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Google Alerts definition

Google Alerts (© DigiClack /

Google Alerts (© DigiClack /

Google Alerts is a detection and notification service that sends email notifications to a user whenever the search engine finds new results. These new results can include blog posts, articles in newspapers and web pages that match the search results a user has input into Google Alerts. In this article, you will learn how to set up this incredibly handy and versatile online tool.

What are Google Alerts?

Before we explain how to set up Google Alerts, let’s begin by explaining what this online tool is. Essentially, this free tool allows you to customize your searches on Google, the largest search engine in the world. It monitors the online activity of whatever it is that you have input into the tool and automatically delivers updated results for the things that you search for.

Anyone who uses Google can take advantage of Google Alerts, including businesses that are looking for a free and easy way to monitor their presence online. For example, a company can use the tool to find out who is mentioning them, the products or services they offer, or their website. It can also be used as a prompt to inspire content writing. For instance, if a company sets up an alert for a specific keyword phrase that is related to its niche, the company will be able to see what others in their niche or who use a shared keyword are talking about. The company can then use those ideas to build on them or check to see if anything is missing and provide more information by writing their own article or blog post.

How to Set Up Google Alerts

Setting up Google Alerts is really quite simple. Anyone who has access to the search engine (which is basically anyone who has access to the Internet) can use it, and they don’t even have to have an account with Gmail!

Below, you’ll find detailed steps to guide you through the process of setting up your Google Alerts.

  • Type into your search engine and you will be directed to the Google Alerts homepage.
  • If you have a Gmail account, sign into it. If you do not have a Gmail account, you can skip this and simply begin  filling in the Google Alert form.
  • Input the search terms that you would like Google Alert to keep track of for you. Don’t forget to use commas to separate each search term. If you end up finding that you have entered too many terms, or too few terms, you can edit your search terms later. If you aren’t sure what you should enter, we suggest that you begin with the name of your business, the name of your blog, or anything similar. If you have any keyword phrases that are relevant to your brand or the industry you are in, you should enter them.
  • Select the type of results you would like Google Alerts to detect and notify you about. You can choose one of the following options:
    • Blogs
    • Books
    • Discussions
    • News
    • Videos
    • Everything (which will allow you to keep track all of the above)
  • Input how often you would like to receive an alert. You can choose from:
    • Once a day
    • Once a week
    • As it happens
  • Choose the amount of results you will receive. Your options here include:
    • Only the best
    • All results
  • Input where you would like your Google Alerts to be delivered. For example, you can have them delivered to your email address, or you can through an RSS feed.
  • Check over your entries and click “create alert”.


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