SEO Link Building Using Google Alerts

A simple way to build links is to look for content that is published that mentions your brand name, the name of someone in your company, or a keyword that you want to rank for. In this post, we are going to show you how to use Google Alerts to find out about link building opportunities to improve your ranking and drive traffic to your site.

To get started, ensure that you have a Gmail account. If you don’t have one, set up a Gmail account, then visit Google Alerts to set up alerts for your business. Here’s what you will see when you visit the Google Alerts site, which you can find by typing in “Google Alerts” into any browser, such as Google or Chrome.


There are many different ways that you can set up Google Alerts. As a SEO services company, we’ll show you how to set up alerts for your business.

Tracking a Competitor
To track a competitor, you can track a specific page on their complete Website. To track a specific Web page, simply type in link:URL of competitor. Here’s an example of what it would look like if we wanted to track the SEO page of one of our competitors.


If your want to track all new links that are linked to your competitor, enter in Site:URL of competitor. Using the same competitor, here’s what it would look like.


If you don’t want to track links that include a specific keyword, you can add the keyword as a negative keyword to your alert. Here’s what it would look like if we added a negative keyword to our previous example.


You will notice that we placed the negative keyword, “social media”, in quotation marks. The reason why we placed the keyword in quotes is because the keyword is more than one word.

Tracking Keywords
Most companies need to track keywords for their business, but don’t want to have to set up multiple alerts. To set up an alert with multiple keywords, simply write out your keywords and include “OR” between each keyword. For example, one of our clients is a personal injury law firm. One of the alerts that we have set up for this client is as follows.

“personal injury” OR “product liability” OR accidents OR injury OR recalls -NHL -NBA -NFL -CFL -football

You will notice that more than one keyword includes quotation marks as discussed previously. You will also notice that we have included negative keywords, such as NHL and football, so that our alerts don’t show sports related mentions, as they are not relevant to our client’s business.

Find Potential Customers
If you want to find potential customers, track questions that have some buyer intent. For example, for plastic surgery, you can find out when a prospect asks “who is the top plastic surgeon.” Here’s how you can set up an alert to track this question.


You will notice that there is an asterisk between “who” and “plastic surgeon.” The asterisk represents a wild card, so if a prospect types anything in between “who” and “plastic surgeon,” you will receive an alert. Below you will find additional keywords that you may want to track.
• How * keyword
• Is * keyword
• Can * keyword
• When * keyword
• Why * keyword
• Will * keyword

Mentions With No Link
If a business mentions you or your company, but doesn’t link to your website. It’s important to know about this, so that you can try to acquire a link to your site. To set up an alert for this, simply type in your brand name and add your website URL as the negative keyword. Here’s what it would look like for Blueprint Internet Marketing.


Mentions Keywords With No Link
If a business mentions your keywords but doesn’t link to you, it may be an opportunity to develop some great quality content and acquire a link. To set up an alert for this, type in your keywords and add your site as the negative keyword. For example for Blueprint Internet Marketing, we may use the following alert.

“Internet Marketing” OR “Search Engine Optimization” OR “SEO” OR “Pay Per Click” OR “PPC” OR “Email Automation”

Content Produced By News Sites
If you want to track content published on a specific news site about a specific topic, you can set up an alert using your keyword and the news site URL that you want to track. Here’s what it would look like if we wanted to track news about personal injuries on CBC news.


If you want to track all mentions of your keyword in the news in general, simply type in your keyword and select “News” under sources in the drop down list in Google Alerts. For example, here’s what it would look like if we wanted to track “Internet Marketing” in the news.


Track Links to Your Site
It’s important to track new links that are set up, so you can thank the person/company that linked to you and promote that site in social media. To set up this alert, simply type in “Site:” and your URL. Here’s what it would look like for Blueprint Internet Marketing.


Track Blogs
Blogs can be very influential and we recommend tracking blogs in your industry. An easy way to set up tracking and alerts for blogs is to type your keyword and add WordPress and Blogpsot as sites. Here’s what it would look like if we wanted to track blogs about internet marketing.


Find Out About Guest Blogging Opportunities
There are common keywords that bloggers use to attract guest bloggers. To set up an alert to track guest blogging opportunities, simple type in the search term they use and your keyword. For example, for Blueprint Internet Marketing, here’s what it would look like.

“write for us” OR “submit guest post” OR “bloggers wanted” OR “become a contributor” OR “this guest post” OR “become an author” “Internet Marketing”

In our next post, we will show you how to set up alerts using Twitter. We will see you there. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.