The Ninjas Guide To Google Alerts

The Ninjas Guide To Google Alerts

For those of you who missed it, last week I published a post called ‘The Ninjas Guide To Google Alerts’ over at SearchEngineJournal.com.

SEJ is one of the biggest digital marketing blogs and is in the top 5k sites according to Alexa. The guest post got exposure to over 600,000 monthly unique visitors as well promotion to 22K Twitter followers and 29K Facebook fans.

At the time of writing the post has been shared over 500 times and has 42 comments. The most popular post on SEJ in July only had 247 shares and 1 comment so its good to see that the post has been well received by the SEJ community in comparison.

The Ninjas Guide To Google Alerts

In my opinion Google Alerts is the most powerful tool any online marketer has available to them. However it is also one of the most under utilised tools out there.

All Google Alerts does is notify of new results via e-mail or RSS based on the search queries you enter.

That might sound a bit simple but it is a seriously powerful way of leverage brand, authority, traffic and sales. If you have overlooked Google Alerts in the past it’s time to sit up and pay attention.

In my guest post I share all the Alerts I use personally, including the ones I use to promote this blog and cover the following topics-

  • Monitoring brand
  • Monitoring competitors
  • Monitoring questions in your niche
  • Monitoring content distribution
  • Finding new guest post opportunities
  • Monitoring link building footprints
  • Monitoring site security
  • Monitoring shoppers
  • Regional based monitoring
  • Discovering new niches
  • How to setup Google Alerts

Click Here To Read The Full Post

BONUS TIP!

SEJ reader Kaushal Shah (from couponcodehut.com) left a comment on the guest post that has to be one of the most ingenious ways to use Google Alerts I have seen. Full credit for the below goes to Kaushal.

Measuring Content Quality

When setting up a Google Alert you are given two choices. You can choose to receive Only the best results or All results for your given query.

Essentially Google Alerts gives you a ‘high quality content only’ filter and you can use this filter to measure the quality of the content in Google’s Eyes for your own site.

Kaushal setup 2 alerts for his domain like this


site:yourdomain.com

One of the Alerts is setup to deliver Only the best results and the other Alert is setup to deliver All results.

The theory is that when he publishes a post, if it gets delivered by the Only the best results Alert he has setup then Google must consider the post as high quality content.

How clever is that?

The Sky Is The Limit

The sky really is the limit when it comes to Google Alerts. If you can search for it, you can monitor it. If you get creative with your Alerts there are no end of possibilities!

How Will You Use Google Alerts?

I would love to know how you use Google Alerts in your online marketing efforts. Do you have a unique way of using it that I haven’t mentioned?

If you don’t currently use Google Alerts, how will you use it?

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40 Responses

9.10.2012

Nice work Matthew. I hadn't read the post on SEJ, so thanks for the heads up, hope the traffic/subscribers get a big boost for you (by the way he's taken the link to your site out of the main article, but left an extra '>').

Reply

Matthew Woodward Reply:

To be honest it didn't generate that much traffic at all but I will be doing a follow up post comparing the guest post results to having the first comment on a popular article.

Yeah I noticed that and sent it over to the editor, just waiting for it to be updated.

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Anonymous
9.19.2012

every day I open the blog to see whether any new article or content but no luck nowadays :(

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

Hi Alson,

I've been working hard on the background/preperation work for some new posts/case studys. for example high pr aged domain vs new domain, ranking a site with just blog network posts and so forth :) Also I got invited to do Terry Kyles Sunday SEO last minute last week which delay the video for the week.

The last video in the tiered link building series will be done before Sunday :)

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10.4.2012

How were you able to setup multiple alerts for one term. ie the site:domain when I try to do it in G iam being told the term is already in.

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

Use a different account ^^

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Chris Reply:

Nice tip this one…

I actually used the same account and set one using the Google Account notify via email (best results) and the feed for (all results) that way I keep the content in the same account and still be alerted to both.

Fantastic post, and I know I have caught it late but I still wanted to write a comment to show my appreciation and to say thank you for inspiring me to use this in ways I never even thought about.

Reply

Matthew Woodward Reply:

Yeah that is a nice way of plugging it together, good thinking!

