Will you look smarter to your clients, prospects, or boss if you stay current on news stories about them? Of course.
Free Google Alerts
The free Google Alerts service provides email updates of the latest Google results (web, news, etc.) for your topic.
You can get information from Google on how to sign up. It’s easy. You will need a Google account.
I’ve gotten the best results by selecting “all results” instead of “only the best results” in response to the question “how many.” That’s probably because my alerts are for very narrow, specific topics. “Only the best results” sometimes yielded no results, when “all results” yielded some. I noticed this with the alert for Financial Blogging: How to Write Powerful Posts That Attract Clients. Some of the results come from poor-quality websites. That’s been useful because it has made me aware when my book’s copyright has been infringed.
If I were searching on a broad topic, such as “investment management,” I’d select “only the best results.” I’d also narrow my topic to a specific kind or aspect of investment management.
I adjust my settings so I only receive alerts once a week. Otherwise the flow of emails could overwhelm me.
Are you researching a topic for a blog post, white paper, or other purpose? Set up an alert for your topic. It may yield some helpful information.
If you’re searching for something to blog about, a Google alert on a broad area may make you aware of a great topic you wouldn’t know of otherwise. It can also yield ideas for content to share via social media.
Also, keep an eye on your reputation by tracking your name, website, and other relevant topics.
NOTE: This post was originally published in 2008. I’ve updated and expanded it since then.