Google Alerts is a content change detection and notification service, offered by the search engine company Google, that automatically notifies users when new content from news, web, blogs, video and/or discussion groups matches a set of search terms selected by the user and stored by the Google Alerts service. Notifications can be sent by email, as a web feed, or displayed on the users’ iGoogle page.
Google Alerts only provides content from Google’s own search engine.
Currently there are six types of alerts sent when new content matches the search terms of the alert:
Everything – (default setting) aggregates News, Web and Blogs
News – sent when matching content makes it into the top ten results of a Google News search
Web – sent when new web pages appear in the top twenty results for a Google Web search
Blogs – sent when matching content appears in the top ten results of a Google Blog Search
Video – sent when matching content appears in the top ten results of a Google video search
Groups – sent when matching content appears in the top fifty results of a Google Groups search
Users determine the frequency of checks for new results. Three options are available: “once a day”, “once a week”, or “as it happens”. These options set the maximum frequency of alerts and do not necessarily control how often they will receive alerts. Alerts are sent only if new content matches the user-selected search terms.
Some Importance Of Google Alert
- Find Out Who’s Talking About You One of the best uses for Google Alerts is to keep track of how often people are talking about you on the web and what they’re saying. Whether you’re trying to find out whether people are gossiping about you personally or you want to know what people are saying about your company, Google Alerts makes performing automatic vanity searches a snap. All you have to do is type in your name in the search query field. Tell Alerts whether you want all results or just the high quality ones, when you want them delivered, and how you want them sent to you
- Follow a Trending Story Google Alerts lets you take control of the news stream and get up to speed on a specific topic when you’re ready. Tweak the search terms for the issue you’re following, and change the “How Often” to once a day for a simple digest. Once a week may be too much for a story that’s actively developing, but once a day is fine for those of us who don’t have the time to stay glued to the latest news reports.
- Search for Coupon Codes, Discounts, and Promotions Google Alerts is great for information gathering, but it’s also a great bargain hunting tool. You can set an alert for coupon codes or discounts to your favorite retailer, and then sit back and let the bargains come to you. Not all of them will be of particularly high quality and you’ll still have to sift through the results to find something useful. Even so, you’ll hear about new coupon codes as soon as they hit the web, and you’ll get first dibs on using them.
This is especially useful if you’re trying to grab a discount code that’s only valid for a few hundred uses, or if you want a 10% off code for your favorite web hosting company or domain registrar. Just set the search term for the type of discount you want (taking care not to be too specific), set the result quality as broad as possible, and let Google do the work for you.
- Looking For A job If you’re unemployed or just looking for a better gig, you can use all the help you can get. Google Alerts lets you search for job openings and have results delivered right to your inbox so you can jump on them and apply immediately. Sure, you can scour job boards, but the benefit of using Google Alerts is that you can target your alerts specifically to the companies you’re interested in working for. You can even tailor them directly to the types of jobs you’re looking for—and since every job site and public company website is indexed by >Google, you’ll probably be the first person to hear that the listing has been posted.
- keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams
- keeping current on a competitor or industry
Setting Up Google Alert
- Open the website Once you have a web browser open, type “Google Alerts” into your search engine or go directly to the website http://www.google.com/alerts. This will bring you to the Google Alerts home page.
- Enter your search Enter the topic you would like to receive alerts on. As soon as you begin typing, a sample of your first Google alert will appear. If you are not getting the results you expected you can change your input right away.
- Create the Alert. Enter a valid email address which Google will use to send you the results of your query. Then complete the process by clicking on the red create alert button. You will then receive an email from Google Alerts asking you to confirm or cancel this request. Once you confirm the request you will begin receiving your alerts. Your first basic Google Alert is now complete.
- Choose source type. There are some additional options available to tailor your search to your particular needs. For instance you may choose the type of sources you wish to search from. The default is everything, which is a good choice if you’re not sure which to pick. The other options are: News, Blogs, Video, Discussions and Books.
- Choose the frequency. You can now indicate how often you would like the results to be delivered to your inbox. You have the options of once a week, once a day, or as it happens. As it happens may deliver the results to your inbox multiple times a day depending of how often it appears in the news stream, so if this is likely to be annoying, don’t choose it.
- Select search volume. The last choice you have is to set the volume. This allows you to switch the volume between only the best results, in which Google filters your results for relevance to the topic, and all results.
- If you are logged in with your Google account, you can add a new alert, Modify current searches, Delete and Choose formats/exporting (You can choose to receive your e-mails in either HTML or plain text format and also export your searches alert in CSV format.
I personally use Google alert to get update about latest web design and development and PHP & MySQL tutorials, not to mention my beloved Ruby. It couldn’t have been more easier using this powerful yet simple tool from Google.