Google Alerts Is Working Again

Google logoGood news! As best I can tell, the poor performance of Google Alerts that has plagued Google’s monitoring service for months finally seems over.

I asked, but Google won’t confirm that it’s made any changes. Still, it’s pretty clear to me that something has happened for the better.

I noticed an improvement that began on April 1 — and no April Fool’s, that’s really when things began getting better.

I’ve been watching my alerts closely each day, and the trend has continued. Google Alerts is again finding new content that I’d expect it to find, content that it used to uncover until it went into a puzzling decline earlier this year.

Google Alerts is also continuing to do well against the alternative Talkwalker service that we recently profiled.

Are things working better for you or not? Let us know in the comments!

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Google: Alerts | Top News


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Joe Large

    I found talkwalker alerts are doing very well, find keywords and terms in all types of places. I have been impressed.

  • robthespy

    Agreed, Danny.

    I just started receiving alerts I haven’t seen in almost a year.

    I’m glad they’ve forced us to explore other options. And have probably spurred some interesting new services.

    Do you think Google will-

    1. Keep Alerts “as is”

    2. Improve the service (integrate heavily w/ G+ and social)

    3. Shut it down

  • John Crockett

    It definitely is working better this week than it was. I think that is a sign that they are either going to have to figure out a way to monetize it or shut it down.

  • Mark Zohar

    For something similar but different, try out TrendSpottr Alerts ( You set it up like Google Alerts (track a keyword, topic, hashtag, etc.) but it only sends trending alerts to provide higher signal. TrendSpottr Alerts also include real-time sentiment and tweet analytics.

  • Gary Price

    Danny, I have also seen an increase in alerts but in some cases Talkwalker is more timely.

    Talkwalker is pulling from a smaller universe of sites/sources.

    One thing I didn’t mention in my article last week were some of the pieces of syntax that can help fine tune Talkwalker queries.

    They are all listed here:

    You’ll see that Talkwalker offers a proximity operator (Word A within x number of words of Word B) it’s something that Google Alerts does not provide.

    Also worth noting are the ability to use a wildard and what they call a “raw data query” that can help with symbols and upper/lower case.

    Talkwalker doesn’t replace Google Alerts but at this point it’s a useful addition to your list of alert tools.

  • ZombieMommy

    Oh I thought the alerts seemed rather light lately.

  • Eric Muhanji

    I found talk walker very effective alternative as it filled up my inbox with brand mentions following a press release. Thanks Gary for the additional syntax link.

  • Yeye Yates

    Thanks for the heads up. Hope any changes made will not affect my site’s performance and ColibriTool’s ( consolidated reports

  • Jawad Latif

    Finally Google Alert team woke up!

  • Jose Miguel Vera

    YESS :’)

  • Rob

    Something has definitely happened. I have various searches set up for wedding photo booth, photo booth hire and our own domain of as well as a number of others and had assumed there was not much in the way of new content coming though. But in the last week and certainly last couple of days it has been pouring through. Might now have to review my alerts with the volume coming through.

  • Ken Morico

    Is there any real cost to Google to keep the alerts running? Seems like a simple tool. Maybe they are interested in keeping it going since these other tools were profiled recently.

  • Yeye Yates

    Thanks for the heads up. Hope any changes made will not affect my site’s performance and ColibriTool’s ( consolidated reports

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  • The Financial Brand

    Too late. i already killed off all my alerts and switched to Mention (premium account).

  • The Financial Brand

    FYI – I found this blurb about how the algorithm was tweaked, and why results plummeted: “Google Alerts only sends you email if new articles, webpages or blog posts make it into the top ten Google News results, the top twenty Google Web Search results or top ten Google Blog Search results for your query. If the top results remain the same for a while, you won’t receive email on your topic.”

  • John-Pierre Cornelissen

    I have setup a few Google alerts a few years ago and never ever received any alert. When
    I learned about Talkwalker I have setup the alerts and added a few more
    to both of them. Talkwalker is sending me alerts from day one, but not
    all the alerts I expected. I have used my name in several forum posts
    and blog comments, and none of them came back as an alert. Not even from
    blog comments on I asked them about this and they said they
    do not spided yet but that they will add it. So yes, Talkwalker works much better then Google alerts, but they don’t spider all the web and they don’t find all mentions that a normal Google search will find. Also, the Talkwalker preview is working very slow so I usually skip it, the live preview from Google alerts is much better. If only the Google alerts would work…

  • Jasonmailley

    Alerts should provide the same results as a live search. If the alert is only triggered once it has reached the first 20 spots of the SERP, there is not much to do to resolve a brand management problem.

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