Google Alerts

By Ron Rosenberg

The best way to stay on top of your markets and your competition is to stay alert to changes in the trends that affect your business.

The problem is that this has the potential to become a full-time job. Back in my days working in a corporate setting, we had an entire department whose sole function was to research, copy, and distribute folders of articles related to specific search terms we provided to them based on our business needs.

I know this sounds positively quaint in an environment where the sum total of the world’s knowledge is available for immediate access in the palm of our hands; but back in the day, this was as close we got to the current reality.

It was incredibly powerful to start each day with a digest of the most important and relevant information available at the time.

And even though we can do a Google search on any topic at will, it still takes time, and because of the vast amount of information available, the sheer volume on any given topic can be truly overwhelming.

It’s time like this that make me a little nostalgic for the times when I had access to a group that did all the filtering for me.

The good news is there's an easy way to do this; it's free, and you're already using it!

Here Comes an Alert!

A Google Alert to be precise. Yes, the company that fields around 65 percent of all internet searches has its own “newspaper clipping” service.

A quick visit to will take you to a simple page where you can set up the most basic of searches: ones based on your name and email address.

AlertsFrom there, you can add additional searches based on companies, industries, people, or topics of interest.

You can even customize the search and delivery parameters including frequency, sources, language preference, geography, and quantity.

This is a fantastic way to get a custom news feed that’s diverse, current, and relevant!