Popular social media sites demonstrate how much we like talking about ourselves, our lives, and our achievements (with photographic proof). Don't get me wrong; it's a wonderful idea to celebrate wins and share our sorrows (little or not). I know I'm personally quite happy to see my friends get a degree, get engaged, cook a great meal, gush over a new show/album, or talk about what's troubling them on social media.
Content creators, whose livelihoods legitimately depend on the publication quality or quantity of their content, are (and should be) especially concerned with themselves (their work, at least). It makes sense for them to be on the lookout for which of their pieces are published, how said pieces are being received by their audience and the quality of digital engagement with their work.
Google picked up on this and created Google Alerts — a free tool that notifies the user every time a keyword (one specified by them) is mentioned online. With Google being the largest search engine in the world, this turned out to be a great idea.
However, few good things last forever. Or, if they do, it's because they grew, changed, and adapted to the times. Google Alerts didn't end up doing that, which is probably why you're here looking for a "google alert alternative" or something to that effect.
In this piece, I'll discuss five alternatives to Google Alerts that'll help you keep track of your publications across the World Wide Web.
But first, the obvious question.
• Learn why you need a Google Alerts alternative
• Explore 5 Google Alerts alternatives that work, sometimes better, than the original
• See why Authory may be the perfect Google Alerts alternative for you
Why do you need Google Alerts alternatives?
- Google Alerts does not include mentions/performance on social media. This is a major gap in functionality. In the age of social media, how your work fares on social media sites is a major component of its performance. If Google Alerts can't help you with monitoring social media, it falls short of what you need.
- There are multiple instances of Google Alerts failing to do its job — reported here and here. Factors like "low query volume" and the "only best results" options being too restrictive are among the many reasons Google Alerts may not be the best option as a monitoring tool.
6 Google Alerts alternatives you should try out
While Authory is primarily a portfolio builder, it provides an Analytics feature that serves as a social media monitoring tool as well as a web searcher when it comes to your content. Here's how it works: you enter a digital source, i.e., the website where your content has been published.
After that, Authory takes up to 48 hours (usually less) to import every single bylined piece published on the digital source you've entered. In other words, the tool collates all your published content in one place. Authory also tracks all your future publications on each source website you previously input.
Now, you’ll get email notifications every time a new content piece is published.
Here’s the kicker: you get these notifications BEFORE Google Alerts. I was suspicious too, so I went hunting and found testimonials from Authory customers before making my claim:
Now, Jennifer doesn't have to spend precious time cutting and pasting, and updating her personal website. Authory crawls the internet for all of Jennifer's work and lets her know when her article goes live — before editors and even Google Alerts can notify her!
I also love that I receive an email notification every time one of my new articles goes live. Authory sees the article, grabs it, and adds it to my relevant portfolios. This feels more convenient, effective, and full-service than semi-alternatives like Google Alerts.
I’ve also noticed the difference myself; I’ll tell you more about that toward the end of the piece. Moving on.
Authory's Analytics feature examines all your imported content and provides solid numbers on readership/viewership and engagement on everything. Not only does it track content performance on the internet at large but also on social media sites (unlike Google Alerts).
Notice that you get numbers not just for web engagement but also engagement across YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the like. The data is refreshed every 30 days, so you know exactly how every single piece is faring across the internet.
So, if you're submitting pieces for publication on a third-party website, you don't have to keep checking it or wonder when your work will be published. Authory imports the piece the minute it’s published and triggers an email that lets you know that a new article/audio piece/video has been added to your content database.
Awario is an excellent option among social media monitoring tools. It will track your content's performance across social media platforms, blogs, news sites, forums, review sites, web pages... the works.
It allows users to get email notifications for every keyword mention, or they can choose to watch those mentions show up in real time on the Awario Mentions Feed. All historical data gathered by the tool is analyzed to showcase how the number of mentions grows (or not) over time, the reach of brand mentions, as well the nature of these mentions (positive? negative? neutral?)
You can use sentiment analysis to examine negative mentions and identify core issues. You can also get valuable data about the people who've mentioned you or your brand — their age, gender, language, location, and social media preferences.
If you're dealing with complex keywords like names and abbreviations, you can use the Boolean search option to modify search parameters to the most specific details, filtering out all irrelevant mentions.
Additionally, if you are looking for influencers to advocate for your brand, you can use the Awario Leads feature to find digital profiles by searching for a product/service in your domain.
- Starter Plan: $39/month
- Pro Plan: $119/month
- Enterprise Plan: $399/month
Mention is among the oldest Google Alerts alternatives in existence. It monitors your social media mentions, as well as mentions across news websites, blogs, forums, and web pages. You can even respond to these alerts from inside the tool.
You can get weekly notifications, daily email reports, or real-time push notifications informing you of new mentions.
