Google Alerts: Get Updates on Any Topic

By Marilynne Rudick on June 6, 2010

I was talking to my friend Denise about a new medical procedure we were both following closely. I mentioned that I just looked at a YouTube video about the procedure from a presentation given at a medical convention the previous day. She was stunned. “How’d you know about that?”

“Google Alerts,” I told her.
“What’s that?”

I told her about the application that sends you an e-mail alert when there are new Google search results that match the keywords you’ve selected. It’s a snap to set up.

Go to:

  • Enter your search terms.
  • Select what you want Google to monitor (web, videos, comprehensive—everything).
  • Select the notification frequency (once a day, once a week).
  • Choose how many results you’d like (up to 20; up to 50).
  • Enter your e-mail.
  • Click the “Create Alert” box.

You’ll get an e-mail asking you to verify that you’ve set up the alert. Then you’ll start receiving alerts by e-mail. You can create up to a thousand alerts.

How I Use Google Alerts

I use Google Alerts to monitor

  • New information about medical conditions or treatments I’m interested in, such as  osteoporosis.
  • Sales. I’m from a don’t pay full-price family. So when I want to make a purchase at the best price, I enter “Sale+item.”  For example, my cousin has the Wedgwood China Silver pattern listed in her bridal register at a hefty $165 a place setting. I created a Googe Alert  for “sale+wedgwood silver” to let me know when the china goes on sale.
  • Information about my company E-WRITE. What are people saying about us?
  • Information about our competition. What are they up to?
  • Travel information. I was planning a trip to Scotland. I set up an alert to learn about travel deals.

No longer interested in that topic? Just click “remove this alertat the bottom of the Google alert e-mail.

Categories: E-Mail & Messaging, Research, Video
Tags: , , ,


  • Taking advantage of Google alerts… it only took me five months to get around to it. There’s a certain purse I want, and I’ll only pay a certain amount for it, so I’ll let Google tell me when it’s available. Thanks for the tip, Marilynne. —Jill

    Posted by: Jill on November 24, 2010 at 12:25 pm

  • I love this! I especially appreciated the links on YouTube and Google Alerts. I now have Google Alerts set up for info. on natural remedies for Lyme disease, Cape Breton Highlands National Park, and Momentum Center for the Arts.

    I’m still thinking about Facebook. A couple of my teachers launched a Facebook page for the studio, which I think will be really good. But I’m not quite ready to make my own page.

    Thanks for a great tool!

    Posted by: Beth on June 23, 2010 at 11:46 am

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