Google Alerts

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Contents

Introduction

GoogleAlertLogo.jpg

Google Alerts are notifications delivered by e-mail of the most up to date information found based on a user's specific search queries. More simply, a user can set up search queries, as many or as few as they want, through Google's Alert service and any time that search criteria is found in the latest Google results an e-mail update is sent to the user.

There are 6 different types of Alerts currently offered by Google: News, Blogs, Video, Discussions, Books and Everything.

The searcher may select how often they receive these updates - as they happen, once a day or once a week. The search query also allows the user to have only the best results e-mailed to their account or all results.

To be able to use Google Alerts, a user only needs to have a Google account. This notification tool is free, easy to use and up to date.

History

In February 2003, Google engineer Naga Sridhar began work on what is now known as News Alerts. Supposedly he got tired of continuously checking Google News for developments on a current new topic. Six months later, Google News Alerts were available to users, according to googleguide.com.

Shortly thereafter, Google added Web Alerts that tracked changes made to web pages.

The two alerts have now been merged into Google Alerts - news and web. This is how the Google Alerts can now watch the web, news or both and why users can select what type of Alert they would like to set up.

Corporate Use

All corporations and business leaders should utilize Google Alerts - personally and professionally.

In the corporate setting, Google Alerts can easily be used to track what is being reported on any company or company leader at any time. These Alerts track what is being updated and reported on the web, in blogs, by news sources and other discussions so corporations and their leaders should know what is being said about them.

A good recommendation is to have the corporation's marketing/communications department set up a Google Alert for the company and then each leader in that company. For example, in a university setting the communication team could have a Google Alert set for the overall university name, the university president, the president's cabinet, each college, every college dean and the university board. In the corporate world, it is always a good idea to monitor what is being said about your company and that goes for higher education institutions too. The below image is of a Google Alert e-mail that was set up for Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS). It is easy to see how nice and organized the Alert is when it is e-mailed to an inbox with all the links directly to the pages that have the requested content.

KSUalerts.jpg

Personal Use

Using Google Alerts for personal use is a good idea for most of the same reasons corporations should use Google Alerts. People who want to know what is being said or written about them should have an alert set up to monitor their name. The personal use of Google Alerts is less exciting unless you happen to be the president of a university (as mentioned above) or in some high visibility role.

Alerts setup for personal use will detect social media sites and other personal usage on the Internet.

How to Set Up a Google Alert

Conclusion

Overall, Google Alerts is a very easy, free and useful notification tool powered by Google. Instead of having to go out and conduct a Google search every day for a specific company or person and to keep track of where it shows up on the web - Google Alerts does it all for you. Google even sends organized e-mail notifications with links to the specific pages on the web that contains the search criteria.

Google Alerts saves a searcher lots of time by doing all the hard search work and only sending the searcher the information at the requested time. In such a wired world, like today's world, all corporations and their leaders should be keeping track of news via Google Alerts.

See Also

www.google.com/alerts

Alertpage.jpg

References

Google Guide: www.googleguide.com