In this video, I'm going to show you how toset up Google Alerts for passive link prospecting, brand building, and more knowledge bombs.
[music] What's up marketers? Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool thathelps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche.
Now, today is all about smart and passivemarketing through web monitoring.
Now, rather than having to search for outreachprospects, whether that’s for collaborations, links, or guest posting opportunities, youcan get them emailed to you without lifting a finger using Google Alerts.
And the same goes for some other marketingopportunities too.
Let's get started.
Google Alerts is a super simple tool to use.
In fact, I can show you how to set up a GoogleAlert in 20 seconds.
First, go to google.
com/alerts and type inyour search query.
Next, check out the alert preview to makesure it matches what you want to be notified about and click on the “show options” dropdownto further customize your alert settings.
So I’ll set the language to English, andchoose to receive all results.
Then click the “create alerts” buttonand you’re done.
Now, anytime a web page matches your searchquery, Google will send you an email notification that looks like this.
But there are 3 things that you need to knowabout Google Alerts.
The first one: if you don't use Google searchoperators, your inbox will likely get filled with a ton of irrelevant results.
The second thing is that Google doesn't sendcontent that has already been published.
So they're only gonna send you new content alerts.
And the third thing: as far as our tests havegone, Google Alerts does not send you every page that's in their index.
Meaning, you're gonna miss out on a ton ofperfectly good opportunities.
In fact, we put Ahrefs to the test and foundthat on average, our tool produced 2, 376% more results than Google for the exact samequeries.
So let's jump into some smart tactics to getonly or at least mostly relevant results that are going to be worth your time.
The first alert will help you find an unlimitedand completely passive stream of guest posting opportunities.
A couple common search operators used in Googleto find guest posting opportunities are [topic] intitle:”write for us” and [topic] intitle:”become a contributor.
” But the frequency of new “write for us” pagesthat are published each day is likely more infrequent than actual guest posts that arepublished.
And remember, Google Alerts isn't going tosend you historical data.
But we can actually get very relevant resultsvery frequently using the footprint, “guest post by.
” To keep things super targeted, you can usethe intitle operator and enter your topic, then type in “guest post by” as a phrase match.
So if I have a blog on supplements, then Iwould type: intitle:supplements + “guest post by”.
And if you look at the results preview, lookhow targeted these results are.
Since we're looking strictly for articleswith the word “supplements” in the title, you could expand this search by adding moreintitle: parameters.
So if you have a large team of guest writers, you might do a search like this: intitle:supplements or intitle:vitamins or intitle:”protein powder” or intitle:nutrition + “guest post by”.
And you can see that the results are stillvery relevant, but you'll get a lot more results since you're broadening the search query withmultiple categories.
To get historical results, you can run a uniquequery inside Ahrefs' Content Explorer.
Just type in: author:”guest” and then withinparentheses type (“link building” or “keyword research” or “search engine optimization”or “whatever topics you write about”).
Next, we'll set the one article per domainfilter since we don't need to pitch the same website twice.
And you'll see a nice list of websites thatare clearly accepting guest posts.
As a side note, our Alerts tool and ContentExplorer share the same database, so you could set this query as a mentions alert and getnew guest posting opportunities sent straight to your inbox.
The next alert is to monitor your brand forunlinked mentions.
This one's easy.
Just type in your brand name and variationsof your brand name within parentheses separated by the or search operator.
So for us, that might be ahrefs or ahref ora hrefs or aherfs.
Next, type in -site:ahrefs.
com and you can exclude any other social media sites.
The minus site colon part tells Google toignore mentions from our website, ahrefs.
com as well as a few social media networks sincewe're not interested in social monitoring for this example.
Then I'll check the settings and make surethat the frequency is set to once a day, only pages in English, and I want Google to sendme all of the results.
We have a great blog post with a few moretactics on unlinked mentions, so I'll leave a link to that in the description.
The next alert is to monitor questions inyour niche.
Using the site: operator, you can monitoran entire website for any search query.
For example, if you're in the travel niche, you might want to monitor Trip Advisor.
And if you're targeting programmers, then youmight watch Stack Overflow.
Or if you're looking for questions on generaltopics, then you might want to monitor Quora.
Here's how it's done.
Type in a keyword that you want to monitor, so for us, that might be “SEO.
” Then we'll add site:quora.
Now, any time “SEO” is mentioned on Quora, we'll be notified by email so we can jump in, answer and help out.
You can also do this with brand mentions.
If you look on quora, you'll see that thereare quite a few question about Ahrefs.
So we could create another Alert that monitorsmentions of our brand name simply by replacing the word SEO with Ahrefs.
While this is great for getting to new questionsquick, you won't know whether the questions will ever gain any traction.
