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Advanced Google Alerts Tips and Tricks

English: Megaphone for recording T?rk?e: Kay?t...

Recently, I decided to explore using Google Alerts to come up with topics to write about (sorry, Zemanta, your suggestion email didn’t cut the mustard). As I was setting some simple alerts up (blogging, cycling, coding, etc.), I started thinking of other things I could use Google Alerts for – such as tracking certain website activities or competing businesses or sports teams or political issues – the list goes on and on.

Or… what?

I also couldn’t help but wonder if you could get really tricky and use Google’s advanced search to reduce the number of alerts created. In other words, what if I want to follow news items that are bizarre OR odd OR funny? A list of those would be fun to blog about. It would also be a great way to expand the topics I had already set up – like “cycling” could be expanded to include bicycles, mountain bikes, road bikes, commuter bikes, etc. – and reduce the volume of alert emails I received.

The first thing I wanted to check was how to do the OR logic. I knew there had to be a way to do it, but I was unsure of the proper syntax. So, did a search (on Google, of course) for “advanced search operators“, which lead me to http://www.googleguide.com. A very comprehensive and handy guide to bookmark!

In the site index, I noticed a section for “The OR and | operators”. Actually, that title told me all I really needed to know, but I clicked on it anyway. Examples like “Tahiti OR Hawaii” and “bicycle|cycle” confirmed for me that the syntax was easily implemented and would likely get me exactly what I want.

Reading through some of the other cool advanced operators gave me other ideas. Like:

1. See what people are saying about you.

Set up an alert for your name. If you’re mentioned anywhere Google adds to their index, you should see it. The search should be an exact match, like “Wally Day” (in quotes). Otherwise you’ll end up with results for only part of your name (I would get a gazillion hits for “day”). I would set this up for Only the Best Results, and Once a Week in the Alerts options.

2. See who is linking to you

Google is notorious for not showing all of the links to your site. But, they “might” notify you of new links recently added. Try link:wallyday.com, or for even better results: link:wallyday.com|link:www.wallyday.com (see how we used the OR logic?). Again, this is not going to happen often, so Only the Best Results, and Once a Week.

3. Get article ideas

As I stated at the beginning, I try to get content ideas from Google Alerts. Using some of the following advanced syntax codes, you can get really, really specific in your searches. Let’s say you you are runner and you want to get the latest results about your sport, but not all results. You could do something like this:

~run -twitter -facebook

What this should do is match “run” and synonyms like “runner’s”, “running”, and “marathon”, but should not be mentioned on Twitter and not be mentioned on Facebook. Like I say, it should do this – a bit of tweaking may be required. It uses a couple of advanced search operators

‘~’ is used for synonyms and ‘-‘ is used to exclude something

other available operators are ‘*’ , which is used as a wildcard, and ‘..’ which is used for ranges (like $10..$20).

4. Google Alert Basics

Here I am, talking about using advanced search in Google Alerts, assuming you know all there is to know about the basics of the service. Since that may not be so, here’s a quick primer to get you started.

Google Alerts can be found at www.google.com/alerts. To use the service you need to have a Google ID. If you use Gmail, then you have a Google ID, otherwise you’ll have to create one.

Once there, you’ll see this form.

Capture

The Result types include News, Blogs, Video, Discussions, and Books. I always leave it at Everything, which seems to work fine. If you start getting odd results, you might want to experiment with the other sources.

How often – As it Happens, Once a Day, or Once a Week. This depends on your needs, I guess. Once a Day keeps me pretty busy.

How many – Only the Best, or All Results. I always do Only the Best.

Deliver to – this will include any email address you’ve added to your Google account. It used to include an RSS feed option, but that option was abused by several auto-generated content providers who tried to sell their crap as “curated content” generators. What a joke.

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Comments

    • Wrongdiagnosis
    • December 7, 2013
    Reply

    Have Any Special Operation Or Special Force Operators Been Captured Before ? Any ideas ? I’ve tried to search articles relating to any SOF or SF captured, but none seem to come up. It seems that Army infantry, Specialists, Marines, Pilots, and Navy crew’s are the only ones that had a history of hostage situations.
    Sorry, let me re-phrase my question.

