As promised here is the follow-up to my post on “Can Google Alerts Help The Agent?”
Now that we explored how you might be able to use Google Alerts let begin to talk about setting up your alerts.
In order to use Google Alerts you must have a gmail account. If you do not have one please go to www.gmail.com and get one.
No that you have your gmail account you need to login to your alerts. You can go here to directly login or if you have used any of the google tools you can login to your account directly as well.
To login directly to Google Alerts go to this page http://www.google.com/alerts.
(Note: If you have an existing Google account go to google.com and click on the “My Account” link at the top of the page. Login to your account. If you never used Google Alerts go to the section “Try Something New” and select it.
Once you login you’ll be at the manage your accounts page. Click on the “New Alert” button to create a new alert.
1: Deceide on your Search Terms
The first thing you need to do is choose your search terms. This is the word or words Google will search on. For this example I will use; “Giants Football”
2: Choose the Type of Alert
Now you need to choose the type of alert. Your choice are; News, Blogs, Web, Comprehensive, Video, and Groups.
Depending on what you are looking for here is an explanation of each type:
- A ‘News’ alert is an email aggregate of the latest news articles that contain the search terms of your choice and appear in the top ten results of your Google News search.
- A ‘Web’ alert is an email aggregate of the latest web pages that contain the search terms of your choice and appear in the top twenty results of your Google Web search.
- A ‘Blogs’ alert is an email aggregate of the latest blog posts that contain the search terms of your choice and appear in the top ten results of your Google Blog search.
- A ‘Comprehensive’ alert is an aggregate of the latest results from multiple sources (News, Web and Blogs) into a single email to provide maximum coverage on the topic of your choice.
- A ‘Video’ alert is an email aggregate of the latest videos that contain the search terms of your choice and appear in the top ten results of your Google Video search.
- A ‘Groups’ alert is an email aggregate of new posts that contain the search terms of your choice and appear in the top fifty results of your Google Groups search.
For now let’s choose “Comprehensive” which will yield results from Web, News, and Blogs.
3: Select a Delivery Method
Now choose how you waned it delivered. You can receive an email or it can be outputed to an RSS feed.
Next you need to choose how often you want results. The frequency you select when you set up your alert determines how often Google checks for new results, not necessarily how often you’ll receive alerts. If you select “once a day,” Google will check for new results once a day, which means you’ll get a maximum of one email per day. If you choose the “as it happens,” Google will check for new results continuously and send you an alert whenever they find a new result.
4: Create Alert
Then simply click “Create Alert” and you are done.
Summing it up
So setting up alerts is fairly simple, the trick is using the correct search terms and type to yield results that are useful. When thinking of what term you want to search on be specific. For example Arizona would probably give you everything from Arizona news headlines to Arizona Iced Tea. A better term would be Arizona Scottsdale travel or New Jersey wine tasting.
Also if you are looking for current events you might want to choose only the news alerts instead of adding the web and blogs. Also add a separate one for video if you want to see what is being posted for video.
The real trick is to play with the type of alerts and the search terms. After a bit of practice you can really gain some insightful information out of these free alerts.