What has happened to Google Alerts? It’s gone all Hummingbird on us!
I was asked to answer this question on Quora:
Social media strategy is almost exclusively focused on the United States. Who are the social media thought leaders in the International space?
The original question was posted in September. Since, there have been some other answers from formidable authorities in the social media space.
Whether the poster of the question didn’t like the answers their question had garnered, who can say? Whatever, I threw my hat into the ring. Along the way, I found out something very interesting about Google Alerts…
My answer, available here on Quora for the full context:
There are already some great sources and methods mentioned for Global Social Media content discovery. It’s not always how you find it that counts, though. It’s what you do with it after.
For a quick backdrop of a gut-full of recent articles, you’d do worse than to head over to Google Alerts:
It’s had a massive makeover – not just the interface, but also the quality of content it’s bringing through. I guess with services likeand constantly evolving, they had to up their game.
For your particular query, I’ve just done the exercise, entering (into Google Alerts):
- International Social Media, and
- Global Social Media; here’s the screenshot for the ‘Global‘ results:
The variance in the list was more than pleasing. That’s a fair summary – from New York to Dublin to China – don’t you reckon?
It seems that there’s a Hummingbird element been added to the search query. This is pretty major!
Rather than return results just with the words ‘Global Social Media’, it’s taken the word ‘Global’, put it into context and returned results from around the world. That’s a huge, huge step in improving this service.
I know Feedly used to draw on this tool to find RSS feeds to match a query, so, again, there may have been external pressure to better its performance.
And it doesn’t end there. You can tailor your options, too. If you’re not familiar with alerts, have a real good play around with the filters:
If you’re working on an ongoing project, Google Alerts – or IceRocket, Alltop and (if they still offer a similar service) Feedly – are great places to start your world trip. ☺
But don’t just rely on this distanced data extraction. Once you start getting in amongst the articles, connect with the authors or the brands sharing the content. Get in amongst them.
Share their stuff as well as the media that you’re going to create from it.
And always cite your sources. If you produce an amazing piece of content based on someone else’s groundwork, providing you don’t just blatantly plagiarise it, they will notice you when you mention them.
Good luck – let us know how you get on??
Have you had any amazing discoveries whilst helping someone else out? It’s serendipity and just reward all rolled into one.
Moreover, how would you gather the data the Anonymous Quora member was seeking? If you’re not on Quora, it’s a great way to:
- share your expertise;
- support your quest for niche authority;
- find content for your next blog article; 😉
If you get over there (it’s free), do feel free to connect; it would be great to meet you there, too.