Google AlertsI hope you know about and are using Google Alerts – it’s a nice way to get info delivered to your email inbox or RSS reader for specific search terms you want to monitor.

But, you can also use a number of the Google shortcuts and search parameters to create some interesting alerts.

For instance, let’s say you want to create an alert for anytime that Google picks up on someone linking to your blog. On top of being a potentially nice monitoring feature it’s also a great networking tactic. If someone is reading and linking to your blog, you might want to comment back.

For this kind of alert go to Google Alerts and put this in the search term box – link: (yourblogurl is of course the address of your blog). In the “type” box, choose comprehensive or just blog if you only want blog links. You can also select daily, weekly and as-it-happens delivery.

This is yet another one of those things you should be paying attention to and the more you can automate it the better.

You might want to revisit my Top 10 Google Shortcuts to find some more ways to track

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • Excellent tip. I had a lot of alerts set up but not that one, thanks!

  • I’m always amazed at the new information you find, John, and equally amazed at how you have the time to keep up with new and changing technologies. I actually went ahead and signed up for this one based on this post. Thanks. – Linda

  • Man this is good. As an SEO, I spend a ton of time researching who is linking back to my client sites, and now, the information comes streaming in to me. Guess I’ll go enjoy a beer. Thanks John!

  • John Jantsch

    @Linda – that’s a good thought, I wonder how I do it. I guess I’m just unconsciously absorbing all this stuff – or I’m sick.

  • Google Alerts rules. Its weird though… even when you have it set to comprehensive and as it happens – it still doesn’t send you everything… it must have its own separate algorithm…

  • Great idea John, the more I try out a variety of alerting tools the more ways I find to use them. I never considered the link: operator, thanks.

  • I used Google Alerts all the time for latest updates on specific topic. I also used it to find backlinks.

  • I have used Google Alerts for years and find it a great way to track my name and key phrases I associate with my name. It doesn’t pock up every though. To do that you have to go for a more comprehensive system.

    Still Google Alerts is quick and easy and lets me keep an eye on what is being said about people I’m interested in and competitors.

    One tip. Make your search as specific as possible. It takes out the irrelevant nonsense so if you are interested in “Duct Tape Marketing” put it in inverted commas, otherwise you may learn more about teh uses of duct tape than you want.

  • Is there a difference in a link that someone makes on their blog, inside a blog post COMPARED TO a link that someone places in their blogroll/”sites I like to read” – is there more weight for one or the other.

    My first alert showed a site that has linked to me for a while on his blogroll – will then, Google Alerts list him out everytime or do they look for NEW links (like a link someone puts in about a specific post)?

    All this said, doesn’t WordPress already show me this when I log in (who is linking to me)? Is this different than that? Maybe Google alerts is more comprehensive?

  • Thanks for the tip with regard to blog URLs, John. I didn’t know you could do that — I have some alerts already set up for regular terms — and we have several blogs so, as Rudy mentioned, this is going to be a big help in terms of less time spent scouring the web.

    Thanks again!

  • John,

    That is an amazing tip. I had no idea.

    Thank you! (as a thanks, expect a Google Alert on a link to your blog from me)

    – Mike Michalowicz

  • John,

    Thanks for this amazing tip. Expect a google alert. I am linking to your blog.

    – Mike Michalowicz

  • I have been using Google Alerts for the last 8 months for my name Donna Ann Harris, my business name Heritage Consulting Inc., and for my book title New Solutions for House Museums. While the alerts are often junk as the search is for any of the words rather than all the words together, I have come across reviews of my book that i would never have known about. It is a great tool I would recommend to anyone.

    Donna Ann Harris

  • What a super blog full of great tips. I’ll have to check the Google alert out.

    Blessings! JJ

  • John Jantsch

    @Donna – here’s a little tip that will fix the junk problem you mention.

    Go back to your alerts and edit them so that a search on your name is “Donna Ann Harris” with the quotes around it and that way you will only get alerts where those three words appear together.

  • Great tip, thanks a lot!
    Donna Ann Harris

  • You should also check out รขโ‚ฌโ€ it can track keywords / phrases in podcasts, videos, blog posts, news articles, (new) books, etc. Plus it can find local events matching your keywords. You can track your output (results) on the site or via RSS feeds.

  • Thanks John!

    I’m back from holiday, catching up on reading, and very happy to know about this tool. Knowing what search terms people actually use is vitalto online marketing.

  • this is brilliant. just set it up now. will see how it works out. thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