Well, thanks to a service provided by Google.com, you can be notified any time that a search engine sees your name on the internet. Google Alerts are a very useful tool to help you ensure that you never miss a win notification. Find out how to use them here!
Visit the Google Alerts Web PageTo get started, visit the Google Alerts web site. If the link doesn't work for you, type: www.google.com/alerts into your web browser.
Enter a Search TermA good place to start is with your full name. To ensure that you only receive results that include your exact name, put your name in quotes, like this: "Sandra Grauschopf". If you have a common name, this is a really good idea. Since my name is pretty rare, I leave the quotes off. This can result in some false positives, but it also ensures that I receive the result should a website list my name as Grauschopf, Sandra.
Select the Type of Reports to ReceiveYou can choose to receive a notification when your search term shows up in specific types of web pages. For example, you can receive a report only when your name appears on web pages, in the news section, in Google Groups, or in blogs. I recommend using the "comprehensive" setting, which will send your results no matter where they are posted online.
Specify How Often You Want to Receive NotificationsYou can choose to receive alerts as the search engine finds references, once a day, or once a week. If you receive a lot of alerts, you might want to choose the daily or weekly option. Personally, I like to get alerts as they happen.
Enter an Email AddressGoogle will send a notice every time it finds your search term to an email address that you specify. Don't worry, Google doesn't use this email address for advertising or other purposes, so use one that you check often.
Press SubmitOnce you press submit, you will be taken to a list of all of the alerts that you have already created.
Create More AlertsClick on the New Alert button on the bottom right-hand side of the alert listing page to make more alerts. Aside from your first and last name, you might also want to create alerts for your sweepstakes email address, your first name and last initial, your street address, and any user names that you frequently use to enter sweepstakes. For example, I might set up the following Google alerts:
- Sandra Grauschopf
- "Sandra G."
- Grauschopf Sandra
- 123 Main Street
- Note that there is a company called GoogleAlert that provides the same service for a fee. I do NOT recommend this company. Google Alerts provided by the Google Search Engine are totally free, so make sure that you use the link above.
- Read the Google Search Tips page to learn how to use wildcards, negative keywords, and other tricks to refine your search and get the results you're looking for.
- Google Alerts can also be used to keep yourself informed about any subject that interests you. For example, if you set an alert for "contests.about.com" you will receive email alerts when I add information to the site. You can also create alerts for your business, your favorite movie star or television show, whatever topic you'd like to stay informed about.
- If Google Alerts isn't working as well as you had hoped, check out How to Solve Common Problems with Google Alerts for more tips.
What You Need
- Web browser
- Internet connection