Blogging, Tutorials

Why Google Alert is Important and How to Create Alerts

Google has many web services today apart from its largest service and business search engine. The search giant has made life incredibly easier by taking a lot of desktop apps on the cloud making it accessible from anywhere in the world. Google Docs, Google Reader, etc are just a few examples of Google services that have made life a whole lot easier. Today, I’m going to focus on yet another Google product that’s often overlooked despite being very useful for many purposes.

As you can already guess, we’re talking about Google Alerts. A service Google has for its Search results. Google Alert is simply a service that alerts you whenever something new in the specific keyword is indexed. For example, if you’re interested about Bermuda Triangle and want to know everything that’s new about it, you can simply create an alert for the keyword “Bermuda Triangle” and Google will let you know whenever it finds new information about Bermuda Triangle on the web. No need to constantly search for new stuff on the web.

How is it useful?

Truly speaking, that example doesn’t sound too promising. However, there are situations when Google Alerts come in very handy. I’ve demonstrated two such situations when you might want to take advantage of Google Alerts.

  • For News Sources: Imagine you have a website regarding news or you simply have interest in a current affair (like Occupy Wall Street or Earthquake in Japan). You can create a temporary alert on Google using that keyword. That way, whenever any news website adds an article regarding that issue, you’ll be notified. Your pressure to search the web will be reduced significantly this way. In a word, you can monitor any developing story right from your inbox.
  • For Bloggers and Writers: What’s the best way to get alerted whenever someone else has copied your article, used your name and published on another site without your permission? In other way round, what if someone uses your name and publishes something that wasn’t written by yours? Don’t ask why someone would do that, because if you have got credibility, your name has a value. People might want to use your name to convince their readers that the piece was written by you. What’s the best possible way to get alerted whenever something like this happens?

My guess is, you don’t know; and my solution is, Google Alerts. You can use your name as keyword; create a new Google Alert so that whenever any new content with your name on it appears on the web, you will get notified. In this short tutorial, we’ll show you exactly how to do that. Follow us, it’s very easy.

Creating an Alert

Go to Google Alerts. You will see a page similar to the screenshot below.

In the first box, titled Search Query, you need to type in the keyword that you want to be notified about. The next pull-down menu lets you set what type of result you want to be notified about. There are Book, Blogs, Video, Discussions and News to select from. Choose Everything (default) to be notified about all of them.

Next up is how often you want to be notified about. Once a day is the best option to choose. However, if you’re comfortable and sure enough that your inbox won’t be flooded, you can set As-it-happens to be notified instantly. There is another option to receive alerts once per week.

Under that is How many results you want to be notified about. There are two options to choose from: All Results and Only the best results. Under that pull-down menu, you will have to enter your email address so that Google Alerts can send you notification as soon as something new is up on the web.

Sit Back

Really. You just sit back and enjoy your food. Whenever something is up, Google Alerts will send you a notification as new stuff is found on the Internet. For example, I set an alert using my name and I received the following notification as soon as my new article in an English Daily Newspaper went up last Tuesday.

Sounds fun, right? Give Google Alerts a try. Even industry experts use Google Alerts to keep up with trends and stories on specific topics of interest.

Just so you know, you can create as many alerts as you want and you can manage or delete alerts anytime later.