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Three Reasons You Need To Use Google Alerts

By Char

google alertsThere are a myriad of tools out there to help you keep up with your favorite topics. In a recent Essential Tools feature, StartUpPrincess Kelly King Anderson recommended Google Alerts as a way to monitor your brand or other topics specific to your niche. I decided to give it a try. Google Alerts now falls into the “why didn’t I try this sooner” category!

If you haven’t started using it yet, here are three reasons you need to start!

1. Getting it set up is so easy.

Go to to get started. Fill in your search terms like you would for any Google search, choose the type of news you wish to receive (news, blogs, web, groups or comprehensive). Select how often you want to receive the alerts, and then enter the email address at which you want to receive them.

Google Alert screen

Once you have created the alert, you will receive emails at the frequency you chose with relevant links.

2. It saves time.

Instead of taking the time to search for information on topics you are interested in, Google does the work for you and delivers it to your inbox at your convenience.

You can monitor your brand, your competitors, hot news stories, and niche topics in a fraction of the time.

You can set up 1000 alerts per email address. I have set up a filter in my inbox to catch all the Google Alerts in one folder so I can go through them at my convenience.

3. Finding new sources.

When I created Google Alerts for one of my niche sites, not only was I able to take advantage of some buzz surrounding a related news item, I also discovered some related sites that I would not have found otherwise.

These new sites provide opportunity for conversation, linking and relationship building! And you just can’t beat that.

Got writer’s block? Google Alerts let you know what is happening in your area of interest – it’s like having your own personal brainstorming team.

Have you tried Google Alerts? What do you think of it? Do you have any tips for making it do even more of your work for you?

Categories : Web Tools



I’ve used Google Alerts too and I think they’re very useful. I like your idea of automatically putting them into a folder, since if they’re in my Inbox, I feel pressure to read them and get them out of there!


I have so many filters set up in my email – it makes things run so much smoother and I can address items based on their priority.


Hi Char,

I haven’t actually tried the alerts yet, but I will do.

I’ve been subscribed to a feed alert for a few relevant terms, such as blog articles containing logo design and graphic design etc.

The logo design term brings back an incredible amount of “logos for $30″ topics so I’ve been meaning to amend it.


I’ve used Alerts now since my first blog (The Blu-ray Shop) went live. There wasn’t much coverage on Blu-ray back then, so I had alerts set up to send me a mail every time something newsworthy went online!

I’ve been using the same technique for GadgetBloke too – as the topic of Windows Vista Gadgets hasn’t reached a decent level yet.


David – I have found the Google Alerts to give me a better range of information – I highly recommend it.

Paul – the alerts are so helpful for niche topics. Have you found any ways to make it even more useful?


Very simple to use and quite effective. Google Alerts also grabs press releases so if someone mentions your company, you, your industry or a specific product or service you care about, you can find out about it pretty quick using Google Alerts as well. Thanks for this fins summary, Char!


I did it, I set one up!


Got another one for ya Char. Now I just started using this so bare with me as I may not be able to explain it very well. (oh love google alerts) Try using google blog search as well with your RSS feed. Type in something you want to be up-to-date with and once the results show up RSS it.

For instance: (I wanted something on a celebrity)
Type in “Katie Holmes” in the subject box and click enter. Many items will pop up. I normally click on hourly or past 12 hours and RSS it from there. Then you can go back and look at the things whenever ya want. (Even when you are offline)


Eliza – thanks for the Google Blog Search tip. I have used it as a search tool, but didn’t think of subscribing to the feed yet.

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