Google Alerts


Ian Murray

What are Google Alerts and how can they help your business?

Google Alerts is a free content detection service provided by Google. The service is simple to use and can help suggest content for businesses looking for inspiration for SEO and social media campaigns.

How does it work?

The user creates an account, then sets keywords they would like to receive related content from the search engine. When new content relating to the chosen keywords is published on Google’s digital channels. The user is sent a notification alerting them to this content. The notifications can be set to arrive daily, weekly or monthly. The types of alerts you receive are related to new content on Google including; new web pages, articles and blogs.

What are the benefits to businesses?

  • Information posted by similar businesses allow you to keep up to date with any related news or innovations within your sector.
  • New articles can help inspire rich content ideas. These can assist with your own ongoing digital marketing, social media or Search Engine Optimisation campaigns.
  • E-commerce customers can set keywords orientated around their brand name or branded products. Helping you to stay aware of any articles or comments relating to them.
  • Monitoring keywords relating to competitors branding. This allows companies to keep tabs on any new products or changes to the business that could affect the performance of their own.
  • Receiving industry related alerts can ensure you are up to date with any new laws or legislation that could impact your business.

Best practices for alert optimisation

Running generic keywords without optimisation can lead you to receive an overwhelming amount of irrelevant content. Just like a Google AdWords campaign, you can filter the types of content you receive to help improve its efficiency.

  • Target specific words and terms by using quotes (“”). Putting quotes around a term lets Google know to overlook variations of the term. For example, searching for travel will also find traveling & travellers. Searching for “travel” will only return results relating to “travel”.
  • Like with Google Ads you can also run negative keywords. Placing (-) in front of an undesirable term will then exclude that from the types of results you receive. For example if you are looking for content relating to hand made furniture and using the term furniture. By adding in -plastic, you will stop results coming through for mass manufactured plastic items.
  • Site specific content. This is an easy way to stay up to date with content from sites you like, or that you wish to monitor. Simply place site: directly in front of the site name with no space between the two. You will then be notified of any content published by this site.


Google alerts is an easy and free way to help improve your online marketing. It allows you to vary the digital media you, or your content marketer posts. Allowing for diverse content to be displayed on your site and social networks regarding products and services you are looking to promote in your digital marketing strategy.

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