Here are some free alternatives to use as a backup when issues prevent Google Alerts from working properly.
Google Alerts is not working, the company advises.
An issue has been identified that is in the process of being resolved.
Exact details, such as the extent of the outage and how long it will take to fix, are not known at this time.
Problems with Google Alerts are not common, but clearly they do happen.
Even a brief outage can be detrimental if it causes a business to miss out on an important alert.
Google Alerts is used to track mentions of specific keywords and topics.
Businesses and marketers tend to use Google Alerts to keep track of media mentions.
Certain mentions can create strategic opportunities to respond or earn a link back from the publication.
For example, with Google Alerts you may find a website has credited your work without attaching a link to your business name.
This creates an opportunity to respond and kindly request a link to the page with the work they’re referencing.
It’s not that they didn’t want to link to you— the absence of a link may have been an oversight.
Not all site owners understand the value of backlinks and how vital they are to SEO.
You can add more incentive by reminding them it’s a Google best practice to link to sources, not just mention them.
If they appreciate your work enough to include it in their writing, you’ll often find they’re happy to add a link as well.
All this advice is for naught, however, if you can’t take advantage of the opportunities because Google Alerts is down.
Businesses that depend on Google Alerts for media monitoring and link building should have alternatives on standby for days like today.
Arguably the greatest appeal of Google Alerts is that it’s free. So I won’t recommend anything that you have to pay for.
Here are the best free alternatives to Google Alerts.
Free Google Alerts Alternatives
Talkwalker Alerts does everything Google Alerts does and more. All for the same cost of zero dollars.
You can use Talkwalker to monitor blogs, forums, websites, and Twitter.
Unlike Google Alerts, which monitors all available sources at all times, Talkwalker allows users to filter results by sources they care most about.
This is the ideal and highest recommended free alternative to Google Alerts.
The free capabilities offered by this tool are nowhere near equivalent to Google Alerts, but they will do in a pinch.
With Social Searcher you can conduct a real-time search for your brand name to see where and how it’s being mentioned on the web.
The search engine will return a list of results featuring the mentions, along with data on who’s mentioning your brand, what the sentiment is like, and what keywords are being used around your brand.
This tool does not offer free monitoring, but you can conduct 100 searches per day at no cost.
Social Searcher could come in handy on days when Google Alerts is having issues.
The social media monitoring tool trusted by brands and agencies around the world has a free tier that could be useful for smaller businesses.
With the free tier of Mention you can monitor up to three social media accounts and keep track of up to 1,000 mentions per month.
You can get one alert per month for free, so you will have to check this tool manually a majority of the time.
The free tier is not a 1:1 alternative to Google Alerts by any means, but it may be helpful to have as a backup.
At the time of publishing Google Alerts is still not working properly, but the company hopes to fix it “quickly.”
Media monitoring is a big business, with subscription software going for hundreds of dollars per month.
The amount of monitoring you can do for free is limited, but to Google’s credit its Alerts service works as expected most of the time.
For times when it doesn’t, check out the alternatives listed above.
by Matt Southern