Oh Google, you love to draw me in only to drop my favorite services. I have come to rely on Google Alterts to deliver relevant, timely content into my inbox on a broad array of subjects. Google Alerts may already be dead, and you don’t even know it. Especially, as I’ve been talking about content curation so much recently, Google Alerts is one of the top entry points into my content funnel.
The frequency and depth of my Google Alerts began to wane in December 2012, but in late January I noticed that the lag in reporting was far from “as it happens.” Ego alerts were taking 3-4 days to hit my inbox where they took minutes only months ago. So, when I saw Danny Sullivan’s post Dear Google Alerts: Why Aren’t You Working? I knew that I wasn’t alone:
One of Google’s oldest features is Google Alerts, where you can enter keywords you want to monitor and get an email report each day about any new search results that match those terms. It was awesome; but for several weeks, it’s become nearly useless. –
While Danny figures out the problem with Google, I thought I would do a quick roundup of Google Alerts Alternatives. Specifically, I am looking for the following criteria.
- Comprehensiveness – What networks does the service search?
- Timeliness – How quickly does the service provide results after publication?
- Email – Does the service deliver results by email?
- RSS – Does the service provide an RSS feed of results?
- Accuracy – Are the results that are being delivered accurate?
- AI – Does the service learn from your input and improve results over time?
Table of Eight Alternatives:
|Buzz Stream||$29/129/mo||News||2 days||Table Cell||Table Cell||Med||Yes|
|GigaAlert||$5-20/mo||All||2+ days||Table Cell||Table Cell||Low||No|
|IQAlerts||$30-250/mo||All||1 day||Table Cell||Table Cell||High||Yes|
|Mention||Free – $100/mo||All||1-2 days||App||App||Med.||Yes|
|Social Mention||Free||Social||1-2 days||Yes||Yes||Low||No|
|Trackur||$27-447/mo||News & Social||1 day||Table Cell||Table Cell||High||Yes|
|Trap!t||Free / Beta||Some Web||2+ days||Table Cell||Table Cell||Med||Yes|
8 Google Alerts Alternatives
Phi Beta Iota: The killer app will be free, and will also be based on volunteer human curation at every level (local to global) on every topic. Alerts are generally a waste of time for individuals, but essential for human curators that are part of a collaborative sharing network. There is still a major blockage of understanding between those that do information technology, and those that need/use/share information.
David Weinberger (2012). Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren’t the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room Is the Room. Basic Books.
Clay Johnson (2012). The Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption. O’Reilly Media.