Thursday, 9 August 2012

How to Protect Your Organization With Google Alerts



Back in the day, if you were really serious about keeping a handle on your image or the image of your company, you subscribed to one or more clipping and news monitoring services. Those services still exist, and they can be part of a coordinated effort to maintain the public face of your business. However, if your budget won’t allow for comprehensive news monitoring, you still have options. One powerful tool, Google Alerts, gathers news stories, videos and other web content concerning your company and delivers the results to your mailbox or feed reader – for absolutely no charge.

What Are Google Alerts?

Companies concerned with their images can use Google Alerts to keep track of how they are being covered by mainstream news media. Google Alerts can also monitor content on social media such as blogs. Image-conscious companies also use Google Alerts to avoid having potentially harmful content go unchallenged.

For instance, if a blogger is making derogatory but untrue claims about your company, Google Alerts will inform you, so that you can present evidence to disprove the accusations. Google Alerts will also give you a heads-up if customers or clients post complaints about your company.  A large number of complaints about an incident or aspect of your business may indicate potential trouble that your company should address.

Basic Set Up

Google Alerts harness the power of Google’s search engine to seek out result based on search terms that you establish.  Basic set up is simple.  Enter the word or phrase for which you want to establish a search.  Enter your email address, and then confirm the search.  If your company does not have a Google account, you will receive a confirmation email before the alert goes into effect. Establish a separate alert for each keyword or phrase for which you wish to monitor.

For instance, you can set up a simple alert with the name of your company.  A second alert could monitor mentions of a product or service your company makes. Other alerts could monitor the names of prominent officers within the company.

Google Alerts can also alert you to negative publicity or coverage or the possibility of derogatory coverage or remarks you may be aware of or that you may suspect may be a problem. In this case, setting up Google alerts for the phrases related to the controversy allows your company to respond before circumstances get out of hand...

Advanced Options

Advanced options for Google alerts allow you to control each alert individually. You can set preferences for how often you receive alerts, what sources the alerts monitor, how you receive the alerts and an option to export your alerts in CSV forma that can be opened by Excel or another spreadsheet program. If you prefer, you can also opt for alerts to be delivered by RSS feed that you can read in any feed reader.

Setting up Alerts on Google Alerts

For instance, if there is a known issue with a product or service your company provides, you can set a Google Alert for  the keyword phrase “[Your Company Name] complaints” to search for all sources, with results to be delivered as they occur to your email inbox or RSS feed. For less critical keyword phrases, you can set alerts for once per day or once per week. You can also specify that results should be limited to Google News Search, Google Web Search or Google Blog Search.

For Further Reading

Advanced Options
A Case for Using Google Alerts
Common Questions
How to Use Google Alerts
Media Monitor Services and Clipping Services
Use Google Alerts to Keep Tabs on the News You Want
What Are Google Alerts?

Author Bio:
Guest post contributed by Simon Morgan on behalf of – Veribo provide an Online Reputation tool. Simon is a freelance writer and has been actively involved as a web development consultant for over a decade.

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