Have you hear about Google Alerts? Did you know that you can create an automatic notification system to notify you when some change or event occurs? This system will send you an email when any event or change occurs on the web data. For example, you can set the system to notify you if anyone is speaking about you on a particular forum. Cool isn’t it? This is Google Alerts !!
In this post, I will teach you techniques to setup google alerts, so that you get can easily monitor what & when somebody talks about you online. Have you ever searched your name on Google? If not, try it. You will get an idea as to what is your footprint on the web. Unknown people search for you on the internet and derive a perception about you, based on what they find about you online.
Your online reputation is a measure of YOU AS A PERSON, online. Employers, friends, business contacts find you on the web and build a perception about you. What you claim about yourself is one thing, but do you know what other people think about you, write about you online? Not on Facebook, but on any website, news page or a blog or a forum.
When someone tags you on facebook, you get notified & you can un-tag yourself anytime. Now consider this, someone posted your name, phone number, address, etc. on their website for everyone to see. Google indexes these pages and within no time your personal information is easily accessible to everyone. If you wish to monitor the web for content about you or anything else, google alerts is the solution.
Setup Google Alerts
Click here to go to setup Google Alerts. This is the place where you configure your automated system to notify you.
Type your name into the query bar to create an alert & click “Show options”. You should get a screen as shown below.
You should ideally type in lot of queries here to monitor your name, phone number, etc. Check out each drop down option here.
- With “How often” you can control how frequently you want to be notified.
- “Sources” lets you choose the source of the occurrence. However, Google recommends the “Automatic” option, which provides you with the best results from across the web.
- “Language” & “Region” let you select results for specific language or region.
- “How many” lets you control how many emails you get about your alerts.
- Finally, enter your email address for the alerts to be delivered & click CREATE ALERT.
To learn more on ways to customize google alerts, click here for Google Alerts help. Your alerts list would appear as below.
After you create these alerts, you will get an email notification when google indexes a site that contains this query that you have created above. With above alerts set up, Google Alerts with notify me if my name or phone number appears on anywhere on the web. You just created an automated system to monitor if your personal information is stored on the web or if you name appears anywhere on the web.
You should try searching these queries on google. Before doing this, make sure that you log out of your google, facebook or any other accounts. In the search results you can see your facebook profile, check what personal information is shown on google from this profile, verify if private information shows up. This way you will get to see what other people see when they do these searches and this is exactly what we want to monitor.
This is one application of google alerts. You can setup alerts for various needs – job postings, hobbies, news, etc. I recommend you to use these technique and be notified. Do try it out. It’s fun!!
Hope that helped.