4 Ways to Use Google Alerts
Google has a great feature called Google Alerts. It says it's still in beta, but if it finally sticks, below are some tips for how to maximize your use of it.
So You Can Follow Your Niche
If you're interested in a particular niche or want to see what other people are saying about your niche, you can setup an Alert to follow it. It's kind of like a RSS feed for the entire internet. Then you can use the other websites you're given from the Alert as starting points for networking, different topics to write about on your blog, or other things.
When You're Working On Blog Commenting For SEO
Now I mentioned networking above, but something I've done with Alerts is to get Google to help me find new blog posts about a particular niche, so I can go read the posts and then make a comment. This helps me on my SEO.
It Allows You To See How Fast Your Blog Posts Have Been Indexed
One trick you can do is setup your blog posts to either have the same text in it every time and have an Alert looking for that text, or you can setup a new Alert before you post about a specific topic. Then you can see how fast Google indexed that particular blog post. (I'm going to be doing a test with this on my next Random Wednesday post.)
To Know If Your Site Has Been Hacked
Now, you must know that sometime your website will get hacked. Google tries to warn you when this happens (if you've setup Webmaster Tools). But another way to see if you've been compromised is by setting up an Alert to be emailed to you anytime your website starts talking about Viagra or other not so good topics. Now I don't know if I would mind my site selling Viagra or not, but if it was, it would be nice to get the commission instead of some bum hacker.
Well, now you have some more ideas about how to use Google Alerts. Please share this with your friends, relatives, arch-nemesis...