Just when everyone thought Google Alerts was on its way to extinction, Google obliterated all speculation by giving the free Web monitoring service a surprise makeover. As Search Engine Land reports, the hip new look flaunts a card-style design complete with larger headlines, featured images, and social sharing buttons for Google+, Facebook and Twitter. The service also now indicates alert frequencies and contains a "Flag as irrelevant" link for each story to help refine alert results. The new layout is cleaner, fresher and very much in line with that of other Google products.
But not everyone is happy with the change. Despite being an already very basic monitoring tool, Google Alerts' new design came with several sacrifices. Some of its most beloved features are now long gone, such as results counts, "See all stories on this topic" links under each story, story domain names and the ability to switch to text-only email alerts. Although the revamped Google Alerts is a welcome change for many users, for others, it leaves much to be desired. Whether you are unhappy with the new look or simply want more advanced capabilities, here are six Google Alerts alternatives that may be better suited for your business. [Google Reader Alternatives and Other Replacements for Discontinued Google Products]
1. Talkwalker Alerts — Google Alerts-like monitoring
For those who love the simplicity and bare-bones appeal of the Google Alerts of yore, Talkwalker Alerts is the next best thing. Users can monitor their name, brand, competitors, relevant topics and more. Alerts also resemble those of the old Google Alerts layout and are sent directly to your inbox or RSS feed reader. Talkwalker Alerts is free and easy to use.To create alerts, simply enter a search query and refine it by result type (news, blogs, discussions or all of the above), language, frequency and whether you want all of the results delivered or only the best ones.
2. Social Mention — Social media monitoring
Need to keep an eye on what people are saying about you, your company and competitors on social media and around the Web? Social Mention is a social media search engine that scours user-generated content on social media, blogs, comments, news, videos and more. Searches are done in real time and are delivered as a single stream of mentions from different platforms. Social Mention supports Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Digg and more than 100 other social media channels. Users can perform searches manually, or alerts can be set up for free at socialmediamention.com/alerts.
3. IFTTT — Precise monitoring
IFTTT, which stands for "If This, Then That," is the best solution for businesses that know exactly what they want to monitor and how. This automation app lets users set up alerts so that they are notified whenever their brand or chosen keywords appear on specified websites. Alerts can be sent in a wide range of formats, from emails and text messages to select native mobile apps — such as iOS Reminders, Calendar, Photos and Contacts — and services like Evernote, Dropbox, Google Drive, Twitter, Facebook and many more. Note that there are a couple of drawbacks to using IFTTT for alerts: Not only do source websites require RSS feeds, but users will also need to individually input them into their IFTTT accounts for each keyword and alert type. IFTTT is a free Web and mobile app.
4. Mention — Advanced monitoring
Wish Google Alerts had more powerful capabilities? Check out Mention, a media monitoring app that offers advanced tools to get the most out of alerts. Mention lets users monitor any keyword — both on the Web and social networks — and deliver alerts in real time via push notifications or as daily or weekly email digests. Additional features include team alerts, in-app social media integration, analytics, detailed reports, and more. Mention is accessible across all devices using the Web-based app or the Mention app for PC, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android and iOS mobile devices. Mention offers free and paid accounts starting at $6.99 a month.
5. Meltwater News — PR-level monitoring
Ever wonder how public relations firms stay on top of their clients' PR campaigns and coverage on the Web? Software like Meltwater News is the key. Meltwater News offers industry-level online media monitoring to keep track of names, companies, competitors and more. Users can search more than 200,000 news publications, social media platforms, blogs and more. Sign up for a free trial, or contact Meltwater News for paid account information.
6. Bloomberg Professional — Financial monitoring
If you need to stay on the pulse of the financial industry, Bloomberg Professional is for you. Created for financial pros, Bloomberg Professional offers anytime, anywhere access to real-time financial data, news, analytics and alerts to help users make smarter business decisions. The service covers everything from global companies to exchanges, securities and more. Contact Bloomberg Professional Sales for pricing information.