How To Setup And Use Google Alerts

In my post, I show you how to create Google alerts, step by step. I also share some excellent Google alert tips to help you find opportunities to grow your online business.

You can use Google alerts to find new content ideas, spy on your competitors, look for link-building opportunities, and help protect your digital products from theft.

Let’s begin.

How To Setup Google Alerts

It takes just a few seconds to create an alert.

First, go to Google.com/alerts.

Google alerts

Type a keyword into the box and look over the search result preview. Is the information relevant? Yes? Click on ‘Show options’ and customize the search settings.

Customize a Google alert

Set how often you want to receive an alert. Specify the source, the language, the country, and how many you wish to receive.

On How many, I suggest changing this to All results.

Once you have selected your preferred settings, enter your email address, and click on Create Alert.

To get the best out of Google alerts, you need to use Google Search Operators. Operators are specific search parameters that ensure you get the information you require.

I’ll show you how to use search operators next.

Also, Google only notifies you about new content. Content already published won’t show in the results.

Blog Content Ideas

If you are struggling to find content ideas for your blog, you can use Google alerts to find questions people are asking about your blog topic.

Ideally, you want to find a forum specific to your blog content. For example, if you have a website with tutorials about using WordPress, then the WordPress.org support forum is a goldmine.

WordPress support forum

If you can’t find a forum, I recommend Quora.com. People go to Quora to ask questions about everything.

Quora

To set up an alert for questions, choose your keyword phrase and the site you want to monitor.

For example, you have a site about SEO and want to know what questions people are asking about SEO tools on Quora.com.

To do this, we need to use Google search operators. Your Google alert setup will look like this.

SEO + TOOLS + site:quora.com

SEO+TOOLS – This is your focus keyword phrase.

Site: – This is the site you want Google to check.

The result preview for this search looks like this.

Result preview

If the results are what you are looking for, open the ‘Show options’ tab to customize your search.

Once you have made your customizations, enter your email address and hit the ‘Create Alert’ link.

Guest Posting Opportunities

If you have several posts on your blog and want to start working on getting backlinks to your site from authoritative sites, guest posting is an excellent method.

Guest posting is when you write an article for another website in return for a link back to your site.

Studies have shown that blog posts with incoming links from authoritative websites tend to rank better than those that don’t.

For example, I want to find websites that accept guest posts about SEO.

Use Google search operators. Your alert Google alert setup will look like this.

SEO allintitle: “write for us”

SEO – This is your focus keyword.

Allintitle ” ” – Ensures Google only delivers search results that have this exact phrase.

This alert will scan for websites with articles about SEO and accept content by guest writers.

The results for this alert look like this.

Guest posting alert

If the search preview is what you need, customize the options, enter your email address, and select Create Alert.

To receive alerts about recently published articles by guest writers, change your alert to this.

allintitle: SEO +”guest post by”

Guest post by alert

Unlinked Mentions

Another opportunity to get links for your site is to monitor for unlinked mentions. Mentions are when a website publishes an article about your brand or content on your website but does not include a clickable link to you.

If you find an article like this, contact the website owner and ask them to add a clickable link to your blog.

The search alert will include your brand or website name with an instruction to exclude your site name from the search.

For example, this is an alert for my site.

“newblogr” -site:newblogr.com

The ‘-‘ instructs Google to exclude my site from searches.

Unlinked mentions

As you can see from the alert preview, my site does not show on the list. I have a lot from YouTube. To correct this, I get Google to ignore YouTube.com.

My new alert looks like this.

“newblogr” -site:newblogr.com -site:youtube.com

Unlinked mentions alert

Monitor Competitor Websites

Want to know when your competitors get mentioned? You can set an alert for that.

For example, if you have a travel website, you will want to probably know about Nomadicmatt.com.

nomadic matt -site:nomadicmatt.com

This alert scans for content that talks about nomadic matt but does not include anything from his website. For your search, change the name and website details.

Competitor alert

If you are interested in what type of content and how frequently your competitor publishes content, you can use this.

site:nomadicmatt.com

Monitor competitor website

If you are about to launch or have launched a product on your website, set up an alert to check who is reviewing your competitor’s product.

Once you have a list of companies, contact them, and offer a discount or freebie to do a review for your product.

You would set up your alert like this.

“insert competitor product name here” allintitle: review

Let’s say the Macbook air is your competitor’s product. The alert would be this.

“Macbook air” allintitle: review

Monitor competitor websites

Theft Of Digital Products Alert

Once you release a course or PDF file on the internet, it is essential for you to monitor theft. Even if it is free, you must protect your brand.

It is common for websites to offer freebies, but the downloads have malware. You don’t want your digital product to be stolen or associated with bad practices.

To monitor this, set up an alert to include keywords associated with downloads.

Let’s say I have a course about SEO on my website. This course is called SEO Tips For Beginners. The alert would look like this.

newblogr + “SEO tips for beginners” + (download OR torrent) -site:newblogr.com

I have my brand name, the course title, keywords commonly used to access an online course, and instructions for Google to ignore my site in the search.

For a PDF document, your alert would look like this.

“SEO tips for beginners” (download OR free) filetype: PDF

I selected a random product from Amazon and set up an alert like this.

“The Sassy Way to Ranking #1 in Google” (download OR free) filetype: PDF

Digital product theft alert

How To Stop Google Alerts

To stop receiving Google Alert emails, click on the ‘Unsubscribe’ link in the email address section.

Unsubscribe from Google Alert emails

Click on ‘Unsubscribe’ to confirm, and you won’t get any more emails.

Click on unsubscribe to confirm

Conclusion

Google Alerts is a powerful tool. You can receive daily emails with targeted information that best suits your business strategy.

There are alerts to help you get blog content ideas, find opportunities for link building, monitor your competitors, and help you protect your digital products from theft.

Setting up a Google alert takes just a few seconds. Once set up, check out the search result preview. If the results are relevant, customize the options, enter your email address, and click Create Alert.

If you decide you want to stop a Google Alert, there is a link in each email you receive to Unsubscribe. Click on that link, and you won’t get any more emails.

Also, Google only sends you alerts on new content. To get the best results, you need to use Google search operators. Operators help filter out information you don’t need.

Before you disappear to set up your first Google Alert, would you kindly spare one minute to leave me a comment? Did I help you with my post? What Google Alert are you going to set up first?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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