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Google Alerts Not Working? Try Mention Instead

mentionappLike most of us that do a fair amount on online writing and promotion, I’ve got a handful of Google Alerts set up to let me know when other folks (good and bad) are discussing me or my blog on the web.

Google Alerts, of course, are simple enough to set up and allow you to be notified via email anytime your search terms appear online. I set it up to have my alerts emailed to me once a day, and for several years I got daily like clockwork emails for each search term, listing everything from blogs to blogroll items to Twitter mentions.

But recently I’ve noticed that my alerts are incredibly sporadic; I’ve gone from two or three a day to getting maybe one a week, and often days and days after the post went live. When I do my own search, lots of mentions appear that were missed by Google Alerts. I like seeing when other bloggers share my links, providing me a chance to hop on over to their blogs and post in their comments section and deepen the engagement. But without the alerts, these opportunities are disappearing.

In fact, there is a fair amount of speculation that like Google Reader and Feedburner, alerts might be another unsupported or disappeared option. But what’s the alternative?

Here’s where Mention steps in. Mention is a fairly new app that allows subscribers up to three search terms for free (and up to 500 alerts). I signed up two days ago (thanks, Mashable!) and I’m shocked at how many more alerts they are finding for me.

I will recommend being careful while setting up the account; I use “CecilyK” as one of my terms, which also happens to be my Twitter handle, and I had to remove it because it was going to eat up all 500 of my alerts in a week. I’m more interested in other types of alerts.

If you have a very popular search term, you might want to sign up for the $19.99 a month plan that will allow for far more alerts each month (50,000, and you try it for a month for free first). But even the free account seems to be a far better alternative than Google Alerts. Check it out.

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