How to Set up Google Alerts for Passive SEO and Marketing

By | August 12, 2019


In this video, I’m going to show you how to
set up Google Alerts for passive link prospecting, brand building, and more knowledge bombs. Stay tuned. [music] What’s up marketers? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that
helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche. Now, today is all about smart and passive
marketing through web monitoring. Now, rather than having to search for outreach
prospects, whether that’s for collaborations, links, or guest posting opportunities, you
can get them emailed to you without lifting a finger using Google Alerts. And the same goes for some other marketing
opportunities too. Let’s get started. Google Alerts is a super simple tool to use. In fact, I can show you how to set up a Google
Alert in 20 seconds. First, go to google.com/alerts and type in
your search query. Next, check out the alert preview to make
sure it matches what you want to be notified about and click on the “show options” dropdown
to further customize your alert settings. So I’ll set the language to English, and
choose to receive all results. Then click the “create alerts” button
and you’re done. Now, anytime a web page matches your search
query, Google will send you an email notification that looks like this. But there are 3 things that you need to know
about Google Alerts. The first one: if you don’t use Google search
operators, your inbox will likely get filled with a ton of irrelevant results. The second thing is that Google doesn’t send
content that has already been published. So they’re only gonna send you new content alerts. And the third thing: as far as our tests have
gone, Google Alerts does not send you every page that’s in their index. Meaning, you’re gonna miss out on a ton of
perfectly good opportunities. In fact, we put Ahrefs to the test and found
that on average, our tool produced 2,376% more results than Google for the exact same
queries. So let’s jump into some smart tactics to get
only or at least mostly relevant results that are going to be worth your time. The first alert will help you find an unlimited
and completely passive stream of guest posting opportunities. A couple common search operators used in Google
to find guest posting opportunities are [topic] intitle:”write for us” and [topic] intitle:
“become a contributor.” But the frequency of new “write for us” pages
that are published each day is likely more infrequent than actual guest posts that are
published. And remember, Google Alerts isn’t going to
send you historical data. But we can actually get very relevant results
very frequently using the footprint, “guest post by.” To keep things super targeted, you can use
the intitle operator and enter your topic, then type in “guest post by” as a phrase match. So if I have a blog on supplements, then I
would type: intitle:supplements + “guest post by”. And if you look at the results preview, look
how targeted these results are. Since we’re looking strictly for articles
with the word “supplements” in the title, you could expand this search by adding more
intitle: parameters. So if you have a large team of guest writers,
you might do a search like this: intitle:supplements or intitle:vitamins or intitle:”protein powder” or intitle:nutrition + “guest post by”. And you can see that the results are still
very relevant, but you’ll get a lot more results since you’re broadening the search query with
multiple categories. To get historical results, you can run a unique
query inside Ahrefs’ Content Explorer. Just type in: author:”guest” and then within
parentheses type (“link building” or “keyword research” or “search engine optimization
or “whatever topics you write about”). Next, we’ll set the one article per domain
filter since we don’t need to pitch the same website twice. And you’ll see a nice list of websites that
are clearly accepting guest posts. As a side note, our Alerts tool and Content
Explorer share the same database, so you could set this query as a mentions alert and get
new guest posting opportunities sent straight to your inbox. The next alert is to monitor your brand for
unlinked mentions. This one’s easy. Just type in your brand name and variations
of your brand name within parentheses separated by the or search operator. So for us, that might be ahrefs or ahref or
a hrefs or aherfs. Next, type in -site:ahrefs.com -site:twitter.com and you can exclude any other social media sites. The minus site colon part tells Google to
ignore mentions from our website, ahrefs.com as well as a few social media networks since
we’re not interested in social monitoring for this example. Then I’ll check the settings and make sure
that the frequency is set to once a day, only pages in English, and I want Google to send
me all of the results. We have a great blog post with a few more
tactics on unlinked mentions, so I’ll leave a link to that in the description. The next alert is to monitor questions in
your niche. Using the site: operator, you can monitor
an entire website for any search query. For example, if you’re in the travel niche,
you might want to monitor Trip Advisor. And if you’re targeting programmers, then you
might watch Stack Overflow. Or if you’re looking for questions on general
topics, then you might want to monitor Quora. Here’s how it’s done. Type in a keyword that you want to monitor,
so for us, that might be “SEO.” Then we’ll add site:quora.com. Now, any time “SEO” is mentioned on Quora, we’ll be notified by email so we can jump in, answer and help out. You can also do this with brand mentions. If you look on quora, you’ll see that there
are quite a few question about Ahrefs. So we could create another Alert that monitors
mentions of our brand name simply by replacing the word SEO with Ahrefs. While this is great for getting to new questions
quick, you won’t know whether the questions will ever gain any traction. So a cool hack to find posts on forums that are
getting organic traffic is to look up the forum in Site Explorer. So I’ll look up quora.com. Next, I’ll go to the top pages report, which
shows us the pages on Quora that get organic traffic in descending order. Now, if I had a website on finance, then I
would type that in here. And now you can see related pages on Quora
that get organic search traffic, and you can decide which ones are worth your time. The next alert is to get free press and links
from journalists. Being a journalist is tough. And it’s best if I show you an example. A little while ago, I was reading an article
about Cinnamon. And I found some critical errors in the post,
so I sent the journalist an email, told her about them and here’s what she said: “Thank you so much! I’ll see if I can talk to my editor about
this. I usually cover animals, but was required
to write the cinnamon article in less than an hour.” Now, I am by no means a cinnamon expert, but
the keyword term that I was monitoring was related, which resulted in a deep link from
a powerful website. Here’s how you can set up a Google Alert to
find opportunities just like this. Within parentheses, I’ll type in (site:nytimes.com
or site:time.com or site:fastcompany.com or site:huffingtonpost.com), and you could
obviously add more or less depending on your needs. Then type in a topic that you want to monitor,
so that might be “search engine optimization.” Now anytime one of these sites mentions this
keyword phrase, I’ll be sent a notification where I can chime in. But here’s the thing. Journalists, they publish and then they move on to the next story. So that means that getting them to add a link
to your website or mention your company in a published article will likely be much more
challenging than having them feature you in a future post. So rather than trying to get them to replace
the article, try and build a relationship with them and be a source for years to come. The next alert is to monitor your competitors And there are so many competitor monitoring
tactics that you can use that are just… They’re super powerful. So let’s say that we wanna monitor mentions
of Backlinko. We can just type in: Backlinko -site:backlinko.com to exclude any
mentions from his website. And without even clicking through to these
articles, you can see exactly what the context of these articles are about. But you can expand this query by including
key people within the company. In this case, we would just change it to Backlinko
or “Brian Dean” -site:backlinko.com. Now this alert will help you keep a close watch
on your competitors’ link building strategies and key relationships. And you could also monitor websites that are doing
reviews on your competitors. For example, if you had a new software company
that offered an interactive website builder, you could search for “squarespace” intitle:”review”. And from here you can contact authors and website
owners, offer free accounts and ask them to review your software. The next alert will help you find NAP citation
opportunities for your local SEO efforts. A big part of local SEO are NAP citations,
which stands for name, address, and phone number. And there are thousands of directories out there
where you can add your own structured citations, but your competitors are going to keep building
them. So using Google Alerts, you can keep an eye on
your competitors and monitor new citations that they’re building. Just set up an alert with this query: “Competitor’s name” + “competitor phone” +
“competitor address”. First, Google the company name and look at
the information from their Google My Business listing. Next, I’ll copy their business name, a part
of their address that should be consistent across their citations, and the better portion
of their phone number without the area code. And right away, you’ll see a bunch of your
competitor’s local citations in the preview. So you can expect to get new alerts like these
and then jump on them. The next alert is to monitor for theft of
your digital products. So if you sell an online course, you probably
don’t want people stealing it. In fact, this happened to our course, “Blogging
for Business,” which has now been removed. To keep an eye on the pirates, you can type
in something like: Ahrefs + “blogging for business” + and then
within parentheses, we’ll add some common footprint keywords like download or torrent,
then we’ll exclude our site, ahrefs.com. You can do the same for ebooks, but with a
slight modification. For example, if we wanted to monitor for PDF
copies of “Digital Marketing For Dummies,” we could type in the title of the book as
a phrase match, then add keywords like (Free or Download) and then add filetype:pdf, which
will look for only PDFs. The next alert is a great way to find interview
opportunities. Here’s the thing with content creation. A typical video or blog post on our channels
takes around 20 hours to create. But an interview? Max, one hour, plus the host does all of the
promoting for you. So you can set up an alert using a query like this: Interview and “Tim Soulo” or someone who gets interviewed frequently that you can monitor. Then click on “show options” and set the source
to “video,” since a lot of podcasters will create a second copy for YouTube. And you’ll see that the results are quite
relevant. Now, it’s just a matter of pitching the host
on why you should be interviewed and sharing some unique insights that their audience would
love. Now when you’re using these alerts, make sure
to check the preview, or if you’re finding that you’re not getting enough results, then
compare the results with Ahrefs’ Alerts and Content Explorer. Now, make sure to subscribe for more actionable
SEO and marketing tutorials, and I’d love to hear from you about your go-to Google Alerts. So keep grinding away, create some nice passive SEO
alerts, and I’ll see you in the next tutorial.

