Did you know you can Google while sleeping? You can. I am not talking about some type of bio-electronic shunt that plugs into your brain while you dream, rather a simple service called Google News Alerts. Google News Alerts are a powerful tool for both business and personal use.
On the business side you can use News alerts to track your reputation, your company’s reputation, news about your industry, news about your clients, and news about your competitors. It is really easy. Just go to the interface and setup it up for the keywords you want to track. Choose the type of media you want to track. Choices include News, Blogs, Web, Groups, Video and Comprehensive. Make sure you use wise keyword choices and use several keywords if necessary. For instance you may want to list your company’s name, its domain name, and product names as keywords. Do the same for anything else you want to keep up with.
For personal search there are no limits. Perhaps you are going to take a trip and want to receive alerts on the happenings in the town or city you are going to. Maybe you want alerts for the university you plan to attend, or perhaps the one you graduated from. Perhaps you are eyeing a new car, or other major purchase and want to see if the product is making news for a few days before you buy. Alerts can be very handy for fantasy sports junkies.
Choose a reasonable time frame for Google to send you the results. You can choose from Once a Day, Weekly, or As it Happens. Make sure you set it up so that the alerts are manageable. Timing the delivery right is your key to avoiding in box overload. You may even want to schedule different times for different topics. For instance, you should track your company’s name on an As it Happens basis.
You can turn the alerts off and on easily, so do not feel like you are stuck with this information push forever.
In the summary, this is a great service and saves you the time of manually searching for things on a daily basis. That’s about all you need to know on Google News Alerts. Have fun with them.
By the way I am going to setup an alert for bio-electronic data shunt (so I can insert a USB cable behind my left ear). I’ll set it to As it Happens. Surely it will be the right thing to do.