How to set up Google Alerts

how to set up google alerts



Know your online reputation for free

Want to monitor almost anything on the Internet for free? Nothing simpler than creating a Google alert.

In this article we will explain how to set up Google alerts and everything reacted with this useful tool that is totally free.

Here we go!

What is Google Alerts?

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Starting with the obvious, we will say that Google Alerts is a personalized alert system with which Google notifies you of the content it has recently indexed.

Google sends you an email every time it indexes content where it identifies the keywords you have indicated so that it notifies you.

This way, you are kept up to date on your favorite topics, or you are notified when your brand is mentioned on the network (brand monitoring).

How do Google Alerts work?

It works in a very simple and intuitive way.

Just enter the keyword or group of keywords you need to monitor and Google will send you an email notification every time it indexes content related to that topic.

This is its basic operation. But Google Alerts also has a series of filters and you can use the famous Google footprints, so you can narrow down the content in a much more precise way and receive only the alerts we need and not feel saturated.

Below you will see the different ways you can create alerts and examples of a few that may fit your business.

In the alerts, you can set the following search parameters:

  • Frequency of receipt of notices
  • Type of site you want to use as a source
  • Search language
  • Search region
  • Number of results (only the best or all)

Limitations of Google Alerts

Like almost everything that is free, there are limitations, and in this case it is no different with Google Alerts.

One of the main problems is that it only notifies you of new content indexed by the search engine and not of all the content that already exists.

If you want to know this you should use the footprints directly in the Google search engine.

How to create and activate a Google Alert?

Now that you know what this tool is and what it is for, let’s get down to business: creating alerts.

To create your first alert within Google Alerts just go to

Once inside, in the search engine, enter the keyword or content on which you want to launch an alert and the tool will start launching a preview of the content it has found.

how to create google alerts

The next step is to add the email address where we want to send the alert. If we are logged in with our Google account it will send the alerts there by default.

When creating an alert it is advisable to click on Show options to be able to configure the alert in more detail.

Here we can configure the Frequency, the Sources, the Language, the Region, the Amount and to whom to send the alert. Check these points to narrow them down as much as possible because this is where you will refine the search.

With this, we have more than enough to create Google alerts. Now let’s take a look at a few that you may find useful.

How to create a Google alert if I don’t have Gmail?

You should know that you do not need a Gmail account to use Google Alerts.

It is possible to use an e-mail address from any provider. In other words, you can have a non-Gmail Google account.

The steps to follow are very simple: connect to the registration form. Create a Google account, click on “use my current email address” and enter the email address managed by another provider (e.g.

Then click on “next” and, on the page that opens, enter the verification code received by email.

Once the configuration is complete, your email address will be associated with your Google account and you will be able to use Google Alerts.

Key Google Alerts for your business

With Google Alerts, we can follow all kinds of content on the Internet, but in this case we will see the ones we consider most interesting when it comes to managing your business.

Monitor your brand

This is the most obvious of all and it is advisable to activate it if you want to be aware of your online reputation.

To do this, it is best to understand how your business is searched on the Internet and create an alert with the OR command in case there are several ways to do it.

Here is an example: Repscan OR OR “rep scan”.

The OR command is used to explain that any of the ones we have marked is valid and the word in quotation marks means that it must appear as it is.

With this monitoring, you will find mentions of your brand that will allow you to claim links, answer questions or identify problems on review sites.

For the latter, use the command “your company name” + opinion OR review OR review OR review.

Monitor your competitors

This is another thing you must actively do.

You can start by creating a simple alert of the type competitor 1 OR competitor 2 OR competitor 3 to monitor them all together.

You can monitor specific sites related to your brand, such as marketplaces. An example would be + competitor.

You can also use this for Local SEO and identify when your competitors are named in new places thanks to footprints. Here is an example: “competitor’s name” + “competitor’s phone number” + “competitor’s address”.

When you have such an alert, you will know that your competitor has been published in a directory, as these places publish company data.

Monitoring your competitors’ top managers is also interesting, as you will know what they do and even monitor job offers they launch.

Several competitors and not you OR by using the command -. For example: sandisk OR samsung OR toshiba – kingston.

Terms related to your business and industry

If you want to stay up to date, nothing better than setting up an alert for content related to your industry.

Here it is best to be very specific and select your sources well using the site: command, which helps you to narrow your search to a single site for very generic terms. You can set up something like intitle: “reputation”.

This can be used for a large number of sites, but the ideal is to narrow down your search so as not to saturate yourself. A lot of information is published on the Internet every day!

Detect your products being sold outside the official channel

If you sell products on certain channels that you control you can monitor when they leave those locations or sellers. To do this set up something like “product-name” + “buy”

Using Google Alerts you can identify counterfeits, even on official sites such as Amazon or Aliexpress. It’s just knowing who your official distributors are and seeing who sells your products and who is not.

Discounts on products or services that you are interested in or identify dumping

You can use this for yourself as an individual, but also to control prices in the competition on certain products or even on your own products.

By putting things like product “discount” OR product special offer” OR product coupon” OR product rebate” you will be monitoring these types of markdowns and discounts.

Employment opportunities

You can do this for your competitors or for yourself, just like with offers.

Identify the places where your rivals publish offers or their specific page to do so and set up an alert to detect when a new one is published.

You can do this by identifying the site, tagging it and asking to be notified each time a new URL is created that names your competitor or directly through footprints such as “brand name” + salary OR salary OR job.

Grant opportunities

Here if you know the web pages where the offers are published it is very easy to do it with the command site: plus the keywords of your business.

If it is local you can use the command location: Madrid grant for new companies.

You will limit the content to your geographical area.

Other ways to use Google Alerts

The ones we present above are the most common, but there are actually countless things you can control, such as:

  • Plagiarized content: If you put a long text of yours in quotation marks, Google will notify you when something similar is published. It’s as simple as that.
  • Questions in your industry that you can answer: Using adverbs and interrogative pronouns + the topic you want to follow you can find those questions. An example: How * reputation. The * is used to indicate that we don’t care what is in between.
  • Injection of malicious content on your website: Monitor your website with the command site: and add words like viagra, sex, etc,….
  • Specific content in Social Networks: With the site: command you can narrow your search to anything you want. Therefore, if you use it on a social network, the content will be limited to that place.
  • Guest posting opportunities: If you know people who post in many places, you can follow them. Also by using words like guest blogging or guest article + your topic you will be able to find those sites.
  • Content theft or digital content piracy: If you have created digital content and do not want it to be stolen, monitor if it is published using Google Alerts. Remember to add -site:your-web.

Remember that Google alerts you to recent content it indexes that match the search criteria you have given it. Anything that can be put into a URL and its HTML content can be crawled, so imagination and necessity are the limit.

Finally, if you have any questions about how to set up Google alerts or think that any alert should be included in this list of Google Alerts, let us know in the comments. RepScan will be pleased to hear from you.

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