So a cool hack to find posts on forums that aregetting organic traffic is to look up the forum in Site Explorer.
So I'll look up quora.
Next, I'll go to the top pages report, whichshows us the pages on Quora that get organic traffic in descending order.
Now, if I had a website on finance, then Iwould type that in here.
And now you can see related pages on Quorathat get organic search traffic, and you can decide which ones are worth your time.
The next alert is to get free press and linksfrom journalists.
Being a journalist is tough.
And it's best if I show you an example.
A little while ago, I was reading an articleabout Cinnamon.
And I found some critical errors in the post, so I sent the journalist an email, told her about them and here’s what she said: “Thank you so much! I'll see if I can talk to my editor aboutthis.
I usually cover animals, but was requiredto write the cinnamon article in less than an hour.
” Now, I am by no means a cinnamon expert, butthe keyword term that I was monitoring was related, which resulted in a deep link froma powerful website.
Here's how you can set up a Google Alert tofind opportunities just like this.
Within parentheses, I'll type in (site:nytimes.
com or site:fastcompany.
com or site:huffingtonpost.
com), and you couldobviously add more or less depending on your needs.
Then type in a topic that you want to monitor, so that might be “search engine optimization.
” Now anytime one of these sites mentions thiskeyword phrase, I'll be sent a notification where I can chime in.
But here's the thing.
Journalists, they publish and then they move on to the next story.
So that means that getting them to add a linkto your website or mention your company in a published article will likely be much morechallenging than having them feature you in a future post.
So rather than trying to get them to replacethe article, try and build a relationship with them and be a source for years to come.
The next alert is to monitor your competitors And there are so many competitor monitoringtactics that you can use that are just.
They're super powerful.
So let's say that we wanna monitor mentionsof Backlinko.
We can just type in: Backlinko -site:backlinko.
com to exclude anymentions from his website.
And without even clicking through to thesearticles, you can see exactly what the context of these articles are about.
But you can expand this query by includingkey people within the company.
In this case, we would just change it to Backlinkoor “Brian Dean” -site:backlinko.
Now this alert will help you keep a close watchon your competitors' link building strategies and key relationships.
And you could also monitor websites that are doingreviews on your competitors.
For example, if you had a new software companythat offered an interactive website builder, you could search for “squarespace” intitle:”review”.
And from here you can contact authors and websiteowners, offer free accounts and ask them to review your software.
The next alert will help you find NAP citationopportunities for your local SEO efforts.
A big part of local SEO are NAP citations, which stands for name, address, and phone number.
And there are thousands of directories out therewhere you can add your own structured citations, but your competitors are going to keep buildingthem.
So using Google Alerts, you can keep an eye onyour competitors and monitor new citations that they're building.
Just set up an alert with this query: “Competitor's name” + “competitor phone” +”competitor address”.
First, Google the company name and look atthe information from their Google My Business listing.
Next, I'll copy their business name, a partof their address that should be consistent across their citations, and the better portionof their phone number without the area code.
And right away, you’ll see a bunch of yourcompetitor's local citations in the preview.
So you can expect to get new alerts like theseand then jump on them.
The next alert is to monitor for theft ofyour digital products.
So if you sell an online course, you probablydon’t want people stealing it.
In fact, this happened to our course, “Bloggingfor Business, ” which has now been removed.
To keep an eye on the pirates, you can typein something like: Ahrefs + “blogging for business” + and thenwithin parentheses, we'll add some common footprint keywords like download or torrent, then we'll exclude our site, ahrefs.
You can do the same for ebooks, but with aslight modification.
For example, if we wanted to monitor for PDFcopies of “Digital Marketing For Dummies, ” we could type in the title of the book asa phrase match, then add keywords like (Free or Download) and then add filetype:pdf, whichwill look for only PDFs.
The next alert is a great way to find interviewopportunities.
Here's the thing with content creation.
A typical video or blog post on our channelstakes around 20 hours to create.
But an interview? Max, one hour, plus the host does all of thepromoting for you.
So you can set up an alert using a query like this: Interview and “Tim Soulo” or someone who gets interviewed frequently that you can monitor.
Then click on “show options” and set the sourceto “video, ” since a lot of podcasters will create a second copy for YouTube.
And you'll see that the results are quiterelevant.
Now, it's just a matter of pitching the hoston why you should be interviewed and sharing some unique insights that their audience wouldlove.
Now when you're using these alerts, make sureto check the preview, or if you're finding that you're not getting enough results, thencompare the results with Ahrefs' Alerts and Content Explorer.
Now, make sure to subscribe for more actionableSEO and marketing tutorials, and I'd love to hear from you about your go-to Google Alerts.
So keep grinding away, create some nice passive SEOalerts, and I'll see you in the next tutorial.