Simply stated, Google alerts are free email updates from Google search results about any topic you’re interested in tracking.
Why should you and your organization use Google Alerts? Personally, I track numerous search terms for various topics and projects. For example, I track my own name, my websites, certain key industry events and terms, and many more terms/topics. Anytime Google adds something to its index that mentions the topic “Civil War Lesson Plans” – I receive an immediate email notification with a link to that item.
Google Alerts allows me to quickly and easily monitor what people are saying about me, my company and the sites I manage. If someone mentions any of these online, I am able to respond. For example, if someone adds a link to one of my websites and makes a comment about it, I can jump over to their site and say thanks. If it happens to be a negative comment, I can respond accordingly. Without Google Alerts, I would not be able to find out about this link.
Finally, without the ability to learn about new content, I would have difficulty participating in online discussions about various topics or about issues that are important. Moreover, Google Alerts help me to follow new developments in the industry.