If you have caught up with the latest trend in advertising and marketing, you probably already established an online presence using the vast tools available in the internet.

Most common are websites and blogs. And then social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You may have started to build up a number of fans and followers, and started driving good amount of traffic to your website and blogs.

People are probably talking about you, your business, your website or your brand. They probably have shared articles to their friends, recommended your pages to their followers, and even mentioned it on their own blogs, in forum sites, and in other people’s websites.

You see, when you are building your online presence, you also need to manage how people are talking about you. You need to know both positive and negative feedbacks about your products and services, what people are sharing about, who mentioned about your brand, website or blog and WHERE.

There may be a number of tools available and surely they all cost a lot, there is a tool many people managing online reputation are using, and its free – Google Alerts.

Google Alerts lets you setup specific keywords or topics that you want to monitor – it can be your name, your business name, your website or blog, or even your facebook or twitter profile.

You can let Google Alert scour through different online sources – blogs, discussions, news, real-time feeds and videos, define the frequency of sending you the updates (as it happens, daily or weekly), the results relevance and have it sent to your email or feed reader.

Benefits to businesses

When you establish an online presence, there’s a need to manage online feedbacks and reputation of your business or brand, and tracking it without a tool can be very difficult. With Google Alerts, it saves you time as it automatically gives you the exact information that you want.

Benefits to webmasters and bloggers

There are a thousand and one reasons why webmasters and bloggers need to know who linked or mentioned their websites and blogs online. This can be a good tool to search for potential backlinks, or even track who have used their contents of their sites.

In general, Google Alerts is a powerful tool to manage and track your business, brand, blog or website reputation online. It can also be used to track certain keywords, and even “spy” which websites are optimizing the same keywords which you are optimizing.

Are you already using Google Alerts? Feel free to share your thoughts.