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3.21.2013

Hi Matthew – just spent an eye-opening (not to mention wallet-oeforepening !) 90 minutes looking through some of your posts and comments… Why have I not found out about you before ! Wonderful stuff – thank you !
My problem is this – I know that Google Alerts are enormously powerful – and FREE ! – and I intended to use them to drive the RSS feeds for a new WP plugin to semi-autoblog a new site… However, the alert feed from Google is not actually an RSS feed ! What I mean is, for example, if you extract news articles using G.A. the post title can be unintelligible (strange character strings can appear if there are special characters in the original item (like double quotes) ) and if (it doesn’t always ! ) it extracts an image, it only forwards a thumbnail version.
So – to cut to the chase – do you know of any available software that can convert a Google alert into a “proper” RSS feed item ? The WP plugin sellers really don’t seem to want to help me with this !
I would be very (eternally ?) grateful for any help !
Roger

Reply

Matthew Woodward Reply:

Hi Roger,

Hahaha that made me laugh thanks for the comment =D

To be honest I’m not really sure how you could resolve that – perhaps a custom script that takes the source data and scrubs non standard character strings and outputs a new rss feed?

Probably cost $20-$30 to get coded on odesk?

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Roger Reply:

Matthew -
Sorry for the delay….what happened to the last 4 months ! ?
Ok thanks – I tried fiverr to get some custom code but no takers !

Now that G-Reader has gone, is there a free reader you recommend ?

Reply

Matthew Woodward Reply:

Take a look at http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/experiments/which-is-the-best-web-monitoring-tool-talkwalker-vs-google-alerts/

Fiverr sucks for coding work, got to odesk.

Use Feedly instead of GReader :)

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3.26.2013

Only three comments on this post haha.

I just put up a quick post about using G alerts to monitor spam indexation. Backlink for you sir.

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

Got a lot more interest at SEJ =\

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Temesgen
5.15.2013

Matthew you are such a hero lol…you assured me that it is possible to be a good blogger and make a living out of it ….. your tips are such inspirational

Thank you

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

I’m just giving people what they want :)

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seomedellin
6.12.2013

Great post Mathew as always.

Thank u i didn knew talkwalker great app.

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

Cheers :)

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Vahid
7.26.2013

Mattew,
Today I double checked my feedly to make sure I’ve subscribed for your RSS .

Thank you for your informative posts .

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

Thanks =D

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Dan
8.20.2013

What are you doing now that Google Alerts no longer delivers to RSS?

Is there an RSS version that works these days?

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11.21.2013

Thanks for giving us a heads up on the article I don’t know much about google alerts but after this I think I got my next blogging homework assigment

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James
12.19.2013

Great stuff, this and the Tynt suggestion are set up now, brilliant work.

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

No worrys :)

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1.7.2014

After some checking, looks like Google Alerts doesn’t pick up alerts from forums, or at least not as much as from blogs. I’ve noticed that WordPress blogs and news sites appear, while things posted on forums do not. Have you seen this as well?

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

Yeah Google Alerts have really dropped the amount of alerts they send in the past 6 months, take a look at http://www.matthewwoodward.co.uk/experiments/which-is-the-best-web-monitoring-tool-talkwalker-vs-google-alerts/

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3.5.2014

Thanks for giving me a stimulus concerning Google Alerts, I have been using that for a while but I I need to use it more creatively, so yep another great tip.

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

Thanks :)

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3.5.2014

Hi Mat, Great Post as always.

But isn’t that exactly was Buzz bundle dose, or am I missing something?

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

Yeah BuzzBundle is a much more developed version of this

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3.7.2014

Hey Mat !

I’ve learned something new, was a pleasure to read your article .

Kind regards form Albania ;)

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

Thanks :)

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3.13.2014

I agree with you Matt that google alerts is one of the underrated tools that you can use but has a lot of potential. I have to say that I experienced this once when I was working with a company and I was able to find some viral topics which people want to find and made a video about it. In 3 months I had it on the first page of youtube and had 10k views without a boost.

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

Yeah it’s a great way to stay in tune with your market!

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4.2.2014

Hi Matt, Thanks very much for this post, it’s very useful for me. I don’t know about Google Alerts but after reading this I will definitely set up Google Alerts for my own.
Thanks

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

They have made a few improvements recently as well!

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4.16.2014

Thanks for the post Matt.
I never thought that footprints works with G alerts.

Got some new info right here :) Ty

- Eymard

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Matthew Woodward Reply:

No worrys :)

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