Google Alerts is a service offered by Google that allows you to monitor internet content and receive updates based on a set of keywords that you determine. When you opt into Google Alerts, Google takes the search phrases that you would like to monitor and remains on the lookout for them when indexing pages across the internet. When Google finds a new page with your keyword, it will notify you according to your preset preferences. You can opt to monitor news sources, blogs, video, discussion threads, or everything on the web. You can also decide to receive the updates through an RSS feed or via email as they happen, once per day, or once per week. There are some huge possibilities that come with having access to the type of information that Google Alerts provides, but here we will discuss just two of the options: reputation management and link building.
Reputation management refers to monitoring discussion around your brand or business. With the number of active bloggers and avid social media participants that exist today, chances are good that someone is out there on the internet trying to get their point across about your company. And whether their opinion could benefit you, harm you, or fall somewhere in the middle, knowing how your customers feel should be a priority.
Setting up Google Alerts for your brand name, slogans, and marketing campaigns can help you to stay on top of public opinion surrounding your business. You might also consider setting up alerts for your competition to see how you compare throughout your industry. When using Google Alerts for reputation management, it is a good idea to monitor misspellings as well, especially if your brand isn’t a commonly spelled word.
One of the biggest aspects of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is obtaining high quality and relevant links to your website. Unfortunately, this is also one of the most difficult tasks to take on. One way to speed up the process of finding industry related websites is by setting up Google Alerts for the keywords that you would like to rank for. This serves two purposes: (1) It introduces you to a large number of potential linking opportunities for your keywords, and (2) it allows you to actively monitor your competition for those keywords.
The types of searches that you would want to execute for identifying link building opportunities depends on your link building strategy. SayI have some web design resources on my website that I want to optimize for search engines. I could set up an alert for “web design resources” to find websites talking about that topic and linking to that type of content. If I were looking to publish content or articles on other websites about web design, setting up alerts for search phrases such as “website design+guest post” or “website design+contribute to” would help me to find websites accepting guest blog posts.
Hopefully by now you have some pretty good ideas of how Google Alerts can work for your business. Set up your own Google alerts, and let us know what ideas you come up with in the comments below.