Why and how Google Alerts could be useful

Google alerts



Google Alert is a powerful tool that assists you in keeping track of interesting topics, latest trends, or anything new that makes an appearance in web. These alerts could be for ‘news’, ‘technology’, ‘sports’, ‘politics’, ‘companies’, ‘programming’, ‘music’, ‘television’, and ‘movies’. In each of these categories you would be given a list of latest interests. Here, two questions need to be answered: why we need Google Alert, and how to create them.

Why do you need Google Alert?

Google Alert is a tool that helps in keeping pace with time. As a football fan you could be interested in following English Premier League or Spanish Football League, or as a fan of Hugh Grant you could be interested in his latest assignments. In case you are interested in latest software application developments, you could create an alert for ‘programming’. Once an alert is created you need not search for your desired topic every time you log on to your browser. You just need to click on to the respective icon for immediate access. This saves you the time of navigating through different sites before coming to your desired website. Clicking on an icon would take you directly to related sites of your interest without wasting any time.

Once you set a Google Alert, the search engine would send e-mails whenever a new result appears related to your interest area. These alerts would keep you abreast of latest news in these areas.

How to create Google Alert?

Creating Google Alert is simple and is completed in a few steps followed in sequence. You should begin by clicking on to www.google.com/alerts. Once you click on to this link a ‘create a Google Alert’ window appears on your computer screen having four fields: search terms; type; how often; and your e-mail. All fields must be compulsorily filled in before submission. The ‘search terms’ field is most crucial as the filled in data would take you to the concerned sites that you are looking for. While filling in ‘search term’ field try and attempt to put is specialized words rather than general terms as in the latter case the number of results would be too high for making a reasonable search.

For any search, Google sends newly indexed websites only and not every one of them. This ensures that the results displayed are current and contain matter that is fresh and trendy. Using specialized terms simplifies your search process and saves on your productive time. Usage of specialized words necessitates filling in of just one or two words for getting you desired results.

‘Type’ field – After you have chosen your specialized term say ‘inflation’ as your search term, you should proceed to fill in the ‘type’ field. ‘Type’ determines the formation in which you want your information about ‘inflation’. This could be in the form of news, videos, blogs, Google Groups or web pages. You could chose one among these five types; or else you could opt for ‘comprehensive’ type. By selecting ‘comprehensive’ type all these five types are covered and result of each type is offered.

‘How often’ field – This depends on your ‘search term’. In case your search term is common then ideally you should opt for ‘once a day’. For a relatively less common ‘search term’ selecting ‘once a week’ option should be reasonable. In the event your search term is obscure, then ‘as it happens’ option should be selected.

E-mail field – This is obviously the field for filling in your e-mail address where you need your Google Alerts to come.

Create Alert – Click on ‘Create Alert’ to complete the procedure. Your Alert is thus created, and you would start receiving them as per your instructions.

Managing your Google Alert

Just by creating a Google Alert does not complete your responsibility. You need to manage it effectively to get the best results. Managing is done through editing, which follows the same pattern as creating an Alert. All the fields are dynamic and could be changed as and when you feel like. As circumstances change so does your Alert. When you are looking for a job then typically you create Alert for jobs. After this requirement is fulfilled your Alert could change to ‘buying home’ or ‘insurance’. So, not only every ‘search term’ is dynamic, even your entire alert creation is changing. This dynamism is what makes Google Alerts attractive.

Receiving Alerts as feeds

If needed, you could receive your Google Alerts in the nature of feeds. For this you need to take the assistance of Google Reader. This application has a ‘deliver to’ option. After going to this option you need to select ‘feed’. For ‘feed’ Alert frequency needs to be changed to ‘as it happens’. These alerts would come to you in the language you have selected.  Google Alert offers you a choice of languages and you could choose one as per your preference.

About Elina Garcia
Elina Garcia is a freelance writer and love to explore technologies ideas.