By Ryan Cope

Using Google Alerts To Increase Your Business Acumen

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August 1, 2014 | Categories: Articles

One of our all-time favorite tools happens to be one that seldom gets used – Google Alerts. One of the key components to building your business acumen is staying on top of current business news and trends, and Google Alerts allows you to receive email notifications whenever there is news on a particular business or industry. Pretty sweet, eh?

 For example, let’s say you own a small apparel company. Using Google Alerts, you could follow anything from large apparel companies to industry trends, and use this knowledge to help formulate your day-to-day decisions and strategy. This is a great way to keep an eye on external factors that might affect your business.

 How to Set Up a Google Alert

 Step 1: Go to www.google.com/alerts. If you have a gmail account, sign in now and continue to Step 2. If not, don't worry about it. Just continue to Step 2.

 Step 2: Enter your search query. As you type in your search, the alert preview window will appear and give you a list of example articles that would be included in your Google Alert. If the results don’t match what you are looking for, then try getting more specific with your search query or changing some of the advanced options (see Step 3).

 Step 3: Select your options. Once you start typing, an arrow will appear with the text “Show options.” Click this arrow to reveal the options and select how often you want to receive alerts, which sources you want to receive alerts from, language, region, and whether you only want the best results or all results.

 Step 4: If you are signed into your Gmail account, simply click “Create Alert” and you are good to go! If you don’t have a gmail account, you will need to put in your email and then click “Create Alert.” A notification will appear letting you know that you need to go to your email account and confirm the Google Alert before you are allowed to receive it.

 Step 5: Manage your Google Alerts. If you have a Gmail account, go to google.com/alerts and sign into your account. From here, you will be able to change any of the options as well as delete the Google Alert. If you don’t have a Gmail account, you don’t have the ability to change the options on your Google Alert, but can unsubscribe from it by clicking the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of any of your Google Alert email notifications.

Step 6: Enjoy your newfound tool!

This certainly isn’t the only tool for tracking the latest business/industry news. Some of the other great tools we enjoy using include Seeking Alpha and Google Finance. What are your favorites?