This is the last of my three part post on Searching Through Web Content. The three parts were RSS Feeds, Twitter and now, Google Alerts. It's taken a while to write this because between the second and third post I completely changed the way I post information to my Twitter feeds, @YourArtDirector and @IHDesigners. I still use these ways to find content online, but I am letting Twitter do the work instead of me. I'll be writing about automating Twitter soon.
What Are Google Alerts?Google Alerts are a good way to get content delivered right to your inbox. Basically your telling Google to save a search and send you an email when it finds results. Google Alerts are still in Beta, but already it's a powerful tool.
Setting up a search
You have choices of the type of content you'd like to receive, news, blogs, videos etc. Then you can set how often you'd like to be notified—for example as it happens, once a day, once a week. Maybe you just want to see the newest information—you don't have time to wade through a giant list. You can limit the number of posts you receive in your email alerts.
Email is just the start of ways to receive Google Alerts. You can have your alerts come to your RSS feed reader. As I mentioned in part one, Searching Through Web Content, RSS Feeds, this is a good way to look through lots of content quickly.
You can receive your alerts as a CSV file, in other languages and as HTML or plain text. So customizing your alerts to fit how you want to work is very easy.
What can I use Google Alerts for?
Google Alerts are a great way to see who's talking about your company or product on the web. Just enter the name of your company, a product, a person or anything you need to keep an eye on. If you set it up to receive emails in HTML, like I did, it will look a lot like a google search result.
What does a Google Alert look like?
One of my searches is for "In House Graphic Designer". With this search I find a lot of job posts for my Linked in Group, Design Job List. A typical post will look something like this.
Journalist and IN HOUSE Graphic Designer Wanted (Midtown West ...
Journalists Wanted A weekly newspaper needs experienced journalists with strong writing background and unsurpassed editing skills, as well as very good organizational abilities. Minimum of 2-3 years of editorial experienced required. ...
Web Design Jobs - http://www.thesiteurl.com/
You can see you can get a lot of info very fast and easy. So go to Google Alerts, set up a search and see what you find in your inbox.
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