This is the sixth (belated!) Gay Girl’s Guide To Blogging post – a pretty short post explaining what Google Alerts are and why they can be incredibly useful for bloggers! If you want to set up your own Google Alerts, read on for instructions and some tips!
So what are Google Alerts? Basically, it’s a service from Google which will notify you any time the search engine finds content on the web which matches some keywords which you’ve already set. This is possible because all search engines ‘crawl’ the web (with something called a search spider) constantly, looking for new content, or changes to websites – so that they can make sure that the search results pages are as accurate as possible. This means that anyone can set up these alerts to let them know any time someone posts something about them on the internet!
How is this useful? Well, if you set up Google Alerts for your name, you’ll be notified whenever someone writes your full name on a blog, or a forum, or even on a website. This is a great way to check what people are saying about you – but it’s also a way to check that no one is using your details fraudulently online as well. Similarly, you can set up an alert for your phone number, which means that if anyone is passing your details around online, you’ll find out about it!
For bloggers, Google Alerts can be set up to monitor what people are saying about your blog name, url or tagline. This means that any time someone recommends your blog on their own site or in some comments, you’ll be notified – the perfect way to find out about conversations that you can get involved in! You can also set up Google Alerts for any set of keywords that you’re interested in – so, if you’re looking for information on ‘lesbian family with twins’, you can set up an alert and receive updates any time new information is found!
I have set my Google Alerts up in email format, which means that any time that whenever someone writes about ‘A Summer Full Of Peaches’ or ‘asummerfullofpeaches.com’ I receive an email showing me where the mention has been found. You can ask to be sent an email any time a mention is found, or be sent a round-up on a regular basis – and they’ll be sent directly to your email address.
So, how do you set up Google Alerts? Easy. Simply fill in the form on this page! It’s fairly simple; just remember to click ‘All Results’ rather than ‘Best Results’ to see everything related to your keywords, and wait until the emails start coming in!Carley