How To Set Up Google Alerts & Use It for Link Building

Michael Lykins

As an SEO Coach at Pathfinder SEO, I have the opportunity to bring my prior SEO, eCommerce, and freelance experience to the table. My aim is to help site owners, freelancers, and agencies grow their businesses with SEO. My SEO strengths lie in keyword research, content planning, on-site optimization, and finding off-site SEO opportunities."

 

Getting backlinks is one of the most important activities of an ongoing SEO strategy and can also be one of the most difficult to execute.

Luckily with a tool from Google called Google Alerts, we can set up notifications and have opportunities sent directly to our inbox!

In this blog post, I will show you how to use Google Alerts to your advantage and even get a few backlinks in the process. Let’s begin.

What is a Google Alert?

Google Alerts is a free service from Google that allows you to set up notifications for anytime a particular phrase, keyword, URL, etc. gets mentioned on the internet.

They will send you an email with the exact location where this mentioned happened.

You have the option to select which sources you want to be included, the frequency you get these alerts, and much more.

To help explain this a bit more let’s walk through setting up an alert.

Setting Up Google Alerts

  1. Go to Google Alerts. Make sure you are logged into Google in your browser
  2. Now select keywords or phrases you would like to be notified about when they appear online. This can be your brand name, product name, web address, or even your competitors. You can use quotation marks to specify an exact phrase, “site:” and “intitle:” to specify a website or text in a title, and “+, -, AND, OR” to make different combinations within the alerts.Google alerts input
  3. Dial-in the options for your preferences. This includes how often you get alerts, sources, language, region, how many, and where the alerts are going.Google Alerts Options
    I’d recommend getting them at most once a day, from only Blogs and Web, and in your language and region as a starting point.
  4. Create the Alert.
  5. Repeat steps 1-5 until you have an alert for all things you would like to track in regards to your business or client.

Using Google Alerts to Get More Backlinks

Now for the juicy part, how do we turn these Google Alerts into a brand new backlink to our site?

With each email notification, you receive you will get a link to where this mention was made on the web.

If that mention is already linked to your website, great! No more work is required and you’ve got yourself a new backlink.

If that is not the case and you, your business, or your product is being mentioned without the link then we want to take this opportunity to reach out to the publisher and see about getting a link back.

This can be tricky if you don’t know how to get a hold of them, but with tools like Hunter.io you can easily pull contact information from any page and use it to contact the publisher.

In these emails, you will want to tell them you saw their post was mentioning something related to your site and you would appreciate it if they could send a link over to the relevant page that is on topic with the mention.

Sometimes they will grant your request and other times you may never hear back from them. Sometimes a follow-up or two is in order to get the link we are looking for here.

Using Google Alerts to Beat The Competition

Now same as with the technique we listed above, you can set up notifications for when your competition gets mentioned somewhere online.

With these alerts, we can do a little investigating and see why they were mentioned. Are they included in a “best of” list or is their product/service being talked about?

If that is the case it is a great opportunity for you to reach out and ask to be included in this list or to show the publisher the benefits of your product or service of the competition and even ask for the backlink back from this new mention.

Being creative with Google Alerts is a great way to put yourself on the radar of any publishers that are already savvy to your competitors and have the potential upside of snagging a backlink out of it too!

Conclusion

Getting Google Alerts set up for you, your brand, products, or any clients you might have is a great option for seeking backlink opportunities on an ongoing basis.

With the daily updates, you can stay topically fresh with these backlinks sometimes even scoring a same-day backlink.

There are plenty of other techniques for getting backlinks, but this is a great addition to any SEOs toolkit.

Good luck with securing more link juice to your site!

Michael Lykins

As an SEO Coach at Pathfinder SEO, I have the opportunity to bring my prior SEO, eCommerce, and freelance experience to the table. My aim is to help site owners, freelancers, and agencies grow their businesses with SEO. My SEO strengths lie in keyword research, content planning, on-site optimization, and finding off-site SEO opportunities."
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