From an ordinary consumer view, this is a great way to keep up on your favorite hobbies and interests. Google alerts will save you time scouring the Internet looking for information related to your hobby and interests.
From a business view, this Google Alerts are a valuable tool that help you stay on top of what is happening in your industry (as well as what information your competition is publishing). Again, this is a huge time saver in keeping up to date on the latest info and industry trends.
Setting up Google Alerts is easy. You just need to have a Google Account first (which is free). If you have a Google Account, you can add another email address (or alternate) to your account. Doing so, will allow you chose which email you want the Google Alert to go to (i.e., personal or business).
To set up a Google Alert, follow the steps below:
- Go to the Google Alert site
- In the "Search Term" field, type the keyword that you're interested in (pet care services in this example)
- Under "Type", you can specify if you want EVERYTHING that's published for that keyword or just specific info (like video or blog updates).
- The "How Often" field lets you configure how often you want Google to email you an alert (once a day, as it happens, or weekly).
- The "Volume" field lets you specify if you want to see every alert, or just the best. Stick with "just the best" here.
- The "Deliver to" option lets you specify which email address to the alerts to (if you have more than email address setup in your Google Account).
Even with "just the best" option selected in step 5, you will get a good amount of alerts from Google. I have most of my alerts configured for "everything" (step 3), "once a day" (step 4), and "only the best" (step 5). These settings help me manage the emails better.
Most of my Google Alerts end up on my spam (or junk) box ... which is fine with me. I just go through it once a day and look for Google Alerts. While there are loads of them, they are pretty easy to check out fairly quickly. When you open each Google Alert email, you will see a summary of results along with headlines and links. If a headline catches my eye, I will click the link to read more .... otherwise I just ignore the info. I can get through these emails pretty quickly this way.
The really nice thing is that if a headline does catch my eye and look like information I should be aware of, I can click the link to read more. Then if the info looks like something I think my readers will be interested in. I will do a little more research and write my own blog post on the topic to share with them. I usually try and make my blog posts more complete than the info shared in the Google Alert.
You can create as many Google Alerts as you like. For example, you might create one for "pet nutrition", "pet certification", "pet care legislation", etc.
You can also manage your Google Alerts. So if you find that you're getting too many emails, you can reconfigure your settings or even delete an alert if you decide it's not helpful.
If you look to the right of the Google Alert settings, you will see a bunch of text. Below it will be a link that reads, "You can also click here to manage your Google Alerts". Click that link to delete or make changes to your Google alerts.
To Delete a Google Alert .... place a check mark in the box next to the alert you want to delete, and click the delete button.
To make changes to an alert, click the EDIT link on the right side of the Google Alert.
That's all there is to it. Since deleting Google Alerts is easy, set a few up and give it a try. You might have to create alerts for different keywords until you find the ones that work best for or your business.