Google’s worst kept secret (still in beta) – Google Alerts, is an excellent way to boost your information gathering and competitor intelligence processes. Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. The interface is as easy as pie so there really is no reason not to use it. You can create up to 1,000 alerts, and you can also set language preferences.


How to use Google Alerts

Go to

Type in the key phrase you wish to monitor then preview to see the type of results that you'll receive. Choose your delivery rate.

 2011 11 01 11501 10 Interesting Ways to Use Google Alerts for Your Business 

You can choose how often you receive alerts. The default is once a day: Google Alerts checks for new results once per day and emails you if it finds new results. So you will only receive one email per day for this alert.

You can easily amend this to "as-it-happens”. Or, should you choose to get less frequent emails, you can change this to "once a week."

Set the number of results you see in each alert

The "volume" setting determines how many results you see in each alert. In the default setting, "Only the best results," Google Alerts tries to filter the results so that they are relevant to your query. If you select "All results," you'll receive all the results that Google Alerts finds for your search terms, without any filtering to remove results which are not very reliable or which are less relevant.

Choose the type or source of your alert

The default alert type is Everything. Everything alerts include results from Google Web Search, Google Blog Search and Google News. Conversely you can select a single alert type.




Google Alert for today



Google Alerts <>


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Based on those
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Deliver to RSS feed

Users with Google Accounts can have their alerts delivered via RSS feed. Simply sign in and choose the "Feed" option in the "Deliver to" field.


"Manage your Alerts" page

Users with Google Accounts can view, create, edit and delete their alerts using the "Manage your Alerts" page. You can create a Google Account for any email address.


Here are 10 interesting ways to use Google Alerts:

·        Monitoring the success of a PR or Marketing Campaign

·        Find out who is talking about you, your business or your brand and what is being said

Find out who is talking about your competitors and what is being said 

Find out what is being said about your clients

·        Keep ahead of Industry News

·        Find out who is linking to you:  Use the site operator  This will give you an idea of the links you have attracted

·        Find out who is linking to your competitors

               Use the same operator above

·        Know each time your site has been indexed

You can set up a Google Alert for:

site: and you will receive notification each    time a page is indexed which will help you identify any indexing issues.

·        Search specific sites

  Use the site operator to search specific sites for your target keywords, eg site: “small businesses”

·        You can also use the site operator and the (-) option to avoid  certain sites, eg:

“Justin Bieber” –site: (just don’t expect any alerts with this one as he is all over Twitter – bless …J)

 Make sure you keep your target key phrases in quotation marks as I have    shown here.



·        Set up folders for your specific alerts

·        Avoid synonyms by using the + sign in front of your chosen keyword


Similar to Google Alerts

I subscribe to Social Oomph’s keyword alert system which is like a Google Alerts for Twitter. You could also try Twilert which provides a similar function. Get email updates of the tweets that contain your brand, product service- or any keyword you choose.

Can you suggest any other ways to use Google Alerts to help your business? Email us


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Ihubbusiness is an information hub for small businesses who wish to learn about internet marketing. The site was founded by Lola Bailey in 2010. Lola is a member of the Institute of Digital Marketing and has over 20 years sales and marketing experience. She is also a full-time copywriter at, a copywriter consultancy which she founded. Email:

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