17 thoughts on “How to Set up Google Alerts for Passive SEO and Marketing

  1. sachin patil Post author

    Thanks for share informative information. But I ask one question. How to find high authority blog commenting sites.

    Reply
  2. Pwolly Post author

    Is there any way to get a list of relevant sites in an industry by the amount of traffic the site receives from google? For example the top 100 sites about bicycles in the UK…

    Reply
  3. Jess Harris Post author

    I've done this for blog posting and it's helped me 10 fold thank you so much!

    Reply
  4. Granit Sadiku Post author

    Hi Sam Oh, Your tutorials are very awesome, mind giving me URL or to put more new content to related DigitalPR

    Reply
  5. G Suite Info Post author

    Great video, Sam. I realized recently that you can consolidate multiple Google Alerts into a single Google Sheets file. Easier than parsing through emails. Just recorded this to explain the setup: https://youtu.be/uIRA7QQFlMw

    Reply
  6. Alex Herrera Post author

    Extremely actionable video, please keep sending them they are incredible. Quick question: I try to use the alert for the word " ciclomontañismo" or mountain biking in english. I used the language in English and i got the latest result in the list a you tube video from 2012. I know that i should use spanish as languaje but i just want to understand why if i use english , google trend have me such a old results ? Any idea ? Thanks

    Reply
  7. Udopia Records Post author

    Awesome video! I had a question though, what are guest posting opportunities, and what might they be useful for?

    Reply
  8. Marek P Post author

    This is an amazing video on Google alerts, it opened my eyes to all kinds of opportunities. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  9. Jarmal Wilcox Post author

    Excellent insights man! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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