A simple and free tool that is available to anyone for tracking topics on the Internet. For authors, it is a great advantage because you can have it provide you with results whenever a new mention appears on the Internet of your name, a course in miracles, or topics relevant to your book that you can capitalize upon for promoting your book. This information can be delivered to you via email in a timely matter-as it happens, daily, or weekly – so you are aware of the latest conversations and topics that may interest you.
It’s easy to sign up for Google Alerts. Simply go to Google Alerts and fill out the simple form, which will ask you for the “Search Query,” meaning the word you want to track. Here I would enter your full name. Next it will ask for the Result Type; “Everything” is probably the best choice here, but if you have reason to be specific, you can choose to receive only results in a specific category: News, Blogs, Videos, Discussions, or Books.
Then you choose how often you want the results and how many results you want to receive, which is either All Results or Only the Best Results. If you are unsure what to put for any of these categories, to the right on the screen as you select them, Google automatically shows you the current results you would get based on that selection so you can determine whether “All Results” might be more than you want or precisely what you want.
As you select the categories, consider how likely your results will be to fit what you really want to know. For example, if your search query is George Washington because you wrote a biography of Washington and you only want to find out when your book is mentioned online, you might want your Result type category to be only Books. However, if you want to see every mention of George Washington to see whether there’s a discussion on a blog, or a conference about him being held that you can participate in, you might want to select “Everything.”
As for your actual Search Query term, if you use more than one word, Google will present results where both or all words appear, although they may not be consecutive. For example, if your name is Natasha Smith, you might get results that list everyone who ran in a marathon because in that marathon were Mark Smith and Natasha Johnson. To solve this issue by limiting results to be solely about you (or anyone else named Natasha Smith), you will want to put quotation marks around your name in the Search query field: “Natasha Smith”.