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Use Google Alerts to keep tabs on your competition

Posted by Randy Smith on Sep 20, 2012 4:10:30 AM

By principal Randy Smith
Synchronicity Web Designs

Google Alerts are automated emails that are sent to you when Google locates web results that are based on or match your search criteria. What's great is that you can use Alerts to keep an eye out for anything on the web, including your competitors.

Here are the basics:

  1. You enter a search phrase or query that interest you.
  2. Google Alerts monitors and checks for updated results based upon your query terms.
  3. When Google finds matches you receive an email with links and descriptions of those matches.

So let's do some competitive "spying" if you will.

1. Keep an eye on a service or product: Simply enter a product name in quotes to receive a daily email with the latest web results about your product. Example:

  • [ "Blue Widgets" ]

2. Monitor what's being said about you (or your competition): Just enter your full name in quotes to receive regular email when blogs, web sites, or news posts mention your name. Examples:

  • [ "Randy Smith" ]
    • If you have a common name like I do, you can use negative terms to remove provide clarity and remove any irrelevant results. For example, if you have the same name as a professional basketball player, try adding -basketball to your query. Example:[ "Randy Smith" -basketball].
    • If you begin to receive results from sites that you aren't interested in, you can remove results from those sites. Example: if you don't want results from your own site synchronicitydesigns.com ( I know already what we're saying about me!), add[ -site:synchronicitydesigns.com ]to your query. Example:[ "Randy Smith" -site:synchronicitydesigns.com ].
  • [ "My Competitors Name" ]

Nifty huh? Find out more by following this link.