Staying on top of it

Google Alerts are a quick and easy way to keep up with news, blogs, updates to company web sites — anything you can find with a Google search.

To set up an alert go to www.google.com/alerts, type in a search, give your email address, and you’ll get an email whenever Google finds new results for that search.

You don’t have to have a Google account to use Google Alerts, but if you do have an account you can edit your alerts by tweaking the search and changing the frequency of the emails.

Advanced Google search features help make sure your alert doesn’t send you irrelevant stuff:

Use double quotes to search for a name or an exact phrase: “frank biden” won’t find Francis W. Biden, but it will eliminate results that list Joe Biden and some other guy named Frank

Search within a specific web site: “boynton beach” site:sun-sentinel.com or “palm beach” site:nytimes.com

Use a wildcard to replace words: “* scott signed * bill finds Governor Scott signed a bill that would allow prayer and Rick Scott signed House Bill 1513.

More Google search tips here and here.