What Are Google Alerts?

If you've not heard of Google Alerts, then I recommend you have a bit of an experiment with them today.

Simply put (by Google themselves): "Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

* monitoring a developing news story
* keeping current on a competitor or industry
* getting the latest on a celebrity or event
* keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams

You can start creating some Google Alerts here google.com/alerts

Google Alerts are brilliant for keeping up to date with the various things – your business, competitors, keyphrases etc. Basically you tell Google that on a daily, weekly or 'as it happens' basis, they will send you a list of all the new entries for a particular term. So for example you can create one (all of ours are set to 'weekly' otherwise you get inundated with alerts!), For "Marketing Agency" and it will send you a list of links of where the words "Marketing Agency" has cropped up online that week.

They're also a great way of keeping an eye on your competitors, as it shows information that you might not normally be able to find. Since they inform you of when they're name has popped up online, you can get access to a host of information that isn't kept on their website; for example, in the past I've found online price lists and competitor strategies which is always a good thing to find!

We also create them Google Alerts for keyphrases, such as 'small business marketing' so that we get a long list of new articles and other things that contain that phrase – then if there are any good ones in there, we tweet about them! It just makes it a bit easier to do research as it's all delivered to your inbox and it's a useful way of providing content to your Twitter community.

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It's very easy to set up – just go to 'Google Alerts' and enter your email and the alerts you want. I recommend putting any phrases into quotes, otherwise you'll get a mismatch of alerts. Also set it to 'Comprehensive', which means you'll get information on everything on the web (blogs, videos, articles etc), rather than just web articles and copy.

Source by Victoria Walmsley

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