10 March 2021 Luke Goldsworthy

Using Google Alerts

Now that Google has backed off on its threat to suspend search capabilities in Australia, we’re happy to discuss one of their tools that your business can be using: Google Alerts

Google Alerts sends you a notification email when new content on the web is created that meets the search criteria that you have specified. And it’s free.

It’s a great tool for businesses as it helps them keep track of:

  • When their business is mentioned
  • What is said about their products
  • What their competitors are doing
  • The latest industry and technological developments

Just as with Google search, you can refine your criteria using Boolean expressions and a number of special search operators. Here are the ones you’ll find most useful:

“” Quotation marks allow you to search for specific words or phrases

OR – Expand your search to include one term or another

AND Refine your search to only include results related to both terms

Exclude a search term from the results 

* Works as a wildcard in a search expression, matching any word or phrase

() Use parentheses to group multiple terms or search operators

site: Limits the search results to a specific site

intitle: Limits the search results to pages that include the specified word in the title

related: Search related websites to what is specified after the colon

# Searches a specific hashtag

To get the most out of your search criteria you can combine the above to hone in on exactly what results you are looking for. Here are a couple of search expression examples:

“Playhouse Group” intitle:review -site:theplayhousegroup.com

This will search for the expression Playhouse Group on websites that include review in the title, but will exclude any positive matches from theplayhousegroup.com domain. This is a useful way to find out what others are saying about your business, brand or specific products.

(Magento OR Magento2) site:quora.com intitle:(who OR what OR when OR where OR how) 

This will search the quora.com forum for questions asked about either Magento or Magento2. Monitoring and answering questions on your topics of specialty helps you understand what issues people are experiencing, establishes you as an expert in the field, and may result in new business.

You can make your alerts more effective by:

  • Avoiding generic or common keywords – which will generate too many results, most of which will be irrelevant and of no use to you.
  • Set more than one alert – Google lets you make up to 1,000 per person, so you’ve got plenty of scope to create variations.
  • Make use of specific phrases – included within quotation marks and then combined with other keywords can help you receive the notifications that you really want.
  • Use filters – with the minus (-) symbol you can remove a lot of the noise you would otherwise receive in your alerts, such as in the above example where Playhouse doesn’t want to be informed of reviews on its own domain.

Find out how to optimise your eCommerce business by clicking the button below to set up an obligation-free consultation with a specialist from The Playhouse Group.

With decades of experience and as a certified Magento partner, The Playhouse Group can help your business maximise its online sales capabilities. Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any other eCommerce questions you may have.