5 Secrets to Google Alerts – Social Listening


The first rule of communication is to listen, to be precise Listen without talking but seldom find that in a communication. We are always the first one to break the other from what he or she is speaking and at the end we just miss the thread from the original discussion.

If you want to be an effective user of social media then improve your social media listening skills. There are many sites but today I’m giving you an example of Google Alerts which is a content change detection and notification service, offered by Google, which automatically notifies users when new content from news, web, blogs, video and/or discussion groups matches a set of search terms selected by the user and stored by the Google Alerts service. Notifications can be sent by email, as a web feed.

Google Alerts only provides content from Google’s own search engine. within the top 20 web sites or top 10 news stories of Google’s organic search results/index for the time period that you set. Google Alerts allows advanced searches. That means you can use the plus sign or negative sign to include search filters, or to filter out certain terms.

Currently there are five types of alerts sent when new content matches the search terms of the alert:

Everything – (default setting) aggregates News, Blogs and everything.
News – sent when matching content makes it into the top ten results of a Google News search
Blogs – sent when matching content appears in the top ten results of a Google Blog Search
Video – sent when matching content appears in the top ten results of a Google video search
Discussions – great way to know about competition market and review of your products. You can also know about new trends.
Books – get the first hand information of your favorite authors next release or new book released on your topic if interest.

Users determine the frequency of checks for new results. Three options are available: “once a day”, “once a week”, or “as it happens”. These options set the maximum frequency of alerts and do not necessarily control how often they will receive alerts. Alerts are sent only if new content matches the user-selected search terms.

If your Google Alerts results are not specific enough, use negative terms — minus signs with the term — in your searches.

Example: Let’s say I want to find information on iPhone 5, but I don’t want posts or comments made on facebook. I can exclude facebook from my results by setting my search term like this:

“iphone 5” -site:facebook.com Now my results will not include facebook posts.

In February of 2003, Google engineer Naga Sridhar got tired of regularly visiting Google News to check for developments in the imminent US war with Iraq. So he put together an application that would email him when a news story broke that matched a specified query. Naga demonstrated his prototype to co-founder Sergey Brin, who set up a news alert for “google.” With encouragement from both Sergey and Marissa Mayer (Google’s Director of Consumer Products), Naga began working full-time on what has become News Alerts. Six months later, links to News Alerts were added to Google Labs’ home page and to Google News.

Google then added Web Alerts to track changes to web pages. Now both News Alerts and Web Alerts have been merged into a single service: Google Alerts. An Alert can be your personal PA and give you the exact information you require in your inbox everyday with trying a single search.

How does an Alert work? You specify the query or queries you’d like Google to monitor. As Google searches the Internet, if it finds a change that you’ve asked to be notified about — that is, one of your Alerts — you’ll get an email message. Google will tell you about new results once a week, once a day, or as soon as they’re found. (You won’t necessarily get a message every day or week. Google only sends email if there’s something new to report.)

How can Google Alert be effective in 5 ways –

1.Monitor your Company and your Competitors

Simply type http://www.yourcompany.com in your alerts and anytime when your website of name is mentioned you will get a notification. Someone talking about your products good or back you get a real-time alert in your inbox thus helping you to keep a track on what people are talking about your product. The same goes from competition products the only aspect is being a bit smart in the search tags, hope you understand.

2.Tracking questions of whose answers you can give

Let’s say you work as a professor of Management and you are keen to answer questions posted by anyone on net regarding a management topics, how do you find who is posting where, it’s simple. Just type;

How * link Management

Can * link Management

Similarly you can add when, why, will etc. this will give a discussion direct to your inbox and you can answer the question and be a hero, smart isn’t it?

3.Use it as a Career Guide

Apart from tracking your company products to know your customers Google alerts can help you to get you right job as and when it is LIVE. Let’s say you want a job of a HR in Wipro for e.g. and you are staying at Pune, you can type; “HR” and “WIPRO” and “PUNE” click the option ‘as-it-happens’ and you will get a mail in your inbox the moment that posting will be available, cool isn’t it?

4.Increase Sales by generating leads

You can keep a track on who wants to buy your product. Let’s say you are a car dealer and are looking for prospects who are talking about car that you deal with and you are from Pune, then type;

Pune ‘name of your car’ * and it will give you the page on which the topic is trading.

5.Get news about a topic from all newspapers in one page

Google alerts also have an option of RSS feeds. So for example you are a journalist and want to know news worldwide on ‘FDI in multi-brand retail’ you need not open separate online newspaper and read, it will be simply collected from web and delivered to your inbox, just type;

“FDI in multi-brand retail” “name of the newspaper”, all articles will be delivered to your inbox as and how it happens thereafter or you can simply pull down option menu to select news or blogs.

or you would like to find out everything about the latest hit ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ where one of India’s most talented actor Mr. Anupam Kher played the role of Dr. Cliff Patel, simply type;

“Silver Linings Playbook” “Anupam Kher” click the option ‘as-it-happens’ and

Last, don’t react online or get provoked to any online comments about your product or company as your negativity can be viral on net and disturb the brand name. Listen, listen well and answer with optimism. Be real and true on the internet.

Happy Alerting!

Amit Jadhav



2 thoughts on “5 Secrets to Google Alerts – Social Listening

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s