Find Time to Stay Alert!

42-15654386Finding time to keep your blog content fresh is always a timely topic!  Last Monday I shared a few tools that can help you with this.

Today I’d like to zero in on one of them – Google Alerts – in more detail.  I’ll also be sharing about a second search venue – Giga Alert – that I recently read about and that my VA is in the process of exploring.

Google Alerts provide you with a very powerful tool for monitoring your keywords – or really any topics you wish – on the web.  It’s a highly customizable tool that will keep an eye on web postings for you and compile them in an e-mail for each search term you enter.

In addition to receiving e-mail alerts, you can also choose to have your alerts delivered via feed to the feedreader of your choice (e.g., Google Reader or add the feed to your iGoogle page).  This option is nice if you are comfortable using feeds, as you can scan your results in one place (and not worry about filling up your in-box).

Alerts are currently offered with results from News, Web, Blogs, Video and Groups – or you can choose a comprehensive search, that will check all areas and get back to you with results.

You can set the frequency of the searches Google will conduct, and you can enter up to 1000 alerts (although as a time management precaution, I’d advise you to stay well below that limit)!

Here is their “Help” page, where you can read through some FAQs about Google Alerts, if you like.

Giga Alert is not affiliated with Google, but they own the domain www.googlealert.com, and until recently they called their service “Google Alert.”  In August 2009, the Google Alert service was renamed Giga Alert. This was accompanied by a transition to the Yahoo search index, and the addition of news alerts and deeper searches, according to their website.

Big difference between the two – Giga Alert is a fee-based subscription service (although at least right now, some of their services are available for free), while Google Alerts are free.

One of the things that my VA has liked about the Giga Alert service is that results are easily viewable, both on the web and via e-mail.  With Google Alerts, you receive a separate e-mail for each search term you monitor, while with Giga Alert, it appears that you receive one e-mail for everything.  Depending on your personal preference, this can be nice.

Here is their FAQ page, for more information about Giga Alerts.

Do you already use any of these tools to keep up to date?  Have you found them helpful?  Give them a try … and let me know what you think (I’d love to hear)!

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Let’s explore time together …

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