Using Google Alerts to Monitor Your Online Reputation

Top Hat Blog - Using Google Alerts

In today’s dynamic world, reputation is everything. With millions of blogs, social media accounts, review sites, and more, how can you hope to keep up with comments about your online brand and reputation, as well as track reviews?

Google Alerts is the answer. Google Alerts is a free system that Google put in place to allow you to set up an email notification for new search results on topics of your choice. You can set up alerts for your brand and those alerts will notify you of any new reviews or content that includes that information.

Setting up an alert is very simple:

  1. Visit Google Alerts.
  2. In the “Create an alert about” box, enter the words you want to get email notifications for. This is the spot for you to put in your brand, name, etc. Use quotation marks to identify specific phrases.
  3. Click Show optionsto say how often you get alerts, what types of results you want to get, etc.
  4. Click Create Alert.
  5. Once your alert is set up, you’ll receive emails any time Google finds new search results for your keywords.

You can use Google Alerts to track many things related to your company. Your company’s name, products (to include individual names of the items), your name, the executives of your organization, and phrase searches. Phrase searches are very important. You’ll want to use quotation marks to ensure a quality experience.

There are two types of phrase searches: regular and negative. Both involve the use of quotation marks, but the negative phrase search is more advanced.

First, set up an Alert for your name. In quotation marks, type in a search that includes both your first and last name: “Firstname Lastname”. You could stop there, but what if a popular blogger or company executive also has your name? You won’t want their results, so you’d create a negative phrase search using their title or website as the additional keyword. “Firstname Lastname -websitename”. The subtraction sign (dash) is imperative. This will subtract their website name from your search, and allow your updates to be the ones delivered to your inbox

BrightLocal has an integration option for results based in your local area. Using their Google Local Wizard tool, you can receive email alerts that show you changes to your local listing. Their review email alerts are especially helpful as it sends a notice the moment a new review is posted.

Their tool actively tracks any changes to your business name, address, opening hours, categories, average rating, etc. It’s definitely something to consider if your company is a brick and mortar establishment or only serves the local area.  Please note that you have to be a BrightLocal member to use these features.

Set up your Google Alerts today to save yourself time, money, and keep your online reputation in your scope. If this concept seems complicated, contact us at Top Hat Creative Marketing and sign up for our online reputation expertise.

Michelle Hoglan

Owner, Director of Social Media and
Partner Management at Top Hat
Creative Marketing

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