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I know this may seem like a Google type of week (with two Google related posts in two days), but with all the talk about Google+, it's admittedly been hard to avoid the company.  Yesterday I was doing my morning reading and I came across an article published on Financial-Planning called 8 Critical Tips for Advisors Looking to Build an Online Presence. Naturally, I read on.

Sure enough, number 8 on the list was a product I didn't even know existed; Google Alerts.  Since the product is still in beta, I naturally assumed that it was another product that was being released in unison with Google+, boy was I wrong.  Later in the day I was talking with a colleague of mine and asked if he had ever heard of or used Google Alerts, and he told me has used it...years ago!  I dug a little deeper to find a launch date of Google Alerts, and although I couldn't find an official beta launch date, I found that it has been in use since at least 2005.

So how can Google Alerts be used by members of the financial services industry?  Google Alerts allows you to keep track of any topic you wish, without having to do anything besides set the parameters.

Say you want to monitor a company that you've been thinking about investing money into, Google Alerts will send you news about the company either as it happens, at the end of the day, or at the end of the week.  You also have the option to receive notifications for all new posts, or just the most popular ones.  In addition you can filter it even further by selecting if you want everything, news, blogs, videos, or discussions results.  The results can be sent to you either via email or RSS feed depending on which is easier for you.

If you've never used it, it's worth a try.  It allows for a decent amount of flexibility as well, so be creative!

Topics: Blogging, google alerts beta, google tools for financial services, what is google alerts, tools for financial advisor