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Using Google Alerts

Q:  I have set up some Google alerts but am unclear what I am actually getting back. So when I set up the alert for the term “leadership development,” do I get back just any new posting that has that term? How can I determine if my name or my book name is being searched for? or if my Articles are being read?
Jean Starling

A:  Hi Jean– Google Alerts are a wonderful thing, but they can be overwhelming.  The info that you’re getting back depends on what you set up your alert to check.  Your options are news, blogs, web, or groups.  You can pick one, some, or all of these options. What this means is that anytime Google runs across a listing of the term you used in its news feature, on blogs, on a website, or in its group feature, you’ll get a notification of that.  If Google re-indexes a page, you may get several notifications of the same resource.

The best way to enter terms is to use quotation marks in your request, like “leadership development”, which keeps the two words together in the search.  Otherwise, you’ll get alot of notices for listings containing the word leadership and the word development, but not necessarily together.

You can enter your name as well as your book’s name or your article’s name as a Google Alert to see what’s being said about your or your book online.  However, other than checking with a keyword tracker tool, like the one Google provides here:, there isn’t really a way to determine how many searches were conducted for your name or your book, unless you are popular enough (like Oprah or Paris Hilton popular) to generate enough searches that Google thinks it’s worthy to track them.

Here’s an article I’ve written about Google Alerts in the member’s section of for additional assistance.

Happy Googleling!


About the Author Donna Gunter

Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.

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