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How to set up a Google alert

A Google alert is an easy way of being notified whenever somebody uses your organisation's name or other key terms. It is quick to set up, and free, and will sent its notifications to your email inbox at intervals to suit you.

It's a useful way to keep your ear to the ground and find out what is being said about your organisation across the internet.

Things you'll need

  • An internet connection.
  • An idea of the terms you want to use.

Go to Google

Fire up your internet browser and visit

This takes you to the simple screen that you use to set up your alert. If you have already created an alert, then this screen also contains a link for you to follow to manage your existing alert (you will need to sign in using a Google account to do this).


Choose your search terms

At the top of the screen is what looks like a typical Google search box: this is where you type in the term you want your alert to look for. You'll need to set up a separate alert for each term you want to use, so for instance, you might want to search for your organisation's name, plus the name of your current campaign, and maybe just for information relating to your city or town or community.

Once you've entered your search terms you can click on the blue 'Preview' button to see what Google would find, using that term. This is very useful as you can find out whether you are wanting to use a term that is too broad, say, and which would bring you loads of things you don't want. Make any fine tunings.


Choose your filters

You get quite a lot of control over how Google runs your chosen alert. Under the search box you are presented with a range of options to set up your alert:

The first option relates to what type of content you want the alert to monitor: news, blogs, video, discussions or everything.

The next option allows you to choose how often the alert is run: as it happens, once a day, or once a week. Depending on how busy you expect the alert to be (and how busy you expect to be yourself) pick a frequency that will be helpful but which won't snow you under with updates.

The third option is called 'Volume' and you can select to have only the best results sent to you, or everything. Again, you might want to think about your email inbox when setting this filter, although you can adjust your settings later if you need to.

The last setting asks you for the email address that you want notifications to be sent to. If you are already logged into another Google service, like gmail or G+, then Google will try and be helpful and suggest your known email addresses here. If you're  not already logged in then you can just type your chosen email address into the box.


Create your alert

Lastly, just click on the 'Create alert' button, and you're done! Your alerts will come into your email inbox, so make sure you have adjusted your spam filters to let them through!


Page last edited Apr 28, 2017 History

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