The internet is a big place. In that big mess of data there might be things you would like to know about. Maybe someone is:
- Talking about you
- Praising or trashing your company
- Talking about an obscure subject you are fascinated by
One of Google’s lesser known tools is Google Alerts. Basically it lets you monitor the internet for keywords, and if Google finds new content with that keyword, you get an email.
Google the intelligence officer
Google scans the internet for, well, everything. So keeping an eye out for a little keyword is not too much effort. The Alerts service does that, for free.
Personally I have alerts out on:
- My full name
- My telephone number
- My email
- The name of my blog
If anyone talks about me, mentions my phone number, email or blog I want to know as soon as possible.
Get it up and running
- Go to google.com/alerts
- Fill in a keyword under ‘create an alert about’
- Select how often you want updates (realtime/daily/weekly)
Some things to keep in mind:
- The internet is big, don’t follow generic terms unless you want your inbox to be flooded
- Don’t be afraid to start obscure Alerts, they don’t get in the way until activated anyway