    Have an Special Operation or Special Force operators been captured recently ?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Twice in recent history that I can think of. First there was the Night Stalker pilot in Mogidishu that was captured. Second, there was a Navy Seal (two?) captured in Afghanistan. One escaped and died shortly after, the other was killed.
      EDIT: Dozens throughout the past. Rowe is/was always will be the man. SERE Father..

      View Comment
    • SnowTwqd
    • December 21, 2013
    Reply

    What Are The Most Common Words Put On A Spelling Test For Operators? Has anyone taken the spelling test for AT&T or any other operator position? If so what words were on the test? I am just looking for the type of words on the test, what they have to do with…

    View Comment
      • Admin
      • December 21, 2013
      Reply

      Since being an operator isn’t a field with its own specialized vocabulary, (like medical or Latin terms), I’m guessing they’ll test you on ‘commonly misspelled words’ or the words you’d see on a high-school proficiency exam.

      do you own a dictionary? Some of them have lists of ‘commonly misspelled words’ in the front or back of the book. If you don’t have one, go to the stationery aisle of a drugstore and look at various spiral notebooks, et cetera — some of those have the same thing on the front and back cover. As a last resort, try searching the Web for them.

      View Comment
    • Tre Ferro
    • January 8, 2014
    Reply

    Is It Possible To Find People By Calling An Operator On The Phone? I want to know if it’s possible to search for people by calling someone who can find the person that you are looking for.

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Well there is 411 which costs money that will look up listed phone numbers for you…

      View Comment
    • Anonymous
    • January 28, 2014
    Reply

    How Can I Send My Google Alerts To My Website? I have a website that I want to send Google Alerts to directly as a feed. Is there a way to do this?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      On Google click on your settings.

      if there’s nothing there, check on your comp settings

      View Comment
    • Sarah
    • February 2, 2014
    Reply

    Mobile Crane Operator Jobs Canada? Hi there!
    From England, I’m 15, my dad’s looking for a job in Canada. He’s a mobile crane operator and we are more than willing to move. We’ve tried looking everywhere else for jobs and I just thought I’d give it a go here. Work is drying up for him here, and we’re looking for a new place to live anyways.. Help? ? Thankyah!

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Indeed.com , search crane operator in the what box and type canada in the where box.

      View Comment
    • No
    • February 8, 2014
    Reply

    How To Get A Huge Thigh Gap Really Fast ? I REEAAALLLYYY want an inner thigh gap soooo bad and I’ve tried so many different exercises to try and get one but they never work , so do you have any tips on how to get an inner thigh gap pretty fast that’s GUARANTEED to work ?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      For those who are built for the thigh gap – you definitely can get one through diet and exercise rather easily.

      For those who have narrow hips, YES, you too can get a thigh gap. You won’t be able to SPOT REDUCE fat loss from the thighs, BUT if you get skinny enough/lose enough body fat you will eventually lose the fat from these areas. Once you are losing the fat effectively there are other things you can do, as well as things you SHOULD NOT DO, to get the most desired results.

      Please bear in mind that I am not a proponent of trying to become unhealthy or underweight to try to accomplish a thigh gap, especially since most people only know how to lose body fat the unhealthy way (starvation diet, chronic cardio, etc.). On the other hand, being on the lower end of your BMI is fine.

      I have a book coming out in a couple of weeks called the “Thigh Gap Hack” which will specifically cover the Do’s and Don’ts for achieving the coveted thigh gap. (you can sign up for my newsletter to be alerted to all things related to tips and tricks to accomplishing slimmer inner and outer thighs)

      In the meantime, google my blog “THE FEMININE CONTOUR”. It covers advanced techniques for WOMEN who want to achieve low body fat and keep it that way.

      View Comment
    • Ddead.discoo
    • February 14, 2014
    Reply

    Where Can I Find The Search Engine With Live Operators? I cant remember the name, but its like, a search engine, and theres an option to have live operators search for you or something
    haaalp D:

    View Comment
      • Admin
      • February 14, 2014
      Reply

      Here goes the list of search engines. I could not find any that had live help on searches.

