Are you Using Google Alerts? [Revisited]

When Janet Thaeler (go newspapergrl) first wrote about using Google Alerts way, way back in 2008, my first thought was, “Great another email. It’s not like I don’t get enough already.”

But since then I’ve tested Google Alerts quite extensively and have determined that of all the email I receive, the Google Alerts for my business are some of the more important email.

An example from a recent news story. There has been a lot of negative press lately from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding the safety of using baby slings. For this example, assume that you own a company or are the online marketing manager for your company that sells baby slings. You’ll want to go and set a quick Google Alert for “baby sling safety”, in this manner.

Setting a new alert for Baby Sling Safety

This way when anyone creates content that relates to “baby sling safety” Google will send me an immediate email so I can go and be part of the conversation, being successful online is really about being part of the conversation. I set up this alert as a test and almost immediately received this post about the CPSC’s warning on someone’s blog. ┬áSo what to do? Head right over and meaningfully respond to to her post.

It’s up to you. Do you want to be part of the conversation or ignore it? For me and mine, I’d rather be part of the conversation even if its not the most pleasant.


Dan Garfield

I would also mention that Google alerts can also provide RSS feeds. Those are a lot easier to manage when you have more non-specific stuff to track.

Janet Thaeler

Thanks for the shout out Clint. I just realized we have links to with comments on this blog – why? I like Andy Beal’s where he links to their most recent post (a plugin I’m sure).

At the very least everyone should have alerts on their name (unless it’s too common), their main product names, & their brand name. Then you can thank people and comment on posts where people write about you. Do the same with your competitors (track their key terms – for competitive intelligence).

Good point Dan, you can follow your Google alerts in Google Reader.


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