Maximize the Value of Every Google Alert

Okay.  First things first.  You ARE getting Google Alerts every time your small business is mentioned on the web, aren’t you?  If you’re not, get with it.    It is an awesome tool that can make increasing the online visibility of your small business online so much easier.  (Side note: I’m talking about the real Google.com/alert, not the commercial googlealert.com.  I don’t know the commercial version, only the free Google service.) Basically, you ask Google to troll the web for you, looking for specific keywords or your company name.  Every time a Google bot finds what you requested, it captures the page and sends it to you.  You can choose to have it sent “as it happens,” which means immediately upon the bot finding it, once a day, or weekly.  Your own site isn’t included in the results, nor are Tweets or Facebook mentions at this time, but those will be coming soon. 

Google Alerts are great for finding out when you are mentioned on someone else’s blog, or in an article, or in an Answer in LinkedIn.  If you are submitting press releases to dozens of press release services, Google Alerts can give you exactly which services are distributing your releases, and which aren’t.  You’ll know what sites are promoting you.  It’s the easiest way to create a file of your online press clippings I’ve found.  It’s also a great tool for monitoring who is talking about your competitors, what blogs are actively talking about your areas of interest, and catching any negative reviews or bad-mouthing before it goes viral.

But what I have found with many small business owners that I consult with is that they set up Google Alerts, they get the email from Google every day or every week, they open it up, say, “Oh goody, my press release was published,” and go on with their day.


You got the information, now DO SOMETHING with it.  For instance, if a press release about your small business’ upcoming event was published by one of the online news agencies, go to the site, capture the URL, and send a tweet announcing you’ve been mentioned.  Don’t stop there.  Submit the URL to Digg, Redd It, StumbleUpon, and every other social bookmarking site you participate in.  Go to a couple forums and say, “Hey, PRNews just published our press release.”  Update your wall on Facebook, submit a little news items to each of your LinkedIn groups.   

I suggested this plan of action to a client and she responded with “Why should I promote their blog?  Aren’t I just sending traffic to them instead of to me?”  I had to pause for a second.  But really, why wouldn’t I want to promote a blog that is talking about my business?  Sure, I’m making an effort to make that blog successful, but I think that’s OK.  If that site publishes a mention about your small business, and their site viewership increases, what are the chances they will be interested in publishing the next release you send, or mentioning your small business again?  Pretty good, I’d say.

But Google Alerts can be used for so much more.  For instance, if you are a graphic designer looking for a new project, you can set up a Google Alert to look for “graphic designer wanted.”  You’ll get an Alert that has combed through Monster, Careerbuilder, Elance, GoBig, and other sites and condensed it down to a daily digest of potential projects.  so much easier and more convenient that going through each site separately.  It can work for just about any job or project search.  I’ve used it to identify companies who are actively looking for an online marketing consultant. 

Think about the topics you want to know about on a regular basis and create an Alert.  You’ll be amazed at how much information you get so easily.  I have found in my small business consulting practice that my topic research for certain clients has been cut to almost nothing because Google is doing it for me and delivering it right to my inbox.  It’s like having an intern doing your research and just presenting you with a summary of the latest news.  How cool is that?

I’m curious about how you use Google Alerts.  Please leave your comments below.

And as always, if I can help you create an online or offline marketing plan or help you get your business growing and moving toward your success point, please call me at (614) 753-5979 or email me at SuccessPointConsulting@hotmail.com.  I would be honored to help.

Here’s to your success,


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  1. Viv Oyolu

    Great article! Thanks for pointing out the huge benefits! I have set up about 5 alerts over the past months but never get the time to go through them to check for information that could definitely be of use to me…I know better now! Thanks.

  2. Jos Essers

    Great article Trina. I love Google alerts on a number of topics. And your tips on what to do with the info?? Very valuable and insightful.


  3. Christy Demetrakis

    Trina, very helpful. I was not aware of Google Alerts until a couple of weeks ago. Your earlier post on Linkedin may have alerted me. I now receive them daily on a number of public speaking topics. As Jos mentioned, the tips on what to do with the information received in the alerts are great and easy. Thanks for the article. http://empoweredspeaker.com/blogs

  4. Don Don

    How do we submit something that might be worthy to Google Alerts? TIA.

    1. teelady

      Don Don,

      Thanks for stopping by. You can request a Google Alert by simply going to http://google.com/alert and filling in the simple form. Google then searches the web to find the information you requested. If you want your articles, blogs, etc., to be found by Google, then you need to make sure you are “pinging” your blogs and are promoting your materials in several channels. If you need specific help, please email me directly at SuccessPointConsulting@hotmail.com

  5. Rob Berman

    I use Google alerts looking for mentions of my name. I did not think about them for topics to blog about. Great idea.

    1. teelady

      Thanks. I don’t know why more people don’t use them this way. I don’t even remember when I discovered this, but it saves me lots of time and effort.

  6. Jenelle Livet

    Wow. I had heard of google alerts and found out how to set one up but have not used them like this. Thanks for the fantastic post

  7. James Randall

    Found out that James Randall was the very first Pony Express rider. Also found that another company was using our registered name.

  8. Erika

    Thanks for the great post. I just recently started using Google Alerts to find things that help me help my clients and other small businesses in my social networking sites. I did not however, until now thought about setting one up for my company name and maybe even my competition. Thanks for the great information. I am curious to find out what may come up about my company and my competitors.


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