Track your competition, track your own business name, learn about upcoming trends in your industry – all instantaneously. Many companies struggle to find “where the conversations are happening” about their business or service – Google Alerts is the tool you need to find out.
Some downsides – Google alerts searches the webpages that Google indexes. This means that if Google doesn’t index it, you won’t get an alert. Where this becomes a problem is social media – Google doesn’t index Facebook conversations, or Tweets very well. But combining Google Alerts, with browsing Facebook pages, and utilizing other Twitter tools and search will give you a good idea of the buzz around your company or brand.
Some tips – Be Very Specific. For the best results, go for specific topics. “Marketing” is too broad – use “Social Media Marketing” or “Mobile Marketing” for the best results. If your looking for conversations – use the “type” field and switch it to “conversations” or “blog” to find chatter on forums, and blogs – sign up, and get involved.
Whatever you use Google Alerts for, it should be in the toolbox of every business on the web.