Much like Awario, Mention examines the growth patterns, sentiments, languages, locations, and sources of keyword mentions. It also helps you find social media influencers aligned with your content or brand.
You can access historical data and use the API to integrate Mention into your own website without disrupting your layout of administrative functions. It also provides a Boolean search option for complicated keywords, but you'll have to tweak it meticulously to avoid irrelevant mentions, older statistics, and digital noise.
- Solo Plan: $29/month
- Pro Plan: $99/month
- ProPlus Plan: $190/month
Social Searcher is among the best Google Alerts alternatives. Like the tool above, it notifies you of all keywords, brand names, and hashtag mentions. However, it goes a step beyond and provides some marketing analytics data (user personalities, trends, etc.) as well.
But, this tool only covers seven sources — Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Flickr, Dailymotion, and Vimeo. It doesn't seem to scan the internet at large for mentions. To get more accurate results, you can use Minus words which, as the name sounds, helps filter out unwanted terms.
You can also narrow down mentions by the source to check how users on a single platform are responding to your content or brand. You can export search results as CSV files, track post distribution by specific time periods (week, day, hour), analyze sentiment ratio, and leverage other handy features.
Social Searcher does have a free plan, which is why it’s often chosen as the closest alternative to free Google Alerts. However, the free plan only shows recent posts. You need a paid plan to access historical data.
Social Searcher's Price
- Basic Plan: €3.49/month
- StandardPlan: €8.49/month
- Professional Plan: €19.49/month
Keyhole is an excellent alternative to Google Alerts if your intent is to focus on the major social media channels. It monitors Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, along with some forums, sites, and blogs. While it may not cover as much digital ground as the other tools in this list, it provides in-depth analytics on not just the data collected from the internet but also your personal (or the brand's) social media accounts.
You can use BrandIQ (designed for small businesses) or Keyhole Advanced Suite (for mid-size to large marketing teams and agencies).
The tool allows you to search for and engage with people mentioning your keywords. You can also get lists of users with the highest engagements on their posts, which is a great way to find relevant influencers. The tool lets you examine their reach by dissecting details like their location, language in their bio, number of posts they've made mentioning your keyword, and other pertinent parameters.
All data on keyword mentions comes with added details — the mention's sentiment, the user's gender, location, the post's status (original or report), hashtags mentioned along with the keyword, etc. You can also access Twitter historical data if you raise a request.
Expect insights on the best time to post, find your most engaged followers, and stay on top of your most popular posts.
You get daily or weekly (as you choose in settings) emails with new mentions' data. The tool is set up to alert you if anomalies occur, such as a sudden, unexpected spike in mentions, a post going viral, etc.
Keyhole has layered pricing plans, depending on what you intend to do with the tool.
- Plans for Profile Analytics start from $39/month
- Plans for Social Listening & Campaigns start from $79/month
- You get custom pricing for Influencer Tracking and Enterprise Suites.
Talkwater Alerts is the closest alternative to Google Alerts, not just in terms of features but also because it's free. It monitors websites, blogs, forums, and Twitter for keyword mentions and sends the results of said monitoring through periodic email notifications (as often as you like).
You can refine your searches by using the intuitive filter options to check only the formats that matter to you. For example, you can choose only to get notifications of blog mentions. There are also Boolean operators to enable high levels of customizability. So you get the features of Google Alerts but also more functions and a greater ability to refine your results.
Talkwalker Alerts' Price
Free. You can switch from free Talkwalker Alerts to paid Talkwalker plans at any time if you want to use the tool for business purposes.
Why choose Authory as a Google Alerts alternative?
As I mentioned above, you get Authory notifications of your content’s publication before Google Alerts. I noticed this quite late, as I’ve just set up my only Google Alerts recently on the advice of a friend (didn’t need it when I was writing full-time).
After I did so, the difference was apparent and consistent. Authory alerts are consistently faster. Turns out, I had stumbled into a better Google Alerts alternative without realizing it.
I primarily chose Authory because it’s an exceptional portfolio maker that creates your portfolio for you. However, the Analytics data it provides is wildly useful. When doing research for this article, I realized that Authory's major advantage over the other tools is that it’s built for individual users, not businesses.
As a freelance writer, I don't need sentiment analysis of comments on my published articles, and I don't need to find influencers or figure out where commenters are located. I just need to know what people think of my writing, how much traffic it generates, and what kind of engagement it brings about.
This is information that Authory provides in spades while also providing multiple other features related to portfolio building and updating. Additionally, it costs far less than everything on this list except Talkwalker Alerts.
The question then is simple and answers itself: Why would I spend on tools that cost more, give me features I don't need, and don't also build my portfolio for me?
Curious? Have a go at Authory's 30-day free trial. Cancel anytime you want, and examine your options for a whole month before picking the tool that hits your sweet spot.