10 Sneaky Ways to Spy On Your Niche Using Google Alerts

spy Google Alerts can be your very own Spy Tool. Yes! You can uncover all sorts of hidden leads and new ideas in your Niche by setting up Google Alerts to snag other people’s niche-relevant data that’s published anywhere on the Internet.  You can get Google to find and deliver links to these gems of information right into your Inbox or to your RSS Reader.

In my previous article How to Set up & Optimize Google Alerts for Power Tracking, I explained how Google Alerts is a customizable tracking and analysis tool.  I also explained how to optimize your Google Alerts to focus on whatever data you want Google to collect for you. The article you are reading now tells you about some of the ways you can use Google Alerts to benefit your business or Blog. 

10 Ways to Use Google Alerts for your Blog or Business

1. To Check That Your Articles are Being Indexed by Google.

It’s a good idea to make sure that every new article you publish is actually getting indexed by Google.  You do that by setting up a Domain Name Alert for your website(s). Then you will be notified when your new article first appears in Google Searches (this shows it has been indexed).  You will also see how long Google takes to Index your articles.

If for any reason your article does not get indexed, you should go to Webmaster Tools and submit a fresh Site Map manually.

Note: Don’t forget to regularly keep resubmitting your blog to search engines (including Google) using the Attracta SEO software that is included in most Hosting Accounts.  If for some reason your Host is not providing these extra free SEO tools, you should switch to Hostgator which does.

2. Niche Targeting.

Bloggers and business owners need to keep up to date with what is going on in your Niche, right? You need to know what new topics are being covered by other people who are in the same Niche as yours.  You need to be aware of what is being written and published, where it is getting published, and by who(m) …the added ‘m’ is for any grammar pedants (like me).

This is also a useful way to identify other websites in your Niche that you were not aware of.  If you check them out and they look like serious competition, you can set an Alert for their website too. Then you will know  what they are getting up to and what they are choosing to write about.  This can also give you some very useful leads and topic ideas.

3. Keyword Targeting.

You can set Google Alerts for your own best keywords to see who the other people are who are also targeting these same keywords – these are your direct competitors.

You will also find out how popular any specific keyword is by creating a Google Alert and seeing how many results you get.  if you get only a few Alert Notifications for a specific keyword, you can assume that very few people are interested in that subject. Therefore, it’s probably a poor use of your time if you try to attract traffic by using it.

Of course you should also do some keyword research at Google Research Tool to confirm the popularity (or not) of any keyword you are researching. At Google Research Tool you might also find a ‘better’ related keyword: a word or phrase with more Global Searches or less Competition than the one(s) you are promoting.

You can also set up a Google Alert for specific topic keywords when you need to brush up on your knowledge of any specific topic.  Google will find you all the latest articles being published for that topic, and serve them up to you for your reading pleasure….

4. Competitor Targeting.

Keeping Track of the leading Competitors in your Niche, and seeing what topics they are writing about is useful – if they think a topic is currently topical or useful, maybe you should do some research and write your own article on that topic.

Warning: never plagiarize other people’s content!

 Use your research to gain your own insights into a topic, and always write your own original articles with your own particular slant on the topic.  Try to add new ideas or tips into your articles. Try to put a new angle on any topic to make your article better (more useful or more entertaining etc) than the others.

If you do ‘borrow heavily’ from other people’s ideas, acknowledge that person (that article) with an external link to them (give them a back-link) in your own article. They will probably appreciate your link….and also, they are less likely to sue you. 

Free Bonus Tip: never trash your online reputation – nothing will sink your online career faster than any breach of trust – with anyone – your own readers or your online colleagues/competitors.

There is probably no topic under the sun that hasn’t been written about on the internet, but you should always try to bring something fresh or original into your articles – otherwise why would anyone want to read your article instead of one of the many others?

5. Product Targeting: Information Reviews

You can sometimes write a Review or a How To article explaining how to set up or use various gizmos, gadgets or software, simply to provide valuable information to your readers.  In that case, you can gather information about any product by setting a Google Alert for any product or gizmo you want to research. That Alert will notify you of all the latest articles on that product.

