Alerts: How They Will Help Your SEO

Alerts are some of the most versatile tools in your SEO arsenal. With powerful, fully-customizable options, tools like Google Alerts and Moz’s Fresh Web Explorer are incredibly important for any content creator, webmaster, or marketer. Not to mention competitors like:

  • Talkwalker
  • Trackur
  • Social mention

Many simply use these alerts as a regular reminder for various tasks such as backlink maintenance and contacts, but there’s so much more you can do with them, and simply using them as an alarm clock belies their true value. To make the best use of these tools, you’ll need to understand exactly how alerts can help your SEO, enabling your page to climb any search engine’s results page.


Making Complex Alerts

Rand Fishkin of talks about how he uses special characters when using fresh web explorer to find specific types of mentions that you may not realize are possible, like: finding out someone mentions your brand but didn’t link to you, or finding out someone mentioned your competitor but not you. The characters he uses are as follows:

  • Link: – links to this URL
  • (-) – removes
  • SD: – Link to this subdomain
  • “ “ – exact match
  • TLD – includes only this extension
  • Site: – shows only results from specific subdomain
  Check out his White Board Friday on alerts.  

Google Alerts uses a similar character pattern to make your alerts more specific.


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Catch Up With Your Backlinks

By properly setting up your alert system, you can receive handy little notifications whenever you gain a new backlink. This alert tends to be more organized or efficient than any manually compiled list, but these notices have a far bigger benefit than that. Your backlinks will do more for you if seen less as resources and more as partnerships, and getting new notifications will allow you to reach out and thank sites for the promotion.


If the backlink was given as part of a blog post, article or similar medium, you can share the content on your social media accounts, or even publicly thank the link host for the publicity. It’s also a great way to find quotes or mentions of your product/service that could be used as testimonials on your website, or a backlink opportunity. Finding these mentions are like finding a diamond. It’s free publicity/backlink opportunity that you shouldn’t miss.


These notifications can even be used to monitor when your backlinks are removed or broken, an occurrence that demands the immediate attention of any webmaster. There are any number of reasons for a link breaking, but the one you should dread most is competition. Some SEO tactics involve searching out broken links, contacting their hosts, and suggesting alternate links to replace them. Known as the “Moving Man Method,” this tactic is fantastic for gaining new backlinks, but its efficiency necessitates vigilance from you. If your link breaks, you need to notify the host before someone else does, saving you a potential loss of a backlink. Unfortunately, if the link is completely removed, it may be too late. Still, it’s a good idea to monitor this closely, as an email or two sent now can save you valuable SERP position later.


Use Alerts for Content in the Field

As a marketer, you want to assess the climate of your target audience, taking every advantage to convert them. By monitoring other content in the field and using the techniques above, you can easily see when competitors are mentioned or other influencers are having success with a specific topic.


To give an example, let’s say you deal in textiles. An authoritative blog in the sewing or upholstering community has just written a 2,000 word essay on silk taffeta, a crisp, beautiful fabric that the community is now buzzing about. If you have daily alerts enabled and properly configured e.g. Link:authoritativeblog, you’ll be notified on the post or it’s activity, which might inspire a sudden promotion or conveniently timed sale on silk taffeta. Plus, from an SEO perspective, you can reach out to the blog or news site and promote your site as a relevant source for the subject, thus possibly gaining you backlinks.


Reputation Management!

Notifications make it much easier to defend yourself against negative press and false claims. By configuring your service to send you an alert any time you’re mentioned or linked, you’ll have a better chance of hearing negative claims, which allows you to do damage control in a timely and efficient manner. It’s the unfortunate reality that attacks and bad press do happen, so when they do your response is critical to stopping the spread of rumors and restoring good faith in your company. Reputation management is a worthwhile investment, and there are many very complex software or service providers that can help you maintain your online reputation. However, if you don’t have the budget, or you are only looking for a basic set up, alerts can be your best friend in this department.


Get In On The Discussion

With the right alert configuration, you can get updates to see not only how often a subject is being discussed, but what exactly is being said. This provides a huge help to content creators, webmasters and marketers by allowing them to see exactly what’s being discussed by the target audience, something that’s impossible to do with such accuracy anywhere but online. If you are a blog that publishes top news stories, you can’t wait around to hear news from your competitor. Notification services let’s you know about the latest specified topics that are mentioned online. Getting alert on topics that are fresh and trending is the best possible way to make sure that you are keeping up with the content machine, or gaining insights and brainstorming power for your own content.


With Alerts, content creators can create new content that suits the current climate of the discussion. It also lets you see discussions that your competitors are a part of, which will show you the kind of influence they’re having on the market.


It’s also important to note that these alerts can even be tailored to alert you of links and discussions from specific parts of the world. Some products or services are better suited depending on their location. A snowboarding company could only get so far in Arizona. With Alerts, you can see how popular your product is in different cities, regions, or countries.


As you can see, these alerts could affect your entire marketing strategy just considering location, content production, link or backlink opportunity, and news or trending topics. Alerts can give you immediate insights on the specifics that you are looking for. What’s most important is creating the alerts correctly to make sure that you are on top. Whether your a marketer, blogger, or small business, these alerts can improve your SEO by helping you stay ahead of competition with content, links, and niche insights as they appear online. We all know that it’s important to keep our eyes on the internet, because it’s always moving. Good Luck.