Oh Google, you love to draw me in only to drop my favorite services. I have come to rely on Google Alterts to deliver relevant, timely content into my inbox on a broad array of subjects. Google Alerts may already be dead, and you don’t even know it. Especially, as I’ve been talking about content curation so much recently, Google Alerts is one of the top entry points into my content funnel.
The frequency and depth of my Google Alerts began to wane in December 2012, but in late January I noticed that the lag in reporting was far from “as it happens.” Ego alerts were taking 3-4 days to hit my inbox where they took minutes only months ago. So, when I saw Danny Sullivan’s post Dear Google Alerts: Why Aren’t You Working? I knew that I wasn’t alone:
One of Google’s oldest features is Google Alerts, where you can enter keywords you want to monitor and get an email report each day about any new search results that match those terms. It was awesome; but for several weeks, it’s become nearly useless. -
While Danny figures out the problem with Google, I thought I would do a quick roundup of Google Alerts Alternatives. Specifically, I am looking for the following criteria.
- Comprehensiveness – What networks does the service search?
- Timeliness – How quickly does the service provide results after publication?
- Email – Does the service deliver results by email?
- RSS – Does the service provide an RSS feed of results?
- Accuracy – Are the results that are being delivered accurate?
- AI – Does the service learn from your input and improve results over time?
|Buzz Stream||$29/129/mo||News||2 days||Table Cell||Table Cell||Med||Yes|
|GigaAlert||$5-20/mo||All||2+ days||Table Cell||Table Cell||Low||No|
|IQAlerts||$30-250/mo||All||1 day||Table Cell||Table Cell||High||Yes|
|Mention||Free – $100/mo||All||1-2 days||App||App||Med.||Yes|
|Social Mention||Free||Social||1-2 days||Yes||Yes||Low||No|
|Trackur||$27-447/mo||News & Social||1 day||Table Cell||Table Cell||High||Yes|
|Trap!t||Free / Beta||Some Web||2+ days||Table Cell||Table Cell||Med||Yes|
8 Google Alerts Alternatives
BuzzStream is a comprehensive tool for tracking social mentions and link opportunities. A one paragraph description will not do it justice. Eric Covino at SEOBook wrote a comprehensive review of the tool. The PR / Social Media aspect of the tool is quite powerful by providing deep dive searching in conversation and influencer tracking.
My experience with GigaAlert was a little spammy. When I was notified of alerts via email and I clicked the results link, I was taken to a signup page instead of the results. I understand that they are trying to get signups, but I wasn’t able to truly evaluate the service without being nagged.
The setup of the search terms on IQAlerts is very intuitive. You can filter by industry and by region in addition to adding negative keywords. IQAlerts claims to have more responsive search results than Google Alerts. Of course, the expense is a major consideration with IQAlerts, the accuracy and ease of use makes it a strong replacement to Google Alerts.
Mention (free – $100/month)
Mention offers applications for Mac/iOS/Android/Chrome that aggregates results into a nice user interface. This tool is well designed for content curation more than simple brand or term monitoring. I am excited to continue testing this tool as a content curator.
Social Mention is one of the first alternatives that I used to monitor social media mentions. Social Mention tracks blogs, blog comments, Twitter, mainstream news, images, video, and audio. It’s free and is fully featured with good dashboards, email delivery and RSS feeds. However, the search is limited to:
Trackur is one of the most robust engines reviewed. It is clearly an enterprise solution that allows the following:
- RSS/Email alerts
- Sentiment Tagging
- White labeling
- CSV Export
- Unlimited Client Logins
- Trackur Insights
- Influence Metrics
- Different Levels of Support
For agencies or clients that want comprehensive tracking and are willing to pay for it, Trackur is a powerful solution.
Trap!t (currently free)
Probably more in the realm of a content curator Trap!t allows you to build “traps” around your focus topics. Through a broad indexing system, Trap!t performs a comprehensive web search for your topic areas. Based on your interaction with the content that it returns, it learns your preferences. The interface is really clean, but I did not find the results to update quickly.
Yahoo! Alerts (free)
Yahoo Alerts dates back for years. It is truly an alert system. I have not found Yahoo! alerts to be as accurate as timely or accurate as the older Google Alerts.
I did not find a single solution that replaces Google Alerts with all functionality for the same price (free). Many of the newer players in this space are taking raw search results to a more advanced level by adding curation features and advanced artificial intelligence.
What experience have you had with these or other alert services?Image via Bigstock.