Three Reasons to Use Google Alerts for BusinessLinda Jenkins, July 03 2014
Google Alerts is a simple email product provided for free by Google. Google Alerts is useful if you know how to integrate it into everyday business marketing. The tool sends an email to any Gmail account when a phrase you specify is found and indexed by the search engine. Google Alerts is great for SEO (search engine optimization), but it's also good for standard online marketing.
Find Scraped or Stolen Content
Your content is a goldmine for attaining new customers and search engine rank. Even if you're new in the SEO field, you should know that high quality, unique content is a major factor for search engines. Creating content that brings something your competitors don't is a major asset when performing any type of online marketing to promote your business website.
Minor duplicate content isn't damaging, but you must keep watch for too many scrapers. A scraper is a program that programmatically opens your site pages, pulls the content and posts that content on the thief's site. In other words, the content thief could get credit for your work and expertise. The DMCA process helps combat these issues, but how do you know when your site gets scraped? The answer is Google Alerts.
With Google Alerts, you copy certain phrases from your content and paste it to an alert. Scrapers usually spin content, but they keep certain key phrases. Google is able to pick up synonyms and closely related content, so eventually you will find the scraper. When Google picks up on the scraped content, the Google Alerts tool sends you an email with a link to the scraped content. From there, you can either ask the host to remove the content (some will oblige) or file a DMCA with Google.
Keep Track of Competitors
Competitor analysis is a must when doing business anywhere, even online. You should understand your competitor's business, what they have that you don't, and know when they change their business strategy. If you sell the same product as your competitor, you should know when they change prices or create promotions. You can keep track of competitor changes with Google Alerts.
You can keep track of competitor content, products or both with Alerts. Google sends you an email when content changes or new content gets indexed. For instance, if you and your competitor sell red widgets, you set an alert for the red widget name and you'll receive alerts each time the search engine finds new or changed content. You'll not only see product changes and content from competitors, but you will also find new competitors and reviews by bloggers.
Track Your Brand Name Reviews and Comments
Online reputation management is important when you need to protect your brand. Sites such as Ripoff Reports and Consumer Affairs let anyone post complaints about your company and brand. No one verifies these complaints, so malicious competitors and angry customers can post any libelous content. You can set up a Google Alerts message for your brand name.
With online reputation management and Google Alerts, you receive a message each time anyone mentions your brand. The indexed comments could be good or bad, but you should always acknowledge them to avoid a poor search engine reputation. Sometimes, complaint sites rank higher than your own, so a user searching for your brand can find extremely negative reviews before finding your site.
The best way to deal with these complaints is to professionally acknowledge them. Sites that host these complaints require the company to pay hundreds of dollars to have comments removed, but it's not usually worth the cost. If you have several complaints, it looks better to potential customers when you address them instead of have them deleted. Additionally, large companies usually have several complaints, so the costs to control them aren't worth the effort when you can just use customer service instead.
The Google Alerts tool is a small, little-known advantage to business owners and marketing experts. You can set up an unlimited amount of alerts, and the tool makes it easy for you to just set the alert and forget it. Each time the search is found, you get an email. Google Alerts requires little maintenance, but it gives you huge benefits for online marketing and reputation management.
Visit Google Alerts Help for instructions on how to use this tool.