Search, Track, Monitor, Publish: GoogleAlert
Among the many different tools and online services that can be utilized to create key topic trackers, competitive intelligence reports, and content newsfeeds for independent publishers GoogleAlert stands out from the group for its focus on Google Web results and its powerful filtering capabilities.
What GoogleAlert does is to facilitate your creation of specific search queries, which instead of being run once, are run for you on a daily basis. If the search filtering setup you have created is sophisticated enough, and if you are able to mix and match a few of such search feeds, the actual results can be blended into a very valuable topic newsfeed, a marketing survey, a competitive intelligence report.
While some of the more popular news aggregators out there focus on the blogosphere, GoogleAlert focuses its attention on Google Web Results. This does not exclude altogether blog content but it does bring back a set of results that are generally less news-oriented and have a more content/product/brand type of focus. On competitive intelligence tasks this may an invaluable asset, as well as for marketing and sales analysis.
Looking back at the tools requirements for the emerging RSS newsmaster professional role, I can see that GoogleAlert fills in well in many of the requests I had.
Particularly impressive is GoogleAlert relevance tracking feature. Labelled SightPoint, it automatically learns which search results are most relevant for you. If SightPoint is switched on, your new search results are rated based on the results you have clicked on in the past. Users who upgrade to the advanced GoogleAlert service option can also mark results as irrelevant and automatically have similar results filtered out in future.
A free version of the service, which does not include search language selection, manual relevance marking, and the ability to run more than three search feeds is immediately accessible after an extremely simple sign-up.
GoogleAlert is a great research, tracking and monitoring tool, one that makes the information researcher job effective, reusable, and truly enjoyable.
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