Keep up to date with Google Alerts

When you search for something in Google, the results you see are current at the time you search them. With a Google Alert, you will get an email when Google finds new results for the words you searched for, which is a great way to stay up to date on particular events.

There are many ways you can use Google Alerts. You could set up an alert for your city’s name to get alerts on news that may interest you, or for a company or persons name to be alerted if they get mentioned in the news or on a website. Another good use is to be alerted of specials at local shops.

Go to and you will see a search bar similar to the standard Google search. This is where you enter the topic you want to create a Google alert for. Although you can choose how often you get alerted, make your search as focused as possible so you don’t get overloaded with alerts.

Refer to the May 2014 and November 2014 issues for help to narrow your search results down. Once you have entered your search words, Google Alerts will display examples of the types of results you should expect, if they match what you are looking for, click the “Show options” link, just beneath the search bar.

The main settings to check is the “How often”. We would suggest you avoid the “as-it-happens” option if the term you are searching for is likely to trigger many alerts. Once a day is what works best for most people as the days results are displayed in a single email. Finally, enter your email address and click the “Create Alert” button.

If you are using a Gmail address, you will need to log into Gmail at this time and once logged in, re-enter your Google alert, otherwise you will be sent an email asking you to click a link to confirm the alert you have just set up. It’s important you confirm the alert immediately as Google will not let you set up more than 2 alerts without confirming them.