Using Google Alerts is a great way to keep informed about what is being talked about online. You can use it to keep track of names, products, news stories, popular subjects, and anything else that keeps you better informed. With a Google account and a few keywords, you can create your own alerts, which will be emailed to you instantly. This is a powerful tool for staying ahead and keeping track of specific subject matter. Check out these ways you can make Google alerts work for you:

Business/Personal Names

Keep track of your personal name or business name when they are mentioned online by using Google alerts. If you are a prominent figure or have a business, it is important to keep track. Google alerts is kind of like having your own publicist letting you know what is happening in the online world.

Domain Name

You can also track your own domain name and who is using it. When you are using Google Alerts, simply put in yourwebsitename.com in the search book and you'll have access to knowing where you're mentioned. Skip the www, however, as Google doesn't need the extension.

Blog Name

The same can be said for a blog site. You can find the results of where your blog is linked or if it is posted elsewhere. Put in the search box: yourblogname.com. This is a lifesaver for monitoring when someone is taking notice of your blog.

Article Marketing

When you write an article, you probably want to know who else is linking to it. You can create an alert using the title of your blog or a link to the web page. Knowing where your articles appear helps you better understand your audience and where your information is being posted.

Niches

No matter what niche you are in, there are keywords that people will use when they are writing about it. Using Google Alerts to stay on top of these phrases can be important. You can take your niche to the next level by learning what other people have to say about it. This also helps you learn about upcoming products in your niche and ideas for improvement.

Watch Your Competition

Try creating a Google Alert to monitor your competition. You can use phrases such as the names of your competitors and their websites. Interesting things might come up such as product changes, new ideas, and the knowledge of what others in your industry are doing.

More Search Tricks

Here are a couple more useful ways to use Google alerts and tips for searching:

* When doing a keyword search, you can specify more than one word, by typing the keywords and the plus (+) sign. The alerts will contain both of those words.

* When you want to do one word or another, use the word OR in between your keywords. Make sure to capitalize OR when searching this way.

* For more descriptive phrases, Google will alert you of anything that includes all the words in the phrase. If you want an exact phrase, just put it in quotes.

Using Google alerts will have you tracking down anything you can think of in no time. Try it yourself and see what works best for you and your business.

Author's Bio: 

Serena Carcasole is a certified Internet and Social Media Marketing Specialist, Author of Internet Marketing 101 Self Study Guide and Workbook and the President of Virtual Business Solutions ON DEMAND, a premier virtual assistance firm helping entrepreneurs around the world to succeed and grow their businesses. In addition to administrative services, Virtual Business Solutions ON DEMAND provides a host of specialized technical and marketing outsourcing options to meet business owners' unique needs. Some of the most popular services include Internet marketing through social networks, blogging, and article marketing; website and graphic design; search engine optimization support.

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