Automatic Web Searching
Mention “Google” and most people think of searching the Internet. In fact, about 56.3% of all Web searches are done using Google. In addition to its search function, Google offers a host of tools that will help streamline your online experience. One of those services is Google Alerts. Google Alerts are e-mails that are automatically sent to you when new Google results are available for specific search terms you want to track on an ongoing basis.
Alerts results are currently offered for: News, Web, Blogs, Groups, Video, and Comprehensive.
A “News” alert is an e-mail aggregate of the latest news articles that contain the search terms of your choice and appear in the top 10 results of your Google News search. A “Web” alert contains the latest Web pages that contain the search terms of your choice. A “Blogs” alert contains the latest blog posts, and a “Groups” alert shows results from a Google Groups search. A “Video” alert contains the latest videos.
You can pick any one of these or a “Comprehensive” alert, which contains results from multiple sources (News, Web and Blogs) into a single e-mail to provide maximum coverage on the topic of your choice.
What kinds of topics make for interesting Google Alerts? Well, if it’s interesting to you, it’s a good subject for a Google Alert. You could set up an alert to monitor news items for your largest 25 clients. Or, you could use them to keep current on a competitor. They are also useful for keeping up to date on what’s happening in a particular industry. We use it to automatically track information about major vendors.
To create customized alerts, simply visit the Google Alerts home page, create a Google account (it’s free), enter your search, the type of alert you’d like (News, Web, etc.), how often you’d like to receive results, and your e-mail address. When you’re done, click the “Create Alert” button. You will receive a confirmation e-mail; clicking the link in the e-mail will activate your Alert.