A couple of weeks ago we talked about the demise of Google Reader, and I showed you how to easily switch to an equally good, if not better, Reader. Just like Google Reader won’t be missed, neither will Google Alerts.
I haven’t seen anything “official” saying that Google is about to kill off its Alerts service, but it seems inevitable. I’ve noticed that I’m getting fewer and fewer results from Google Alerts. And I’m reading that others are having the same experience. I think it’s time to find an alternative to Google Alerts, even if it’s not shutting down soon.
I’ve spent a few hours looking for alternatives. In my search, I found a great article by Gini Dietrich at SpinSucks. Gini recommended Talkwalker as the new Google Alerts, and I agree that it’s a perfect replacement.
There are three reasons Talkwalker is your choice over the others that offer a similar service.
1. Talkwalker Has a Free Stand-Alone Alerts Service
One of the things I love most about Google Alerts is that it’s a stand-alone service. It’s not connected to any other service. You don’t have to log in and get distracted by a dashboard showing you 20 other statistics that call out for your attention.
Talkwalker is the only alternative I found that duplicates this. And it’s free! There are many other “alert-type” services. From what I found, they are either part of a package of related services, or they don’t search and return results for as many sources as Talkwalker does.
2. Talkwalker is Easy and Accurate
Again like Google Alerts, Talkwalker is easy. When you go to the Talkwalker homepage, you’ll see this at the top of the page:
To create your first Alert, you simply click on “CREATE Free Alert.” You’ll be taken straight to the screen that allows you to create your first Alert:
Much like Google Alerts, Talkwalker allows you to choose as your “Result Type,” Everything, News, Blogs or Discussions. You can choose to have the results delivered “As it happens,” “Once a day,” or “Once a week.” You can also choose to get “Only the best results,” or “All results.”
Put in the email address you’d like the results delivered to, press “CREATE Alert,” and you’re good to go!
When you create your first Alert, Talkwalker automatically creates an account for you based on your email address and a password it generates for you. You’ll see an email like this in your Inbox:
Once you click on the confirmation link, you’ll start getting your Alerts immediately. You can repeat the same process above to set up additional Alerts.
Because you’ll never remember that computer-generated password, you’ll want to go into your account and change it right away. Login using the password you’re given, and you’ll see this:
Initially, you’ll just see your email address in the upper right-hand corner. Click on it, and the menu will drop down, allowing you to choose “Change Settings.” A box will then appear, allowing you to enter your given password, and then reset it to a new password (with an 8 character minimum).
Unlike Google Alerts, Talkwalker appears to be accurate. I’m getting 2-6 times more results from Talkwalker than from my Google Alerts for the same search terms.
3. Talkwalker Does Social Media Right
My third reason for recommending Talkwalker is that they “get” social media. They “walk the walk,” “practice what they preach,” all that stuff. I know this is somewhat of a “feel good” reason, but it’s also an indicator that Talkwalker knows what they’re doing.
They thanked Gini Dietrich for mentioning them in the comments to the SpinSucks article. They thanked me, and others, on Twitter for mentioning them (after I mentioned them in my retweet of the SpinSucks article).
What does this mean? That they’re using their own Alerts service. Why does this matter? Because if they use it, they understand how to make it better. They’re better able to respond to customer service issues and needs. It’s comforting to see a company use its own product, and do it right. It gives you confidence in them.
Why You Need Talkwalker
There are SO many services out there for online business owners. A seemingly infinite number. So why do you need Talkwalker as opposed to all the others? For the same reason you needed Google Alerts.
That’s a whole other article, and one that I just happened to have written in the past. It’s called How to Effectively Use Google Alerts and Why You Should. I encourage you to read it if you have any doubt about the value in setting up Talkwalker.
In short, having Alerts set up allows you to respond to what people are saying about you (good or bad), to keep up with what’s going on in your market, and to curate content. These last two are crucial if you want to be an authority in your market. Which, of course, you do.
Now it’s your turn. Let me know in the comments what you think about Talkwalker. Have you found any other services that are good replacements for Google Alerts? Please share your knowledge!