows you to understand how your customers feel and resolve any issue, misunderstanding, or potential crisis.

2. Following media coverage

Media coverage is everything that has to do with broadcasting on television, newspapers, and the radio. Why is it important? Well, media coverage communicates your message to a wider audience and helps boost your business’s credibility while making your activities stand out. It is a powerful monitoring tool, as it can help you get people’s attention around your brand and at the same time create an emotional connection with them. Media coverage is all about enhancing your credibility and expertise as a company and creating a strong bond with your audience, which results in customer loyalty and trust. This will be extremely useful in case you receive negative publicity.

3. Keeping up with research

Keeping up with research enables you to stay up to date about developments, google news, trends, and leads, and identify growth opportunities for your brand. Research is important as it allows you to expand your knowledge, get access to the latest information on your field, build up your credibility, narrow your scope in case you’re not sure where to start, and get better at distinguishing between low-quality and high-quality information. On that note, you can discover new topics and ideas, be more curious, reach out to a wider audience, and get better at problem-solving. No matter the type of business you run, you should never forget to research if you want to stand out from your competitors.

4. Managing brand reputation

Your brand reputation is the perception your customers have about your business. The stronger your reputation the better for your brand, as more people will trust and advocate for you. Managing your online reputation means being aware of public perception and using it in a way that benefits you and that means having to deal with feedback, addressing comments in public, allowing stakeholders to post about their experiences, and engaging with your audience.

Gaining your customer’s trust should be your goal, as your customer can spread awareness about your brand and its products or services. Word of mouth communication is a tool with many possibilities; you should be aware of them and use them for enhancing your online reputation.

5. Tracking competitors

Of course, tracking your competitors’ actions is part of this list. Keeping an eye on competition helps you comprehend better your competitive advantages and disadvantages over others. Understanding your competitors’ plans and actions allows you to receive valuable information about what can make you stand out from them and avoid mistakes or decisions that can be proven harmful to your brand. Identifying what they managed poorly gives you a heads up on minimizing failures. In addition, paying attention to what your competitors do motivates you to constantly improve your strategies, find leads, stay up to date, and be prepared for potential crises.

6. Keeping an eye on SEO

SEO makes your business more visible online. So, the more people find you online, and the more your traffic increases, the more chances you have to be discovered online. SEO is about quality and quantity; that means building trust with your customers and attracting more clients. The more you gain their trust, the better the SEO and UX of your digital marketing. Over time your business will keep growing and so you will optimize your digital marketing strategy and business altogether. Ranking on search engine results will happen organically over time as you invest more and more in SEO.

8 Types of Google Alerts You Can Create

Now, it’s time to check the types of google alerts you can create. Keep in mind that these 8 types are in fact sources. So, for example, when selecting blogs, you will receive notifications when your search term is used in blog posts.

alert settings

1. Automatic Google Alerts

This type of google alert generates a wide range of results automatically and it covers a variety of topics.

2. News Google Alerts

News alerts send email alerts to users about content changes on the web. It monitors web pages, news articles, blog posts, and updated scientific research.

3. Blogs Google Alerts

Blogs alerts keep you up to date about the latest blog posts and articles. Every time there is a new blog release the system will send you a notification.

4. Web Google Alerts

Web alerts can help you keep an eye on and monitor websites and detect website changes based on your preferences and the keywords you inserted. You’ll receive instant notifications about everything on the web.

5. Video Google Alerts

Video alerts will keep you posted about video content related to your brand industry and based on the keywords you chose.

6. Books Google Alerts

Book alerts are perfect for authors, but others as well, as they immediately deliver value. You can gain insights about other authors and book titles, and events, and get inspiration and ideas about your next moves.

7. Discussions Google Alerts

Discussions are everywhere on the web and social media, so being aware of what is being said and what your audience wants to talk about either about your brand or in general is a definite advantage you should benefit from.

8. Finance Google Alerts

Lastly, you can set up finance alerts. These alerts will keep you informed about stocks, prices, financial news and accounts, and everything related to the business world in terms of finance.

How to Set Up Google Alerts in 3 Simple Steps (with or without a Gmail Account)

So, after checking possible ways to use google alerts and the types of google alerts you can create, we move into how to step up your Google Alerts. It takes 3 simple steps, no matter if you have a google account or not.

1. Create an alert

You’ll receive email notifications when new results come up in google search, apps, and forums. For instance, you can get insights and information concerning products, news, or mentions about your brand name.

