Internet, Networking, & Security Around the Web 88 88 people found this article helpful Google Alerts: What They Are and How to Make One Keep up with news that's relevant to you, without searching for it By Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated March 06, 2020 Around the Web How to Get a VPN Tweet Share Email Google Alerts is a free feature for anyone with a Google account that monitors the internet for mentions of any topic and notifies you via email or RSS alerts. You can set up a Google Alert for any word or phrase and have the alerts sent to you immediately after Google recognizes the mention, or you can have them compiled into one email that gets sent to you immediately or just once per day/week. What Are Google Alerts For? A Google Alerts item can be created for anything you're interested in keeping tabs on. As long as you can perform a Google search on it, you can set it up in Google Alerts. For example, an alert can let you know when an article mentions you, your business, your website, or your favorite movie, actor, book, etc. If it's automatic news alerts you're after, you can set up Google Alerts to email you each time a politician is mentioned online or when your town is in the news. When a new smartphone or video game is about to be released and you want the most updated scoop on all things related to it, you can use Google Alerts to notify you of any online mentions. Or, maybe you want to know when a new job is posted in your area. You can use Google Alerts to locate search terms related to the job you're interested in. You'll get emails about the opportunities without having to manually dig through job search engines. Google Alerts only monitors content that Google provides in a web search. Private social media information, emails, data behind password-protected websites, articles hidden behind paywalls, and other dark web content aren't visible through Google Alerts. How to Set up Google Alerts Creating a news alert with Google Alerts is as simple as performing a Google search on what you want to be always updated on. There are several ways to customize the alert before you finish creating it. Visit Google Alerts and enter a search term. You can use the search box like you would in Google Search, but avoid general terms or the vast majority of the results will be wildly unnecessary and difficult to sift through. You can use advanced search commands, surround the search in quotes for phrase searches, search on a specific site only, etc. Select Show options to adjust: How often you want to receive your alerts (as it happens, once per day, or once per week).The source of the search (e.g., News, Web, Books).The language of the source website.The region in which the search should take place (like the US, Egypt, Spain, etc.)How many search results you want to see (only the best results or all search results).Where to deliver the Google Alerts data (your email address or an RSS feed). Select Create Alert to turn on the web search alert. Another way to use Google Alerts is to search for something on the News area of Google and then use the Create alert button at the bottom of the results. Learn more about using Google News like an RSS feed reader for help. How to View Google Alerts Results With the Google Alerts setup complete, you just need to wait for the search term to pop up on the internet and for Google to tell you about it. If you signed up for alerts from Google on an obscure topic, you can expect to receive emails rarely. However, if the topic is popular and gets daily coverage, you'll get lots of emails about it. Emails from Google Alerts are sent from firstname.lastname@example.org. You might set up an email filtering rule for messages from that address so that they're sorted into a separate folder instead of in your inbox, where they can easily cause cluttering. The Google Alerts RSS feature delivers news alerts via RSS instead of email. To use the RSS feed, open your active Google Alerts and copy the feed URL. This type of automatic news feed works from an RSS reader like Feedly. How to Edit or Delete Google Alerts The Google Alerts web page is where you go to change how a Google Alerts item works, adjust when to get the alerts, and remove any or all Google Alerts. Edit a Google Alert A Google Alert can be edited by selecting the pencil icon next to it. When you do that, you're returned to the original page as it appeared when you first set up the Google Alert. Make any changes you need to and then select Update alert. Change the Google Alert Delivery Time On the Google Alerts page is a settings icon at the top right. Select it to change the delivery time for your alerts; you can pick any time of day. You can also choose Digest to get all the emails in one message once a day or once a week. Delete a Google Alert To remove a Google Alert and quit getting notified about it, press the trash can icon next to it.