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If you don’t know what Google alerts are then you’re missing out on a very useful tool for anyone creating content or working in an evolving field (like web development). Are you working on your brand image? Trying to keep up to date on interesting news to report on? Do you just want to know if someone is talking about you online? Well, using Google Alerts is the place to start.

Google is known for it’s web indexing prowess and I’ve been guilty of “Googling” my own name a few times just to see what pops up (you would be surprised at just how much might pop up when you search your name, go try it). You could just perform a Google search every day to see if there’s anything new, but that’s a lot of work and honestly, would you remember? That’s where Google alerts comes in.

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You may enter keywords or search strings just as you would in a normal everyday search. Choose from various result types like news, blogs, or everything. Have emails sent daily or as soon as the information becomes available. Then choose the email you want to send the alert to (you do not have to have a Google account to use this feature, you can verify by email with any email address). Now you’ll have a digest or immediate email sent to you with the most relevant articles to your desired search. How much easier could that get?

If you’re a blogger…

Use the alerts as tools for your topics. Find out the latest news as soon as it becomes available. Use the alerts to keep up to date on important information that could be changing. The faster you have the information in hand, the faster you can use the information.

If you’re a developer…

Use the alerts to keep up to date on your favorite programming languages. Track development projects that you have your eye on. Look for industry news that relates to your particular expertise.

If you’re a business owner…

Use the alerts to keep track of new products in your market. Follow information on your target demographic and trends. Monitor reviews and mentions of your business and even that of your competitors. Track information on legislation and political updates that may affect your business.


The Bottom Line

Information is valuable. Your time is valuable. While you could spend your time searching for information each time you need it, you can also have it delivered to you on a regular basis. Save time and keep informed with less effort. It’s worth it.