How to know when, where, and how you're mentioned online with Google Alerts

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Something I advise all my clients to do right away is set up Google Alerts so that they are among the first to know when they're mentioned somewhere out there in cyberspace. I'm sometimes surprised at how many people are not aware of this amazing -- and free! -- tool, which Wikipedia describes as "a content change detection and notification service offered by the search engine company Google."

In plain English, a Google Alert  is one of the most versatile online tools you're likely to find. You can track a particular topic and have new information on that topic delivered to your inbox automatically every day, or less frequently, depending on your preferences.  You can set alerts to stay abreast of particular topics, of a competitor, of a client, or even yourself and your business.  At a later date I'll write more about some great ways to use Google Alerts to improve your services, guide your content and even get new business, but for today, I'm going to concentrate on the importance of having Google Alerts set up so you can monitor what's happening online regarding you and your brand.  

Basically a Google Alert is a search that you can customize and have run for you at specified intervals, with the search results sent to you automatically.  Given Moxie's specialization in thought leadership, I'm interested in knowing when I or my clients are mentioned in the media.  However, with Google Alerts, you can also be notified automatically when other people and sites are quoting you, linking to you or your site, mentioning you or your services or business, talking about you, even possibly (though we hope this doesn't happen) complaining about you.   

How to set up a Google Alert


Here's how you can easily create Google Alerts so you can get emails when new results for a topic show up in Google Search. For example, you can get info about news, products, or mentions of your name.


Go to Google Alerts.
In the box at the top, enter a topic you want to follow. If you’re not sure what to track, start with creating alerts for your name and your business name. (You may also want to create alerts for keyword phrases related to your brand and your niche.)


To change your settings, click Show options. You can change:

  • How often you get notifications
  • The types of sites you’ll see
  • Your language
  • The part of the world you want info from
  • How many results you want to see
  • What accounts get the alert

Click Create Alert, and you’ll get emails whenever Google finds matching search results.

There, wasn't that easy? Now when you get quoted by a journalist or someone gives you and your business props on their blog, you won't be the last to know!

Want more tips and tools related to being known as a go-to expert in your field? Get on the Moxie mailing list at www.itstimeformoxie.com!