I tried using this Google News Alerts technique for my backlink campaign for a couple of my business sites. Essentially it involves adding alerts to your existing google gmail account which you can do by:
- Signing in to your gmail account, then
- Among the left-topmost links, click on ‘more‘ (right next to ‘Web’).
- In the dropdown menu, click on ‘even more‘ (the bottom-most menu entry).
- In the resulting new page, click on the ‘Alerts‘ link (the one with the bell icon).
- In the ‘Create a Google Alert‘ box, enter your keywords.
What is supposed to happen is that as soon as some webpage containing the keywords you asked to be alerted about gets indexed by google, a google news alerts email is sent to you giving you the link to that new page. If it’s a page which allows you to leave a link, e.g. through comments, then your goal of leaving links in pages related to your keywords is served.
The first time I did this, a few google alerts started pouring in within the hour. I expected to be able to instantly make links out of each alert I received but I soon discovered that not all pages returned by google alerts are from blogs on which you can comment on. Pages from commercial sites (e.g. Amazon, Ebay, Insurance companies, etc.) also get scooped up by Google Alerts. But there are numerous alerts that I was able to use effectively for backlinking purposes. And so far, there’s never a day that I don’t get alerts.
First to Comment
Normally, I’d be typing in my keywords in google to search for webpages to leave my links in. These returns existing pages, some of which are old and already have some PR ranks. The use of Google Alerts is an excellent supplement to this method as it allows you to effortlessly discover new opportunites for backlinking as they happen. If you are one who makes a big deal out of being the first to comment in a post, then this might give you a better chance. (But regular readers of a particular blog don’t wait for a post to get indexed before reading it, so they’re most likely to be able to comment first).
Having tried it just 3 days ago, I think it is too early for me to evaluate how effective google alerts is for me. I have, however, satisfactorily contributed some entries on time on Yahoo Answers because of Google Alerts. I also found that a particular keyphrase gets repeatedly involved in questions submitted in Yahoo Answers, so you can also repeatedly input the same answers there. I think people submit questions without even bothering to check if the same questions had been thrown before.
Additional Free Traffic
I think Google Alerts is good and will work to gain me more traffic in the long run. My business sites (which I was able to confidently come up with using MNF) already have its share of traffic coming from the search engines. With the kind of links I’m leaving, thanks to Google Alerts, I also tend to draw a percentage of the traffic from competing pages out there.
Right now, I’m only asking to be alerted whenever my keyphrase is encountered by google. They say I can get even more razor sharp targetting by converting my keyphrase into several variations of question phrases instead.
Have you tried Google Alerts? How has it helped you in your SEO work?