Monday, February 14, 2011

In Which I Have A Question

How many of you use Google Alerts to search for your name (or book, if you have a book published you lucky dog you)?

And by Google Alerts, I mean the web service that's supposed to search the interwebs for whatever key word you choose (often a name) and email you links anytime someone mentions you.

I set one up for myself a few weeks ago, mostly to keep track if anyone mentions me in a blog post, I want to make sure I see it and am able to thank them. When you read a lot of blogs, sometimes it's hard to keep track of all of them.

I ask this, because my Google Alert is only like 25% successful.

For example:

On some days it emails me links to blogs that I commented on. Which makes sense. But it only sends like one or two, even though I comment on closer to 40 blogs a day. Why doesn't it send me the other 38 links that I commented on?

Twice now I was mentioned on two other blogs, for unrelated things. The exact reason I set up the Alert in the first place. In both these instances, Google Alerts didn't pick up on these posts.


Am I doing something wrong? Does anyone else use Google Alerts successfully? Or should I be using another Alert service?



P.S. Happy Valentines Day! This is the day, 30 years ago, Twin and I were allowed to come home from the hospital after being born. Good times.

Funny Pictures - Cute Kittens
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34 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

I didn't even know about this function so you're one step ahead of me! PS: welcome home ;o)

Justine Dell said...

I don't know what it is either, but it sounds cool! (If it worked right, that is, lol)

~JD

Summer Frey said...

My name is just too impossible to try and do anything related to Google with. So is any combination of my name.

I know a lot of people use it, though, so maybe someone else can help you out.

Hannah Kincade said...

Yeah I've been using it for like six months. It's pretty hit or miss. It definitely doesn't catch everything. Mine doesn't catch my coments but it does catch those blogs where mine is on the blogroll.

Hannah Kincade said...

*cough*

Polenth said...

I find more stuff searching on Google myself than Google finds for its alerts. The last straw was when it decided Polenth was a typo, and started sending back anything with the word Pole in it. Now I just do my own searches.

Teebore said...

I've not used it, so I can't be of any help. I'm not terribly surprised it works shoddily, at best, but that's all I got.

Tara said...

I had no clue about it either.

Happy Come Home from the Hospital Day.

Saumya said...

Haha, you actually informed me about this wonderful function! I'll let you know if there are any issues like this when I sign up. Thanks :)

Jules said...

I do know about it but never took the time to set it up. I'm sure like most things Google that 25% is better good. :)

Happy V-Day!
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I set up Google alerts for both my name and my book title. It often pulls up posts and sites I miss, but you're right, it pulls up weird stuff sometimes. And a few links come through because someone has me in his sidebar.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Jessica - thanks! And i don't know if it can be counted a step ahead if it doesn't work

Justine - right? It would save a lot of time

Summer - luckily my name is pretty unique, so that helps. But you could set up an alert for your blog title

Hannah - which is weird, because mine only rarely catches blogroll mentions

Polenth - Hah! Yeah i've had a few where i check the link cuz it seems weird and i can't find anything on it

Teebore - i just want it to work and i don't know why it doesn't

Tara - thanks!

Saumya - let me know if it works consistently for you

Jules - fair enough. Though it's surprisingly easy to set it up

Alex - i just don't understand why it doesn't work hardle at all.

Lindsay said...

Oh dear. I don't know much about the alerts either, but I think some investigation may be in order. Hope you get it to work :)

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Lindsay - yeah, i'll probably end up googling it. Which is apropos. Or possibly ironic. Or coincidental.

Ellie said...

I must admit I'd never heard of google alerts, so I can't help with your query. But I will be checking it out!

Mary Vaughn said...

I used it for awhile but my name is too common. Not to mention they changed the spelling of "Mary" To both Mari and Marie. I mean really was that too hard for their system?

roxy said...

Google alerts? What are Google alerts? I am so out of the loop it's scary. Beautiful cat photograph! Have a great Valentines, Sarah.

Holly Ruggiero said...

That cat’s face it crazy. I haven’t used Google Alerts. Honestly, I just didn’t know what it was for. It’s sounds like it’s hit and miss for everyone, but I think I’ll try it anyway.

Holly Ruggiero said...

I just signed up and found my name on a blog. I was able to pop in and say thanks for the shout out.

Kari Marie said...

I haven't found google alerts to be that successful. I didn't think about using it for my name though. Genius.

Dangerous With a Pen said...

I didn't know about Google Alerts but, whoa, I am stuck on the fact that you comment on 40 blogs a day! That's like a full time job! Lol... wow, you must make some awesome connections with other writers. :D

Lola Sharp said...

It doesn't work for crap...or I set it up wrong. But I've had it for about 6 months and it's useless. If you are getting 25%, that's far better than mine alerts me.

If you figure it out, PLEASE let me know.

Happy Valentines Day and Twin Coming Home Day! :)

Hugs,
Lola

Shannon said...

I've fiddled around with it, but haven't had much luck. Sorry!

Tony Benson said...

It seems to be a great idea that just isn't implemented very well. I toyed with it a few weeks ago but gave up on it. If anyone knows how to make it useful, I'd be interested too.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Ellie - well let us know if it works for you

Mary - that's ridiculous. It should only search for exactly what you type in

Roxy - for reals, i wouldn't even worry about it. Judging by the comments, no one can get them to work

Holly - well then, you're one step up on my google alerts experience. Wouldn't it be nice if it did that for everyone who used it? You'd never miss a shout out or blog award again!

Kari - yeah i just tried it out with my name first, since it's pretty unique, before i built one for other topics

Dangerous - it does take me a couple hours a day. But i always compare myself to Alex who does like 100 a day!

Lola - i highly doubt you set it up wrong. It seemed so easy to do. I'll probably do some research and then write another post with my findings

Shannon - it seems that's the general consensus with it

Tony - if i find anything out, or a better tool, i'll let everyone know

Hart Johnson said...

I haven't tried, as I didn't even KNOW. I have a friend who uses something called pingback, but I don't know anything about THAT either (I think it is for where your blog traffic is coming from)... Mostly I'm no help at all... I will check out the Google Alerts though...

Rebecca T. said...

That cat is freaking me out.

Rebecca T. said...

But I have no help for the Google alert thing. None whatsoever. Sorry :D

Elle Strauss said...

I've been using Google Alerts for a while, and I know it doesn't catch every instance I'm mentioned in another person's blog. It doe often (not always) tell me that's I've posted a blog, which is not something I need to be alerted to.

Al said...

I haven't used it yet.
Google does some funny things. For example: Their stats in analytics are totally different from the ones you get through blogger's dashboard.

Her highness, Samantha VĂ©rant said...

I had no idea you could do this! Crazy!

Lisa Potts said...

I've officially set that up now. I'll let you know how it goes.

Maria Zannini said...

I came late to this party to see if anyone knew the answers, but no dice, eh?

A funny thing about Google alerts. My husband has me on both Google and Yahoo alerts and he gets way more hits on me than I do. I don't know why.

I've checked his alerts too, and they're no different than mine.

Sorry I haven't been much help. I do like alerts though. I might not get all the places that list me, but I get a few and it gives me a chance to thank them for the mention.

raisingmarshmallows said...

I've googled my name and all I get are pictures of a bunch of strippers. Then all I wish is that my parents would have named me better.

Nikki

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