      Alexa Internet
      Ask.com (formerly Ask Jeeves)
      Exalead
      Gigablast
      Google
      Live Search (formerly MSN Search)
      Yahoo! Search

      [edit] Open source search engines
      DataparkSearch
      Egothor
      Gonzui
      Grub
      Ht://dig
      locust
      Isearch
      Lucene
      Lemur Toolkit & Indri Search Engine
      mnoGoSearch
      Namazu
      Nutch
      OpenFTS
      Sciencenet (for scientific knowledge, based on YaCy technology)
      Search Wikia
      Sphinx
      SWISH-E
      Terrier Search Engine
      Xapian
      YaCy
      Zettair

      View Comment
    • James
    • March 17, 2014
    Reply

    I Am A Camera Operator Searching For A Career On Television !? Well, am not a hollywood guy I rather to work for television, I would like to work for sitcoms especially for CBS ,how can I find my way in I don’t know how to start should I apply for CBS careers of everything depend on contacts between the film crew ?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Get into IATSE union... I think its local 700 or something. Nobody will hire a new guy unless you come highly recommended by known people in the business. The union will help you broaden your work searches.

      View Comment
    • Hartk10
    • March 18, 2014
    Reply

    How To Set Up Google Alerts To Specific Folder? I’m tracking a small number of different phrases using Google alerts and would like to have them delivered directly to a specific folder in my Yahoo Mail account (call the folder ‘Alerts’). Is this do-able and if so how? I’ve set the alerts up for once a day.

    I don’t want to set up a different email account if I can avoid it.

    Many thanks for your continued support

    Kevin

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      If you can distinguish the alerts by the from or subject then use filters. First create the folders.

      The click “options ? mail options” and then “filters” in left column.

      ??????q ? ??? ?

      View Comment
    • This_boy
    • March 29, 2014
    Reply

    Web Search Help From Online Operators? Wasn’t there a website with online operators who looked for an information for you, free of charge?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      This would be the only place I know of…

      View Comment
    • Eric
    • March 30, 2014
    Reply

    When You Set Up Google Alerts, Does It Identify The Person Searching For You? When you set up google alerts to get alerted each time someone puts your name into a search engine, does it tell you who that person is?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      I don’t believe that’s actually how Google Alerts works. It actually only alerts you when a new search result like a mention in a blog post appears, you not alerted when a simple search is made.

      Effectively you are kept up to date on what the press is saying but not about who if anyone is reading it.

      View Comment
    • Anonymous
    • April 25, 2014
    Reply

    How Search Engine Works?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      A search engine operates in the following order:

      1. Web crawling- Web search engines work by storing information about many web pages, which they retrieve from the HTML itself. These pages are retrieved by a Web crawler (sometimes also known as a spider) -- an automated Web browser which follows every link on the site.he contents of each page are then analyzed to determine how it should be indexed (for example, words can be extracted from the titles, page content, headings, or special fields called meta tags).

      2. Indexing: Data about web pages are stored in an index database for use in later queries. A query can be a single word. The index helps find information as quickly as possible. Some search engines, such as Google, store all or part of the source page (referred to as a cache) as well as information about the web pages, whereas others, such as AltaVista, store every word of every page they find.

      3. Searching: When a user enters a query into a search engine (typically by using keywords), the engine examines its index and provides a listing of best-matching web pages according to its criteria, usually with a short summary containing the document’s title and sometimes parts of the text. The index is built from the information stored with the data and the method by which the information is indexed. As early as 2007 the Google.com search engine has allowed one to search by date by clicking ‘Show search tools’ in the leftmost column of the initial search results page, and then selecting the desired date range. Most search engines support the use of the Boolean operators AND, OR and NOT to further specify the search query. Boolean operators are for literal searches that allow the user to refine and extend the terms of the search.
      For More Information: http://tinyurl.com/adyl4nj

      View Comment
    • Buddy
    • April 26, 2014
    Reply

    How Do I Get Rid Of Google Alerts To My E-mail?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Go to -> http://www.google.com/alerts and manage your google alerts ?

