Link building is not an easy task. But it’s made a lot easy by Google Alerts. When you use Google Alerts you get a ton of free tools that help you build new links. When talking about tools, remember that we’re not talking about Google Search console or Google Analytics. There’s a lot more than that in Google Alerts. So, without further ado, let’s get cracking.
What Is Google Alerts?
As you must be aware of, Google is the world’s most popularly used search engine. It’s almost like there’s nothing that’s not on Google. The Google database contains billions of web pages. It’s over 100,000,000 GB in size.
This massive size helps Google to crawl web pages more easily than any other SEO tool. That is precisely why you should use Google Alerts’ database to find new links without wasting your time searching for outreach prospects by going through thousands of web pages of your choice.
You can use Google Alerts for passive link prospecting, brand building and so on. So if you’re looking for passive yet smart ways of marketing through web monitoring, be sure to use Google Alerts to ease your task. It allows you to get notifications on any keyword, topic or subject of your choice. So, whenever a web page, new or existing, mentions anything related to those keywords, you’ll immediately get notified about the same in an email.
As a bonus, Google Alerts is a pretty simple tool to use. So, let’s check out how to set it up following a few simple steps.
How To Set Up Google Alerts?
First go to google.com/alerts. When you do, a screen like this will pop up. If you’re not signed in, then remember to sign in to your google account on the top right corner of the screen.
Next, simply type your domain name in the box without using https or www. To get an idea, check out the picture below.
Just below the box, you’ll find a pop up stating that by entering this domain name, Google will create an email alert for it. If yours is an old account, then you might find an alert preview as shown in the picture above. But don’t worry if that doesn’t show because newer sites generally don’t have this.
Next, click on the “Show Options” drop-down button placed right beside the “Create Alert” key. When you do that, a screen like this will emerge with several options for you to fill according to your preference.
To give you a clearer idea, let’s fill the box here as an example.
The settings under the “Show Options” menu should include the following:
- How Often: When you click on ‘How Often’ you’ll be able to select from three available options, namely, “As it happens,” “At most once a day,” and “At most once a week.”
- Sources: Here you can select from among several choices like Blogs, News, Web, Videos, Books, Discussions, and Finance. There’s also an Automatic option for you to choose. However, among them, we recommend you not to go for News as it tends to create unnecessary results which are totally irrelevant to you. Note that you can choose more than one option here.
- Language: In this drop down box, you’ll find a number of languages. So, choose your preferred language.
- Region: For this option, you can select the region you’re based in or your target region. But to broaden the horizon you also have the option of ‘Any Region.’
- How Many: Next, you have this menu. There are two options to select from, namely, “Only the best results”, and “All results.” Even though ‘only the best results’ option can help you focus, we recommend you to go with ‘All results.’
- Deliver to: This is the last option as you can see on the picture above. Choose your email address in this box. If you have more than one email Ids then be sure to choose correctly.
After you’ve put down all your preferred options in the ‘show options’ menu, you’re ready to create your alert. So click on the ‘Create Alert’ button. Now, say for example, you chose ‘at most once a day’ so, you’ll get an email from Google Alerts everyday with a list of all the pages that mention your domain or website.
This was all about creating your alert for your domain. Now, repeat the entire process to create more alerts. The list below will give you an idea as to what are the items for which you need to create a Google Alert.
- Domain: Well, if you followed the above process then you just finished creating Google Alerts for your domain.
- Brand Name: If you have an ecommerce business or a brand page on social media sites then you’ll need to create a Google Alert for your brand. So, enter your brand name and create an alert for your brand by following the same process.
- Product Names: If you want to get more specific, then you can even create alerts for specific products and/or services that you provide. This way you’ll get notified if any web page talks about your product. This will also help you in social listening. If you’re an entrepreneur, then this will help you grow.
- Industry Terms: This means that you can create Google Alerts for your specific area of work. For example, if your brand or product is connected to marketing or SEO or digital marketing then you can create separate Google Alerts for these terms. This will keep you updated in your field of work and know your market better.
- Email Address: This is an easy linking opportunity. If you create an alert with your email Id, then Google’s link building service will notify you any time someone shares your email id.
Once you have got separate alerts ready for all the above mentioned points, it’ll look like this.
Tip: Look at the above picture. You’ll see all the two-word terms are written within quotation marks. Why is that? The reason is that if you write two-word phrases without quotation marks, they become relatively irrelevant. Look at the picture below.
Now, the next picture is where quotation marks have been used. As you can see, the results are vastly different. So to avoid unnecessary stuff, be sure to remember this tip.
Getting Links From Google Alerts
If you’ve reached this stage, that means you already have your alerts set up and running. So, the next step is getting the links. This is where this link building service comes to use. You’ll have massive link building opportunities once you’ve set your alerts.
But remember, not every alert is an opportunity to build a new link. There will be many alerts including links that you’re already connected to. But even then, with Google Alerts you can be sure that more than half the links will be fresh opportunities for you to expand your network.
Now, the next step is to know how to convert those opportunities into links.
This brings in heavy linking opportunities. You’ll notice that most of these mentions will already contain a link of your site. In that case, you don’t need to do anything.
But for those who aren’t linking to your site, you can send an email to the webmaster notifying them about the mistake and asking them to hotlink your domain to their website. This is crucial for smaller companies because that little extra traffic can be useful for them.
In this case, you have a 50-50 chance. That is to say, only half the people who mention your brand name will link to you but the rest will not. Then again, you can take your shot by sending an email requesting them to mention your link.
In case of product names, you have a higher chance of getting linked. Around 70 – 80% websites who mention your products will leave a link to your website. So, even if you’re happy that a website has mentioned your product, you need to send in an email asking them to provide a link in their website.
It is rarely that you’ll get a Google Alert regarding your email address as most people don’t publish email addresses frequently. But when they do, they mostly forget to link to you. Now, if you want them to link your email address, you’ll get nowhere. So, the best thing to do is to mail them asking them to remove the email address and provide a link to your contact page.
Also, an important thing to remember is that you don’t want more people to share your email address as it may lead to spam messages and unnecessary attention.
Now, this is a wide area. You’ll get the most number of links with this alert email. So, you’ll have to skim through these to take what you can learn from them and leave the rest.
Here you have to put in some manual labor. If you find some site talking about something that you have already talked about in more depth, then you send them an email asking them to link to you. This way you can reach a wider audience and get more opportunities to link.
Once you’ve sent these emails, you can contact the site owner by going to their contact page and looking for an email or a contact form. You can also use the ‘Hunter’ domain to track down site owners.
This is all you need to know about how to use Google Alerts to build new links. Let us know if you found these useful.