Monitoring Your Name and Your Brand with Google Alerts

In today’s day and age, it’s extremely important to know what is being said about you online. We use this free and ultra-simple method of monitoring our brand: Google Alerts. With this service, Google will send you an email as soon as it finds content on the web with your name in it; It’s simple and free. While it’s not perfect, Google Alerts works very well for most small businesses and we highly recommend it.

A real world example (and actually the reason I thought of writing this post).

Google Alert Email

Google Alert Email

This morning Google Alerts sent me an email notifying me that Google had located a new mention of my name online. Looking into the article mentioned, I actually appreciated that I was quoted on a topic that I am passionate about ( you can read the article about social media influencers here if you like :), but because it has no link to my site, nor was I actually contacted for an interview for this article, I wouldn’t have had any idea my company, or my name was being mentioned if it weren’t for the friendly Google Alert I received.

Believe it or not, the above mentioned scenario happens often. We’ve been mentioned and actually plugged by some pretty big media outlets without being interviewed at all. It happens as journalists dig through the internet via search engines, social media, press releases etc. to find topics to write about and supporting viewpoints. If you have a blog, you have a chance of being mentioned in the same way. Not that I mind – not one bit!

How you can easily setup a Google Alert for both your name and your brand in 5 minutes

First, head on over to the Google Alerts setup page, add your name in quotes to the search box on top and select your preferences (you will need a Google account to do this, so if prompted follow the steps to sign up first). What this does, is it allows Google to notify you as soon as they index a page that contains the search phrase or term you specified.

As you enter your search phrase at the top, you will notice that Google with show you a live example of the results. I highly recommend placing your search into quotes, as this will immediately clear up some of the noise for incorrect matches. As you can imagine, Google indexes billions of pages, so it’s important to try and narrow your search down to the most specific search possible or you will find yourself receiving false positive emails (and that’s annoying).

You can also use search operators (such as quotes or negatives) in combination with additional terms to help make your search even more specific. For instance, if I want to monitor Kyle’s online reputation, I would start by entering “Kyle Hart” into the search box and would be bombarded by results, as his name is so common. However, adding [ “Kyle Hart” pixsym ] (minus the brackets) into the search box shows me exactly what I want to see. You will want to spend a few minutes here tweaking your search if you are getting too many irrelevant results.

Once you’re happy with the search results preview, fill in the four Google Alert preferences:

Google Alerts setup

Setting up a Google Alert

  • Type: Everything
  • How Often: As-it-happens (if this sends too much email, choose once per day)
  • Volume: All Results (this option will show you everything including what could be garbage and forum posts. If this sends y ou too many alerts, choose “only the best result” and Google will send only results that Google deems to have some value/quality.
  • Deliver to: Your email (make sure it’s an email you check or it defeats the purpose)

In many cases, you will want to make more than one alert; especially if your business name contains the word “and” that could be listed as “&” or spelled out as “and” or similar scenarios where your name could be misspelled, etc. You can setup as many Google Alerts as you like (or can stand) and can always go back and edit your alerts later if any of them become too noisy by sending too many/too frequent results.

With that, you have an easy and free way to stay on top of what’s being said about you, your employees, your brand name and just about any other thing you can think to monitor. There are some things Google won’t catch, but the vast majority will be found and you will be quickly “alerted”.

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  • Victoria Durham

    I am interested in something here.  I have my business site and have done a blog site with an article about the main site where I put in my own link to my business site.  Is this way I did this the way everyone does this?  I am confused because I will see people have their main site with a list of articles they have written either on their main page center or on the right side line going down the page.  Can you tell me about that?  And which way of doing blogs for my main website does it seem is most professional or better at bringing in link love or what are the benefits to putting them on the main site under topics or articles?  I have one more question if you would not mind, I ve been studying Business for most of my life as my father started a chain of colleges in Texas and was also building custom homes for many movie stars like Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson.  So anyway, I went to college for big business and have studied SEO and Marketing online for seven years.  But this will be my first professional undertaking.  I have done my research well I think and have countered all his objections that I have thought about that he could be holding on it, etc…but I just can’t come up with a way to ask him or words to get across to him that , even though he is my first customer and even thou networking with him will greatly boost my business, that I dont think I could even do this job for no money, though he has been a great friend and I have not done any other SEO work, this will be my first, that to do the quatity of work required here to get him seo optimized, website links fixed, broken links fixed and website analyzed properly by Google’s WebMaster’s Tool Box and Criteria…plus all the articles optimized, 100’s of high PR inbound links to his site, found and filled out..and by God all the other thats hiding in my notes…for 0 money.  He makes good money but he also has a thing about even loaning out $30.00 for a day or two…he is in in for the money he’s all about the buck..and I do believe he’s thinking he could do this work himself, because I also know there is no way in hell he can do all the work that must be done to get him up there on google while he is driving everyday to Chicago putting up his Digital Signarne that is a great part of his services and products  is getting new clients that will pay him for him to go put up these big TV screens in highly trafficed areas to advertise their services and products too.  So at any rate, sorry for the long goings on…how can i broach the subject of money to him?  And I cant really wait for four months til his business is really getting calls from the optimzations and such for money…i really need this in into the business it all will work wonderfully with all the people he networks with, if I can just figure out how to get paid for the work, even if its less than most people get b/c I am new, that would be fine just fine, please help me to come up with some figure or figures and different game plans to use with this guy to get this job.  Thanking You…the meeting is in two days, Monday! Sincerely Victoria Durham

  • i heard about the alterts thing before but never used it
    i think i will put that in mind thank you for the post 

  • Good article and something that Aunties and Uncles Queensland are using, along with Zapier to integrate RSS feed into Yammer. That way we have a feed about articles we are mentioned in that everyone can see. It helps with fundraisers who take initiative but where there is a risk of it not aligning to our organistional values.