Google recently revamped its News search site and made it easier to customise, but one of its most useful features — setting up alerts for topics of interest — remains much the same. Here’s how to set up a regular alert from the service on your favourite topics.
Google promotes its news indexing fairly heavily — if you perform a search, you’ll be offered relevant news results fairly high up in the mix, and you can focus down on news results by clicking on the link in the left-hand tab. However, it doesn’t make quite as much fuss about its alert feature, which will send you a daily email with links to stories featuring that . Here’s how to get it working.
Firstly, visit the Google news site at news.google.com.au. Type in the search term you want to create an alert for. Note that if you choose a very general term (such as “Julia Gillard” or “Apple”) you’re likely to be overwhelmed with results.
Scroll to the bottom of the first page of results and click on the ‘Create an email alert for search term‘ link.
The next page lets you customise your alerts. (Like many a Google product, Alerts still sports a beta tag despite being in operation for years). The Type field lets you set what kind of alerts you want: the default is News, but you can also select Blog, Video, Discussion or everything.
The How often field lets you choose when you receive alerts: as stories are posted, daily or weekly. You can choose to include up to 10 or up to 50 results in the Email length field. (You can use the Preview button to see what a typical email would look like.)
If you’re signed into your Google account, the Gmail address for that account will be displayed. You can also choose to have results sent to your Google Reader RSS feed (if you choose this, the ‘How often’ field automatically switches to results as they happen). If you aren’t signed into Google, you can enter any email address you choose. Click on Create Alert and you’re done.
If you want to stop receiving an alert, you can access the Alerts page or click on the link in the emails you receive from Google.
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