Sample Google Alerts I've received.
Below are some Google Alerts I've received throughout the semester for a variety of queries. Sorry for their length! They're just intended to give a visual overview. As you can see, Google separates the alerts by topic, that is will separate the blog section from the news section for example. Some of them are a bit lengthy, so I only took screen shots of select portions.
December 7th Google Alert for "Starbucks"- showing you the "blog" portion of the update
The blog portion was pretty useful, all links were relevant in one way or another. Some referred to recent news in the company like its holiday marketing campaign. Others referred to its new instant coffee Via.
Nov 22 Google Alert for "McCafe" - showing the news portion of the McCafe update
This is an example where Google Alerts was not useful. The three with arrows / boxes are the only ones I found useful. Of course, this is also due to the topic of McCafe, which is not as popular as Starbucks.
Nov 15 Google Alert for "Coffee Industry" - showing the news portion only again
All of these had the words "coffee industry" in it, but in the improper context.
I have many other samples of alerts, but I think three will suffice for now. I repeat that the good thing about them is that I can skim through the email and only pick out links I like (without doing additional work after setting up the queries I'm interested in), even if the probability of a good link is lower than a detailed web search, it is hassle free.
Go to the Change Notification Tools Tutorial to read more about what this tool is and my review of it.