Google Alerts is a free service which monitors the use of any subject or terms you specify online. You then receive emails when that term appears within the top 20 websites or top 10 news stories of Google's organic search results.
There are many applications for Google Alerts. For personal use, you can track your own name to see what others say about you, follow your favorite sport, or other topics you find interest in. It can, and should, also be used to further your knowledge about your own business and company.
If there is a specific part of your industry which perks your interest, Google Alerts is a great way to track and follow any new articles, stories, blogs, or sites that mention the topic or phrase you would like to search. It is like having a personal secretary to do online searches for you.
Google Alerts is a simple way to know what others are saying about you and your company online. You can track you company name, names of employees, website domain, products or services you provide, etc. Anything that is associated with your company and is unique enough that it can be tracked, should be tracked.
To see what sites are linked to your own website, use this as your Google Alerts search: “link:http://www.my-website-name.com” This will not only make you more aware of who is linking to your site but can be a great opportunity for outreach and networking.
If your site has unique and specific content, you can utilize Google Alerts to search for any site that may have copied your information. If it was truly copied and not quoted, you can quickly go through the processes of getting it removed.
Monitoring your competition in reality is just as important as monitoring them online. Doing so can help you learn from their successes and failures. Just as it was mentioned to track your own reputation and backlinks, you should also be tracking those of your competition. If your competition is more successful in an area, Google Alerts is a great tool to help you analyze why and then make smart business decisions to stay competitive.
Google Alerts is a tool that every company should use to track and protect not only their own name and information but also track the reputation and moves of their competitors. This will give your company a greater competitive advantage.