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Google Alerts

Posted by on Apr 11, 2011

After I wrote that last post, I went looking for a link talking about Google Alerts, only to find out that I’ve never talked about it on this blog. What the hey? How’d I miss this one, something I’ve been doing since before I started this blog? I’ve deprived you of one of the best tracking methods that any site has to offer, especially Google. Time to rectify that.

Google Alerts is a way for you to track whatever it is you want to track based on how people might be looking for whatever it is you want to know about. Okay, that sounds confusing, so let me give you a real example.

One of the alerts I track is “Mitch Mitchell”. What one does is goes into their Google account (yes, you have to have a Google account, which you already have if you use Gmail, Adsense, Adwords, etc), go to alerts (which you can access through the link above), type in the words or phrase you want Google to alert you on if it’s searched, tell it how often you want to receive email on it (mine is set to once a day” and which email address you want it sent to (mine is defaulted to the email address I have on my account but it seems you can change it, though I have no idea why you would). If you want the words or particular phrase in order, just put those words between quotation marks, as you’d do if you were searching for something on a search engine (I’m assuming you already knew that), and that’s all you’ll get.

Truthfully, you’re not going to want to use this if you’re only tracking one word because you’ll get really long email details, unless the word is out of the ordinary, which can happen I suppose. I track all versions of my name, all my websites, and a couple of specific keywords for my main business, which right now comes to 19 in all. I only get 4 or 5 a day most of the time, as not all the phrases I’m tracking come up; heck! But maybe now that I’ve made a few changes in my SEO tactics things will pick up a bit more for this blog; we’ll see.

That’s all there is to Google Alerts; and now you know the rest of the story (I miss Paul Harvey).

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27 Comments »

Google Alerts rock! I’ve been using that now since the earth’s crust cooled – not only can you track, say, your website, but also your friends, your business, where you want to work in the future, etc.etc.etc.

It’s definitely a must-use.

April 11th, 2011 | 10:18 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Barbara, I hadn’t realized you were quite that old. lol And yes, I track many things as well, but not my friends; I’m starting to worry about you. lol

April 11th, 2011 | 11:32 AM

I can give you a reason for changing the email account the alert is sent to. I have a gmail account but don’t use it. So, I change it to go to an email address I do use.

April 11th, 2011 | 2:43 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Scott, when you sign up for a Gmail account, do you have to give a secondary email address they can reach you at? I’d assumed that’s how it would work.

April 11th, 2011 | 4:04 PM

Yes, just in case you can not access your Gmail account for some reason like a forgotten password or such. Yahoo Mail does the same thing.

April 12th, 2011 | 8:44 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Ah, two things I don’t have to worry about since I download all my mail to my computer.

April 12th, 2011 | 5:52 PM

Not me!!!! I do all my mail through Yahoo Mail so that I never have to worry about malicious attachments. Plus, I can access my email from any Internet device. Comes in handy when traveling.

April 13th, 2011 | 8:49 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

So does Mailwasher! lol I just hate having to sign onto a web service (you know that about me by now), so I love that I can carry my email around with me and even if I don’t have internet service, I can answer mail and leave it in my drafts box until I do have access again.

April 13th, 2011 | 3:03 PM

Actually, I’m not all that impressed with Google Alerts. One of the words I have it look out for is Sire and it comes with alerts form SITE! What, they cab’t tell the difference between Sire and Site????

April 11th, 2011 | 8:18 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Maybe it’s that Australian thing and they think you’re just making mistakes again. You know, that language barrier thing. lol Then again, I’m thinking you’d have to be getting tons of things listed on a page for Sire.

April 11th, 2011 | 8:42 PM

Actually I get more for site than I do for sire. I may have to rethink some of the words I’ve got google looking out for.

April 11th, 2011 | 9:26 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

I’m thinking so, Sire. I mean, one word searches could be problematic overall. I have either at least 2-word phrases or my domain names.

April 12th, 2011 | 12:38 AM

I have been using Google Alerts for several months now and find it especially useful. I track “Blogging from A to Z Challenge”, “Arlee Bird”, and “Tossing It Out” and often find posts that I might have missed if I had not been tracking. I have found a few things that were not directly related to anything I was looking for but were interesting nonetheless. Google Alerts is a great tool.

Lee
Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

April 11th, 2011 | 11:07 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

Great stuff, Lee. How often does the first one you’re tracking come up?

April 12th, 2011 | 12:39 AM

The “A to Z” phrase has been popping up usually 3 or 4 times a day and usually not on the blogs of anyone participating. This is where I don’t understand how it all works since it is mentioned so much on numerous blogs that never come up on Google Alerts. Usually the Challenge has been mentioned on a forum or someone’s blog that is not participating. Interesting to me because I find new places where the Challenge is being mentioned. Perhaps you know something about why this would be so.

Lee
Tossing It Out

April 12th, 2011 | 1:46 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Well Arlee, as I stated, to get exactly the phrase you want you have to put it in between quotation marks. Also, when you receive the email, there’s always a link at the bottom that allows you access to every reference made to that particular phrase, as sometimes, like when you search for something specific on Google, it’ll hide a few things it considers as duplicates in some fashion. But I’m thinking that there should be tons of people using the phrase “A to Z in some fashion; heck, I say it from time to time.

April 12th, 2011 | 5:49 PM

I have used Google Alerts many times before….

Good way to “spy” on the competition!

April 12th, 2011 | 9:39 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carolee, there’s no “competition”; it’s just other people who might do what you do. 😉

April 12th, 2011 | 5:53 PM

It’s one of those many Google “gadgets” we can’t really live without anymore (which puts a terrible amount of power in Google’s hands, but I am digressing…).
I use alerts via RSS so I can get the alerts not in my email but in my Google Reader, serves me better than having more emails in my Inbox, but it’s just a matter of preference.

April 12th, 2011 | 10:02 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

That’s an interesting way to track it, Gabriele; I’d have never thought about doing that. Great share!

April 12th, 2011 | 5:53 PM
Patricia:

Hi Mitch

Google alerts is great for seeing articles you want for selected words. I was taught to put in things for specific lavender topics so I can see what other sites are writing and pick up interesting information I may find useful. Works for me.

Patricia Perth Australia

April 12th, 2011 | 11:54 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

It’s pretty neat, isn’t it Pat? Course, me looking for “Mitch Mitchell” gives me a lot of information on the other guy; heck! lol

April 12th, 2011 | 5:57 PM

Hello Mitch, I think google alerts can be also used to track your competition and to get ideas for your article (that is if you have a specific niche). I used for some keywords I am targeting and I am getting a lot of info about my competition and what are they doing lately.

I wonder how well it works for link: modifier.

April 12th, 2011 | 5:46 PM
Mitch Mitchell:

I’m not sure, Alex; why would you want to search for that? Overall I don’t see people as competition, but I have searched for topics that I have a background in to see what others are doing here and there.

April 12th, 2011 | 5:59 PM

I am using Google Alerts for marketing purpose, since the time Google launch it. It is a great tool and sometimes commenting at on blogs or forums included in daily alerts can bring a lot of traffic. I am tracking large number of keywords.

April 14th, 2011 | 8:23 AM
Mitch Mitchell:

Carl, I track the few things I do mainly because, as you know, I’m tracking to see if the efforts I’m undertaking to increase my influence work or not. So far, nope.

April 15th, 2011 | 12:46 AM
Carl:

I understand, Mitch. It works the best when you target small niche. And sometimes it is great to see own articles listed in Google alerts. Sometimes this brings a lot of traffic. I am not sure about the criteria how exactly Google pick up the website.

April 15th, 2011 | 1:30 AM