How to create an alert with a Gmail Account

  • Visit the google alerts site
  • Enter in the search box the topic you want to receive notifications about
  • If you want to modify your settings, click show options
  • Then click create an alert  set a google alert

How to create an alert without a Gmail Account

  • Visit myaccount.google.com and log in.
  • Click on the Personal Info option
  • Select the Email option
  • Now Select the Alternate Email option and type your email choose on the personal info boxcontact infoalternate email

2. Edit or disable an alert

If you want to edit an alert:

  • Go to google alerts.
  • Click edit right next to the alert you want
  • If you don’t see anything, click show options
  • Make your changes
  • Choose update alert
  • To change the way you receive alerts, click on settings and then check your options and press save

edit an alert

update an alert

If you want to turn off an alert:

  • Click news settings
  • Then click on notifications, which is under “alerts”. To get notifications, turn on get notifications
  • To stop all notifications, turn off get notifications

3. Delete an alert

  • Go to google alerts
  • Click delete on the alert you wish to delete
  • Optional: You can also delete an alert by pressing unsubscribe at the end of an alert email

delete an alert

3 Tips on Taking Your Google Alerts to the Next Level

It’s important to do your best when it comes to improving your alerts and generating the results you want. So, let us guide you through these 3 tips that will take your google alerts to the next level.

Tip #1: Cover search query variations and common misspellings of your search term

Even though Google gets better and better at identifying misspelled words, it doesn’t always identify mistakes. That’s why it’s important to include the most common misspellings of your search when setting up an alert; doing that will allow you to get more comprehensive results. According to google, spelling is still a challenge in terms of typing the right keyword, as many words are being misspelled, so new words are constantly being introduced. So, the real question is how to optimize misspelled words? Well, the first step is to do keyword research, before optimizing your website.

Try the following steps:

  • Search your website record to find out how to use misspell your brand or products
  • Check the misspelling lists
  • Try yourself to misspell the word
  • Use a typo generator

Tip #2: Make use of Google’s search operators to narrow your results

Commands help you specify your search results and as there are different types of Google search operators, each of them can have an impact on your google alert results. For example:

  • Quotation marks (“word”): Using quotes in your keywords will allow you to track down results that are exactly matching results, unlike the broad results you will get by doing a standard search
  • The minus symbol (-): It’s an exclusion symbol that helps you remove words that you don’t want to find while searching online
  • Plus symbol (+): Using this symbol allows you to include words that you wish to find in your search results
  • Asterisk (*): Use a wildcard as a space that could be filled with anything
  • Site: If you want more results derived from a specific website, this command will generate those results
  • Related: If you want results that have more than several websites with similar content to another site, you can use the word related
  • Info: This word will allow you to detect information related to the field you want results from. This word makes it easy for you to identify pages with the domain text on the page, resembling on-site pages, and the website’s stock

Tip #3: Deliver your notifications to an RSS feed or use Google Inbox to avoid jamming 

Connect your notifications to an RSS feed or the google inbox to avoid email notifications from google alerts. Instead, set up your notifications as an RSS feed means having them all in one place. How to do that?

  • Go to your alerts home page
  • Click on the pencil icon to edit your alert
  • From the dropdown next to “Deliver To,” select “RSS Feed” and then click the “Update Alert” button

Adding Google Alerts to an RSS feed allows you to view customized google alerts from a source you chose to stay informed about the latest news and content. This is the best way to use google alerts to avoid jamming your email inbox.

Now Over to You

Google alerts are a handful when it comes to monitoring a brand’s social media presence and managing its online reputation. Now, you have everything you need to set up your account, use them appropriately, and make the most out of them.

If you wish to learn more about how google alerts work and what is their relationship with artificial intelligence you can have a look at our article on How to use Google Alerts and Artificial Intelligence to Monitor Social Media Presence. Keep in mind that social media presence is the key to a successful brand marketing strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is Google Alerts used for?

Google Alerts are used for:

  • Content and notification change detection
  • Online reputation management
  • Scientific research

Q2. What can Google Alerts do?

Google alerts send email notifications to users that summarize the search activity around search terms.

Q3. Where do Google Alerts show up?

Google Alerts show up in your email inbox, RSS feed, or Google inbox.

Q4. What is better than Google Alerts?

The best Google Alerts alternatives include:

  • Mentionlytics
  • Birdeye
  • Sprout Social
  • Brandwatch
Vasiliki Kati

About Vasiliki Kati

An enthusiastic person who loves working in international teams. Vasiliki is a junior content writer at Mentionlytics, passionate about marketing communications and languages.