Google Alerts is a free service that allows you to set up email notifications for various events connected with your website, your brand name or your niche. It is one of the most useful tools for monitoring brand reputation and getting fresh content ideas. However, there is another important way of using this tool. In this article, we will describe the most important Google Alerts for SEO.
How Do You Set Up Google Alerts?
First of all, let us show you how to set up Google Alerts. Follow these simple steps below:
- Go to https://www.google.com/alerts
- Enter a search query in the text bar
- Click on Show Options which will open a drop-down menu
- Configure your alert preferences: frequency, sources, language, how to be delivered
- Click on the Create Alert button.
It is as simple as that and it won’t take you more than a few minutes to create several alerts.
Why Do You Need Google Alerts for SEO?
Every business owner and marketer out there has one firm habit: checking their email. You may ignore push notifications from various apps. You may delete SEO reports after reading them. But, in our experience, professionals tend to be very careful about their emails.
This is why we recommend Google Alerts for SEO. You will definitely look over them, save those that contain important events and notifications and create an archive that will help you understand the evolution of the results of your SEO strategy.
Plus, a Gmail account is free and you can keep it for decades, deleting unnecessary emails in order to free up storage space. With these ideas in mind, let us talk about the most useful Google Alerts for SEO.
1. Find Mentions without Backlinks
Linkbuilding is one of the most effective activities for SEO. You can grow your page rank significantly if many reputable websites link back to you. With this type of Google Alerts for SEO, you can identify when another website talks about your company or comments on an article you posted without linking back to you/
If it is a positive mention, you can contact the website owner or article author as soon as you got the alert and ask them to link back to you. Since they have only good things to say about your brand or found your content useful, they are very likely to do so.
2. Identify NAP Citation Opportunities
NAP citations are extremely useful for local SEO strategies. Google is looking for confirmations of your business physical locations on many websites, especially business directories.
With Google Alerts for SEO, you can monitor where your competitors are listed. All you have to do is set up an alert containing their NAP details – business name, address, phone number. Whenever they show up in a new directory, you can access it and add your own business details.
3. Monitor Your Site for Link Injections
Link injections happen when hackers manage to access your website code and add their own spammy links. Frequently, they lead to malicious websites (phishing websites, malware, sale of controlled substances, etc.). These malicious links added to your site will damage its page rank considerably. You may even get a manual penalty from Google.
There are two ways of detecting these link injections: by manually checking each page of your website on a weekly basis at least or by setting up Google Alerts for SEO. There are several keywords to set up in these alerts, which are frequently used by these spammy links: now, free, aging, debt, buy, etc. Use them together with your website URL and you will get notifications every time this type of content is added to your site.
4. Prevent Content Theft
Reputable businesses link back to an article they appreciate. Disreputable businesses steal well written content and publish it as their own. This is a major problem for your SEO strategy. Google does not like duplicate content and may actually penalise your website despite the fact that you are the victim in this situation.
With Google Alerts for SEO you can add specific phrases included in your content (including its title) and discover when it appears elsewhere. This will help you identify the culprits quickly and take action. Unfortunately, this method does not protect you from the practice called article spinning – replacing words with their synonyms (which sometimes are not used in the correct context). While your idea was cannibalised, at least you will know that Google will not identify duplicate content online.
5. Identify Negative Reviews
Negative reviews will affect the reputation of your business and website. Google relies on reviews in order to determine if a website meets the EAT criteria: expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.
If you get many negative reviews, Google will decide that you do not run a trustworthy and reputable business. You can correct this by identifying these reviews and responding to them or marking them as spam. This is how to do it using Google Alerts for SEO: add your business name in the search query next to common terms used in negative reviews, such as:
Whenever your business gets a negative mention, you will be alerted and will be able to act on time.
6. Identify Guest Posting Opportunities
Google Alerts for SEO are also great for identifying blogs and websites that accept guest posts on topics in your industry. Guest posting is very effective for building your reputation and authority in your niche and for building backlinks to your website.
For this type of Google Alerts, simply use the main keyword for your business accompanied by phrases such as “guest post” and “write for us”.
7. Monitor Your Competitors
Google Alerts for SEO are very useful for finding out what your competitors are doing in terms of content strategy and digital marketing. It saves you a lot of time and it can help you find fresh content ideas for your own blog.
This is not a dishonest practice – you could discover the same information by manually browsing their websites and social media accounts. And you can be certain that they are also keeping tabs on you and your SEO strategy, as well.