      View Comment
    • Anonymous
    • May 2, 2014
    Reply

    How To Search A Account?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Find a user account
      You can either browse or search to find a user account. In summary:

      Browse: Click the Organization & users tab from the top menu. Select an organization from the organizational structure on the left.
      Search: Enter the email address or name of the user in the search box at the top of the Google Apps control panel, and click Search accounts.
      Then click the row for the user account to display and edit the user information page.

      By default, search looks for email addresses and first and last names whose name starts with the value provided. The value supplied can be a either a complete or a partial match as long as it’s found at the beginning of the record (and not the middle or end). For instance, a query of “bert” will return results for “Bert” and “Bertrand” and but not “Robert.” No duplicates should appear in the result. For example, the user(email=bert@bar.com firstname=bert) should appear only once when we search for "bert".

      Search also provides a variety of operators to help you refine your query for records (usernames, first names, last names, nicknames and groups). Include any of these operators followed by a colon and the expected value to narrow your search.

      domain
      email
      firstname
      lastname
      Here are some examples.

      The following simple non-operator query returns all user accounts containing usernames, first names, and last names starting with “bert.”

      bert

      This domain operator query returns all accounts in the domain example.com:

      domain:example.com

      This firstname operator query returns all accounts whose first name starts with “rob”:

      firstname:rob

      This lastname operator query returns all accounts whose last name starts with “smith”:

      lastname:smith

      You may use all of these operators in conjunction with one another to further narrow your query.

      This combined email and domain query returns all accounts whose email ID start with “rob” in the domain example.com. Note the records may also be sorted if the query contains the email operator:

      email:rob domain:example.com

      The same can be done for first names by domain:

      firstname:bob domain:example.com

      And last names:

      lastname:smith domain:example.com

      The following combined email, firstname, and domain operator query returns all accounts where the email address starts with “bill,” the firstname starts with “bob,” and the domain starts with “example.”

      email:rob firstname:bob domain:example.com

      Note that groups are searched only when the email operator is included, like so:

      firstname:bob lastname:smith email:rob

      View Comment
    • Jack
    • May 11, 2014
    Reply

    How To Search A Account?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Find a user account
      You can either browse or search to find a user account. In summary:

      Browse: Click the Organization & users tab from the top menu. Select an organization from the organizational structure on the left.
      Search: Enter the email address or name of the user in the search box at the top of the Google Apps control panel, and click Search accounts.
      Then click the row for the user account to display and edit the user information page.

      By default, search looks for email addresses and first and last names whose name starts with the value provided. The value supplied can be a either a complete or a partial match as long as it’s found at the beginning of the record (and not the middle or end). For instance, a query of “bert” will return results for “Bert” and “Bertrand” and but not “Robert.” No duplicates should appear in the result. For example, the user(email=bert@bar.com firstname=bert) should appear only once when we search for "bert".

      Search also provides a variety of operators to help you refine your query for records (usernames, first names, last names, nicknames and groups). Include any of these operators followed by a colon and the expected value to narrow your search.

      domain
      email
      firstname
      lastname
      Here are some examples.

      The following simple non-operator query returns all user accounts containing usernames, first names, and last names starting with “bert.”

      bert

      This domain operator query returns all accounts in the domain example.com:

      domain:example.com

      This firstname operator query returns all accounts whose first name starts with “rob”:

      firstname:rob

      This lastname operator query returns all accounts whose last name starts with “smith”:

      lastname:smith

      You may use all of these operators in conjunction with one another to further narrow your query.

      This combined email and domain query returns all accounts whose email ID start with “rob” in the domain example.com. Note the records may also be sorted if the query contains the email operator:

      email:rob domain:example.com

      The same can be done for first names by domain:

      firstname:bob domain:example.com

      And last names:

      lastname:smith domain:example.com

      The following combined email, firstname, and domain operator query returns all accounts where the email address starts with “bill,” the firstname starts with “bob,” and the domain starts with “example.”

      email:rob firstname:bob domain:example.com

      Note that groups are searched only when the email operator is included, like so:

      firstname:bob lastname:smith email:rob

      View Comment
    • Man98
    • May 26, 2014
    Reply

    Google Search Operators? Our teach gave us an assignment about searching on the internet. Where can i find a list of Google search operators?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Easy, the answer is already there.. GOOGLE.

