I’m a big fan of Google Alerts. This is a great way to keep track of things that are important to you, such as news on a particular topic, articles you’ve written and distributed, the exposure a competitor is getting and even your own exposure, whether its your personal or business name. We use Google Alerts for all of those things mentioned above.
This might have happened a few days ago, but this morning I noticed that Google has added a new section to their News alerts, specifically for blogs:
The above is a news alert for one of my articles. You can see that the top section tells me this is a blog alert while the bottom section is the regular “news” alerts, which encompasses “news and web”, based on our settings for each alert.
While I’m not certain I need to be alerted differently for blog mentions, I do like some of the added features to the blog area. You can see below the hyperlink title of the page is the name of the blog which carries the text I set the alert for. Below the snippet I’m given the name of the blog again and the URL of the blogs home page.
Most of the alerts I get are worthless to me. Mostly just scraper sites publishing a snippet of my articles, along with thousands of others, with no unique content. But I often won’t know this until I click into the site. The new URL features give me an idea if the source is a legitimate site or just another scraper site. It may take a while, but I’ll eventually learn which sites routinely scrap content, allowing me to ignore those altogether and only click on the ones which might show some promise.
I did notice that many of the alerts in the blog area cover more than just blogs; forums and article banks are included in this section as well.