Have You Tried Google Alerts? Find out how they can help you!

Have you tried Google Alerts?  Here’s some ideas how they might help you “expand your reach into the kingdom”!

Google Alerts is a free service by Google that provides email updates on the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

You can use Google Alerts to:

  • Keep track of a ministry, a competitor, or an industry
  • Monitor a developing news story
  • Get the latest on topics, companies, or people
  • Keep up with your favorite sports team
  • When you write an article, keep track of who links to it and what they are saying
  • Know who is linking to your blog
  • See what others are saying about your domain name
  • Keep track of what others say about your name, company, ministry, or brand
  • Know who else is using similar brand, ministry, domain, or company names

The alerts can be as specific or diverse as you want them to be.

You can choose to track any of the following:

  • Everything
  • News
  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Discussions
  • Rumors are tweets and facebook will be added soon

You can choose to be notified by e-mail as often as you’d like:

  • As it happens
  • Once a day
  • Once a week

If you select once a day or once a week, you can select up to 20 or 50 results included in your e-mail update.  If you search for something popular, you might want to select once a day or week or you will find your inbox filling up fast.

Now, what can you do with your new Google Alerts?  If you issue a press release about your ministry, or an upcoming event you are sponsoring, go to the site and capture the URL (the website address), and send a tweet announcing you’ve been mentioned.  Submit the URL to Digg, Redd It, StumbleUpon, facebook, LinkedIn, and every other social media site you participate in.  Go to a couple of forums and write “Hey, my ministry was just mentioned in a press release at (insert URL)”, and don’t forget to include your LinkedIn Groups.

If you are looking for a job, you will want to set up a Google Alert for your desired job title(s) or target companies.  The alerts will comb through Monster, Careerbuilder, Elance, GoBig, and other sites and condense it down for you in a daily digest of potential jobs.  Don’t forget to include your name in a Google Alert search so you will know when prospective employers do a Google search on your name.  When you search for target companies, you might see a change in who heads up the department you want to work in.  New execs make new hires, that spells opportunity.  You can use the results to put a list of questions you will ask the interviewer, being aware of, and asking about industry or even company issues gives them the impression you are serious about working for them.

Search tips you will want to consider:

  • Quotation Marks “xx” – allows you to search for multiple words.  “Vice President” will only give you results that include both words, without it you can get results for either word alone.
  • Parenthesis – allows you to search for multiple things.  (“Vice President” OR Director) will give you either title.
  • AND / OR – allows you to ‘include’ or ‘exclude’ words or word strings in your search.  Just remember to use all caps.
  • Plus Marks ‘+’ – allows you to include multiple criteria in your search.  “Acme Paper” + (“Vice President” OR Director) + Marketing  will give you the VP or Director of Marketing for Acme Paper.
  • Asterisk ‘*’ – is a wild card.  Use an * if you don’t know the whole name.
  • E-mail address Formats – to get a company’s e-mail address format you could search for *@acmepaper.com and get a list of employees e-mail addresses.  If you target is not in the list, at least you will know the format to try.
  • Page cannot be found – this message usually means someone has deleted the page.  You can click on the small blue word “Cached” next to the URL in the last line of the Google search results.  Google actually records old pages and they are cached in their archives for you to retrieve.
  • Google Show Options – Click on the “More” drop down box in the left hand column to limit your searches to Images, Videos, Maps, News, Shopping, Books, Blogs, Updates, and Discussions.  You can also select specific times and sites with images by clicking on “More Search Tools” at the bottom of the left column.

Get Started by going to http://www.Google.com/alerts

It’s time to try Google Alerts and Google Searches to “expand your reach into the kingdom”.  There’s nothing to lose, and the kingdom to gain!


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