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Put anything that interests you into a Google Alert

I don’t know how people cope without Google Alerts. Every morning I get half a dozen emails from Google saying that something I’m monitoring has got a mention on the web. It might be me, my company, some organisation I belong to, the area where I live …I have dozens of things which Google faithfully checks for me every day. After all these years, it’s still amusing to tell someone about something, and to get the response: “How did you know about that so quickly?”

Occasionally the news isn’t what you’d want, but it’s useful to know, nevertheless. Several years ago, I was trying to track down an old business contact, without success, but I left the name in a Google Alert, just in case. Long after having forgotten about it, I received an email from Google saying the person concerned had passed away (it was an obituary from a trade association website). Not what I wanted to hear, but at least I could contact the family in a timely manner.

For business in general, Google Alerts are essential to keep up to date with what the competition is doing, as well as get early news of industry events.

Get into the habit of putting anything that interests you into a Google Alert. You may be very grateful, often long after you’d forgotten about doing it.