Google Alerts service allows you to stay up to date on search results related to your favorite topics. A Google Alert can be created for any number of queries, such as your favorite musician or news headline. Google Alerts bring together search results to find new additions to Google’s search engine. Everything from news articles, web sites, blogs and more can be sent to you so you can stay in the loop on the Alerts you set up.
Google Alerts come in six basic formats: Blogs, Comprehensive, Groups, News, Video and Web. Blogs, News and Video alerts are self-explanatory. Comprehensive alerts send you one e-mail with multiple results from various sources. Group alerts come from new results in the top 50 results from Google Groups. Web alerts come from new results in the top 20 results of Google Search.
Our guide will show you how to get started with Google Alerts and how to get the most from them.
How to set up Google Alerts
In order to set up your first Google Alert, visit alerts.google.com.
You can begin creating an alert at once.
For Search query, you want to enter in what you want to search for. This can be inclusive or non-inclusive, and it can be about anything you want.
Once entered, Google will pull a preview of current results for you to get a feel for whether or not the Google Alert may be effective at the time.
For Result type, you can choose what Google will send you alerts from. Click “Everything” to receive everything or specify which category you want results from.
For How often, you can decide how you want Google to send the alerts. This can be as it happens, once a day or even once a week. Depending on your topic, as it happens could be too frequent for your tastes.
For How many, you can let Google decide how accurate the results are in relation to your topic of choice. Only the best results will give you results more closely related to your topic as opposed to all results which may give you some bad ones.
For Deliver to, you can choose which e-mail address to send the Google Alerts to or whether or not you want them in feed format for you to refer to on your own.
When you are ready to create your first Google Alert, click “Create Alert.”
Once Google has created the alert, you will be directed to Manage Alerts.
From here, you can see what alerts you have set up, you can opt to edit alerts and you can also create new ones or delete ones from here.
Click “Edit” to begin editing an existing alert.
This will turn each option for an alert into a new dropdown menu.
From there, you can change the options for the alert as you see fit. Click “Save” to save the settings or “Cancel” to leave them as is.
If you want to delete an alert, click the checkbox next to one or multiple ones, and then click “Delete.”
You will not get a confirmation for deleting a Google Alert so make sure you want to do so before proceeding.
At any time you can switch the type of e-mails you get in the lower right hand corner.
You can receive alerts as HTML or text-based e-mails, simply click on the Switch to text emails to switch to HTML and vice versa.
You can also opt to export alerts at anytime by clicking “Export Alerts.” This will download a CSV file so that you can create a feed for your Google Alerts.
Tips and tricks to using Google Alerts
Just like when using Google’s search engine, there are tips and tricks to getting more accurate results.
When creating a Google Alert, using advanced search options are key to getting accurate results. These include +, -, “”, or, not, link: and site:. So, for example, when searching for new results on Google+ from our website, you want to use a Google Alert string like this: Google+ site:www.technorms.com.
Tweaking your Google Alerts is key to making sure you are getting the maximum amount of accurate results. This means testing an alert out, tweaking it and seeing what happens. This may take some time but it is an effective way to tailor your Google Alerts.
Use My Alerts to get more from Google Alerts
My Alerts is a Google Chrome extension that uses the idea behind Google Alerts and gives you a nifty notification icon to let you know when something new pops up. Instead of getting e-mail alerts, you can simply view the results through My Alerts.
Once installed, you will see a notification icon.
Click on it.
You can create your first alert by clicking “Click here.”
From there, you can create a new alert and either choose Google or Twitter.
Enter your query, name it and the type, then click “Save.”
Now, when you click on the notification icon for My Alerts, you will see the alert you created as well as whether or not there are new alerts.
Are Google Alerts effective ways to keep up to date on the world around you?
When properly created and calibrated, Google Alerts can be an effective way to keep up on topics you choose. It takes time to get used to Google Alerts as well as set them up properly. Once you have done so, you will find the results Google provides you to be relevant and interesting.
Give Google Alerts a try and see how it works for you. It may take a few days to get them working the way you want, but do not give up simply because your first set of results does not make sense. Google Alerts can be a mighty useful tool, but only if you put the time into making it work for you.