google-alerts-450x300Google Alerts is your free internet research assistant.  Using Google Alerts you tell the Google search engine what topic to look for, and how frequently you want to receive tracer reports about it.  Then you click on the links in those reports, which you receive by email, and go right to the source material. Research couldn’t be easier!

Google Alerts are especially useful for current events that are likely to be mentioned in news feeds or blogs.  It’s the perfect tool for a blogger who wants to analyze and report on the latest news.

Refer to this WikiHow post where you’ll find  step-by-step instructions for setting up Google Alerts.  When you’re selecting a search word or phrase, don’t make it so general that it returns more alerts than you want.

Here’s a fun exercise:  If you’d like to find out what folks are saying about you on the World Wide Web, use your own name as the Google Alert search term.  (This is not for the faint of heart!)

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