Although still in BETA testing Google Alerts has already gotten a lot attention, and marketers are loving it. It’s as simple as can be – you simply enter in specific terms you want tracked, and then sit back and let Google do the work. Any mention of these words will be compiled and sent to your inbox on a frequency you designate.
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.