Brand Monitoring with Google Alerts by Scott McAndrew
If you’ve never heard of Google Alerts before you’re in for a treat. Alerts is another in the stable of Google Experiments which wear the “beta” badge well into their useful lifespan. I use Google Alerts to monitor brands that I work with for both reputation management as well as to get the general pulse of a brand’s industry. It’s simple to setup and once an Alert has been created Google does all the work, scanning the web and providing me with information I’d otherwise have to manually search for.
Alerts searches just about anything you can think of on the web including News, Video, Blogs, and of course its massive index of the web.
You can setup Google Alerts with or without being logged in to Google. I suggest that you do it when logged into Google as management of your Alerts is far easier. So, step zero is to login to Google Alerts; let’s assume you’ve done that. If you have no Alerts, this is what you’ll see… a blank slate:
Monitoring brand mentions with Google Alerts
- The text says it all, You don’t have any Google Alerts. Try creating one. Go ahead and click on “creating one.”
- I’m going to set these up to monitor mentions of Terralever, so I’ll put “Terralever” in for the “Search terms” column. Unless you want to monitor Terralever, go ahead an enter a brand or term you’re interested in.
- For “type” I want to know everything, so I’ll leave it set to “Comprehensive” so it will check all sources. Single options include “News,” “Blogs,” “Web,” “Video,” and “Groups.”
- I am going to have Google email me as soon as it has something to report, so for the next two settings I’m selecting “Email” for “Deliver to” and “How often” to “as-it-happens.”
- Finally, click the “Create Alert” button and our work is done. This is what you should see:
Using the same technique above you can monitor mentions of a brand, its competitors, products, industry terms… anything you want to monitor.
Before you create an army of Alerts, realize that there’s a lot of information out there and it is entirely possible to get pummeled with Alert notifications. Depending upon how many brands I’m working with and how many keywords I’m monitoring I might receive an unruly number of emails a day from Google. You can make it manageable, however.
Preventing Google Alert Overload
- One is to set the delivery to “Feed.” When you go that route Google provides a link to the feed so you can subscribe to it with a feed reader.
- Another option is to set the delivery frequency to “daily” so for each Alert you receive a daily summary.
- You should also ensure that the terms you are receiving Alerts on aren’t too general.
- One last option is to create a rule in your email client to route all emails that come from Google Alerts to a specific folder.