This will be one of the simplest tutorials you read, yet it will provide you with an incredibly powerful tool for monitoring keywords, people, and events with direct delivery of relevant information to your email. Pretty much everything you need to know about how to setup a new Google Alert can be figured out just by looking at their on-screen options. I’ve taken a few screenshots to show you just how straight forward this process is.

There are only a few options you can use when setting up an alert. The 1st and most important is the Search Query box. This is simply what you want to search for: a keyword, a person, a business name, an event, etc. When you type something into the Search Query, Google gives you a snapshot of recent news for that query. These are the types of articles you will receive in your email. Below is an example of an alert for “mortgage rates”, and Google found plenty of related links for me to cull through.

Sample Google Alert


You can filter these results in a few different ways. First, you can choose which source you want for your results. You can choose to look only for links from news, blogs, video, discussions, or books. See the screenshot below, and you can see they’ve made this extremely simple.

Google Alert Source OptionsYou also determine the frequency with which the alerts are delivered to your email. You have the option to have alerts emailed to you as they happen. I find this helpful for tracking specific businesses or people where I need to know immediately when a new article appears with their name in it.

You can also choose daily or weekly delivery of your alert, which is what I use for all keyword alerts. I don’t need to know every single time someone posts an article about social media marketing, but I like to get a weekly update of the best articles. Below is a screenshot of your options.

Screenshot of Google Alert Setup

One of the nice things about Google Alerts as it stands now is that you can enter any email address for your email. It doesn’t have to be a Gmail account. I personally use my Gmail account, but it’s not necessary. Google will send you a verification email prior to enacting your alert request, so be sure to check your inbox and verify your setup. And that’s it. Here are 5 ways people use Google Alerts.


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