6. Product Targeting: Affiliate Marketing Reviews

If you want to write glowing (but accurate and honest) Product Reviews in an effort to make some Affiliate sales, you need to know what other people are currently saying about those products.  For any product that you recommend, you need to know if anyone is having problems with that product, that you might not know about.

You need to know the latest information, and do research to check if that information is correct.  For example: maybe a product was great when you started using it last year, but is now unreliable  – you need to know this before you publicly recommend that product.  Your reputation could be at risk.

Warning: if you aspire to be a Trusted Authority in your niche, don’t try to flog any old gizmo to your readers just because you want to sell something/anything.  To create trust you must recommend only those products that you know are reliable and give good value.

You can assess any product’s reliability and worth by either using the product yourself, or if someone you know you can trust has also recommended it.   Even so, If you haven’t personally  used a product that you Review, you must do proper research to make sure you are not trashing your online reputation by recommending it.

If you try to sell rubbish to your readers even once, you will never be trusted again, and then all your hard work will have been wasted.  Earning (and keeping) trust and a good reputation is always important in blogging, as well as in everything else you do.

7. Use a News Filter to spot Trending Topics in your Niche. 

If a particular topic in your niche suddenly goes viral, or suddenly everyone seems to be talking about it, the chances are that your readers will be looking for information on that topic too.  Try to catch the waves of trending topics.  That has a good chance of attracting new readers,  your traffic numbers will go up, and you will get the opportunity to impress some new readers with the value of your articles.

8. Track Your Back Links:

If you make Comments on other people’s websites (and get a back-link attached to it), you can set up a Google Alert for the Anchor Text that you use in Comment links. Then these links will be picked up by Google Alerts and you will know when, where, and how often it is mentioned online.

9. Use the Asterisk operator (*) to find Leads and ideas for your own topics.

For example use the search term ‘Blogging * Beginners’ or ‘SEO * Tools’ to get a wider range of Results for any topic.  If you add an Asterisk into your Google Alert Search Term will pick up a broader range of related articles on those topics.  See more details of this type of Alert in my previous article on Google Alerts.

10. Track your Niche on a Specific Platform Only.

For example, suppose you want to track every new post in your Niche that is published on Facebook, set up a Search for ‘SEO Tools AND Facebook’

Or, if you only want to know about videos being published in your niche, you could setup an Alert for ‘SEO Tools’ and add the VIDEO only filter to the search. See the example in the previous article on How to Optimize Google Alerts.

There you go, friends – go out there and uncover all the latest News and Gossip in your Niche. Then you can join in or trump the opposition and cash in, big time – either one is good – but no prizes for guessing which of these options I favor……Smile.

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10 Sneaky Ways to Spy On Your Niche Using Google Alerts — 2 Comments

  1. Hi
    Not sure what you meant by anchor texts of the links when tracking Back Links, could you explain a bit more or point me in the right direction.

    Kind regards

    • High Angus, remember that Google Alerts is Content Tracking Tool, not a Backlink Tracking Tool as such.

      However you can still track any backlinks you might get, by setting up a Google Alert for whatever you used as your Hyperlink (your Anchor Text) when you commented somewhere – or uploaded some content such as a video, a guest blog (probably set the Alert for the article title to make it specific to that article), or a presentations of any sort etc

      For example, I often use the name ‘carolm’ when Commenting on other people’s sites, so that is my anchor text for those Comments. I don’t use that name for my blog or my own onsite articles.

      So if i set up an alert for ‘carolm’, and I get an alert notification, I know that someone has triggered Google to include ‘carolm’ somewhere in it’s search engine database – so I’ve ‘kept track’ of that anchor text.

      It would be the same for a guest post. For example I wrote a guest post called Ninja Tips for Serious Bloggers.

      So if I set up a Google Alert for that title, or the url of that article, I would get notified if anyone tweeted, or quoted or referred to that link in any way, anywhere on the internet, including social media.

      Or even more basically, if you set up an alert for your blog link, you get notified whenever it appears anywhere on the internet. So any link alerts that you didn’t make yourself, are links made by someone else – a backlink or pingback.

      Hope that explains it better.

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