      If your too lazy here a good list that also includes operators for Google Yahoo and Bing:

      http://tech4idiots.org/2011/05/03/google-search-operators/

      View Comment
    • John c
    • May 29, 2014
    Reply

    Search Of Home And Belongings W/o Warrant? Do police have the right to search my home under the guise of wanting to talk to me.they ask if they can search I say no,what then? or if they invite themselves in.

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      Police officers obtain search warrants by convincing a judge or magistrate that they have “probable cause” to believe that criminal activity is occurring at the place to be searched or that evidence of a crime may be found there. Usually, the police provide the judge or magistrate with information in the form of written statements under oath, called “affidavits,” which report either their own observations, or those of private citizens or police undercover informants. If the magistrate believes that the affidavit establishes probable cause to conduct a search, he or she will issue a warrant.

      The police cannot search a house if the warrant specifies the backyard, nor can they search for weapons if the warrant specifies marijuana plants. However, this does not mean that police officers can seize only those items listed in the warrant. If, in the course of their search, police officers come across contraband or evidence of a crime that is not listed in the warrant, they can lawfully seize the unlisted items.

      Police officers do not need a warrant to search and seize contraband or evidence that is “in plain view” if the officer has a right to be where the evidence or contraband is first spotted. For instance, the police may search for and seize marijuana growing outdoors if they first spot the marijuana from an airplane or helicopter, since the marijuana is deemed to be in plain view. Similarly, if an officer walks by a car and spots evidence or contraband through the car window, a search may be conducted without a warrant. The same rule would apply if an officer is in your home for other valid reasons and spots drugs on a table or cabinet.

      When Search Warrants Aren’t Required

      Most searches occur without warrants being issued. Over the years, the courts have defined a number of situations in which a search warrant is not necessary, either because the search is per se reasonable under the circumstances or because, due to a lack of a reasonable expectation of privacy, the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply at all.

      Consent Searches

      If the person in control of the premises freely and voluntarily agrees to the search, the search is valid and whatever the officers find is admissible in evidence. Police officers do not have to warn people that they have a right to refuse consent to a search. If a police officer wrangles a consent through trickery or coercion, the consent does not validate the search.

      Many disputes about consent have to do with who has the right to consent. If there are two or more separate tenants in one dwelling, courts often rule that one tenant has no power to consent to a search of the areas exclusively controlled by the other tenants (for instance, their separate bedrooms). Similarly, a landlord lacks authority to consent to a search of leased premises. The same is true for hotel operators.

      The Plain View Doctrine

      Police officers do not need a warrant to search and seize contraband or evidence that is “in plain view” if the officer has a right to be where the evidence or contraband is first spotted. For instance, the police may search for and seize marijuana growing outdoors if they first spot the marijuana from an airplane or helicopter, since the marijuana is deemed to be in plain view. Similarly, if an officer walks by a car and spots evidence or contraband through the car window, a search may be conducted without a warrant. The same rule would apply if an officer is in your home for other valid reasons and spots drugs on a table or cabinet.

      The Emergency Exception

      As a general rule, the police are authorized to make a warrantless search when the time it would take to get a warrant would jeopardize public safety or lead to the loss of important evidence. Here are some situations in which most judges would uphold a warrantless search:
      oAn officer checks an injured motorist for possible injuries following a collision and finds illegal drugs.
      oFollowing a street drug arrest, an officer enters the house after the suspect shouts into the house, “Eddie, quick, flush it!” The officer arrests Eddie and seizes the stash.
      oA police officer on routine patrol hears shouts and screams coming from a residence, rushes in, and arrests a suspect for spousal abuse.
      oA police officer “in hot pursuit” of a fleeing suspect continues the chase into the suspect’s dwelling in order to make the arrest.

      jrb

      View Comment
    • Chris W
    • June 3, 2014
    Reply

    How Do I Search For A Website With This Specific Meta Tag? This tag

    As soon as you put quotes around anything, Google takes it as a literal search. Plus, Google is a text reader, not source code reader.

    Any ideas?

    View Comment
    1. Reply

      You cannot search in the html source of a page with google.

      Here are all the specific terms google can search for http://www.googleguide.com/advanced_operators.html

      View Comment

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