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Who hasn't, out of morbid curiosity, done an Internet search on your name or business name? If we could see a show of hands, it's probably a good bet that everybody raised them.That's what makes it slightly perplexing why people do not use Google alerts.
For those of you who may not know, Google, Yahoo and other Internet search sites offer a free tool where you submit a keyword or keyword phrase and you will be notified by e-mail when that word or phrase appears on the Internet.
For example, we could choose an alert for "Dairy Queen, North Pole." Then we can determine whether we want to be notified when it is mentioned anywhere on the Web or just on news sites. You can even determine how often you want to receive the e-mail--as it happens, once a day or once a week. Pretty cool.
As a business that offers PR services, my company, Hiroad Communications, uses Google alerts to see if the releases we put out for clients are picked up by news sites as well as traditional sites. While not as effective as a clipping service, the price is right-free. Yes, you may miss an occasional clip, but you get the big ones and that's what's really important.
PR aside, it's just a good idea to create one for your name and business. On the business side, it's nice to know what people are saying about you or your company. On a personal side, it offers some nice benefits, too. For example, I set one up for my children's names. Now, if they should happen to make honor roll or if there's a story on one of their sports teams, I get a notification.
So, if you've ever been in one of those curious moods and decide to Google your name, take it one step further and set up a Google alert. Just click here and you can get started today.