As an SEOer, we use Google Alerts to help find linking opportunities on current wares, but as a blogger, Google Alerts does come into it’s own.  You can find new audiences with Google Alerts, as I hope to explain in this post.

What is Google Alerts?

Basically, Google Alerts is a service that sends you email whenever a relevant update is made to the Google Search Listings. It’s more about new pages being indexed, and covers News, Blogs, Discussions, as well as the original search.

Notation

I will use some odd notation to format some of these alerts, this is to replace with your own stuff.

  • Square Brackets [] - Replace what ever is in the square brackets with what’s described in the square brackets (for example, with this site, replace [your url] with http://www.gospelrhys.co.uk/
  • Standard Brackets () - This is optional & can be removed. I’ll explain why in the description.

[blog name]

This should only be used in blogs/web 2.0 search & news search. This simply tells us when you are mentioned. I’ve seen this utilised by many big web brands, with high up brand members commenting on the site to

If you release anything associated with your blog that you’ll later sell, it’d be stupid not to have this.

@[twitter name] -site:http://twitter.com (-site:[your url])

Unfortunately, you cannot find links to your twitter page (or I don’t really know how if it’s possible!), but often when people who link to your twitter page will use the keyword (in my example) “@rhyswynne”. You can track linked pages in Google Alerts, but Google is remarkably slow in showing new links to sites, so instead we’ll just search for your twitter handle being mentioned on sites.

We add the negative site operator, as we don’t want any mentions of your twitter handle on Twitter, and I also like removing my site URL as I have a lifestream on this page. You may want to add this or not.

“[a query that you can answer]“

A good one that I’ve used in the past is to monitor discussions & everything for queries you can answer quickly & easily. Say for example you sell tea cosies on your blog, you can search for “Where can I buy tea cosies online?”. Be creative. There’s no limit to the amount of searches you can do for this.

What you are searching for here is forum posts & discussions. Places you can join & answer questions. Try not to spam the forums but be useful, even answering a couple of threads before & after the target thread & contributing to discussion.

Over To You!

These are just three Google Alerts I have on my account. Do you have any that differ from the above? Do share them in the comments!

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