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.

Add Google News to your website

From the Official Google Blog:

The world is a quickly changing place and it’s getting harder and harder to stay on top of the news. With this in mind, we’ve just released a Google News–based element for webmasters and developers. This makes it easy to integrate headlines and previews from Google News into any webpage, and for newspapers to reach new audiences across the web. Whether your visitors are interested in business, entertainment or fashion, you control the types of stories in your personal news show. You can input keywords like “Obama ” or “Superbowl” or broad topics like “world news” or “politics.” For more information, check out our post on the AJAX Search API Blog or get started with our wizard to automatically generate the code for you.

Google adds magazines to book search

Google is digitizing the archives of magazines. Search Google Books now to find issues of New York, Runner’s World, Baseball Digest, Popular Science, CIO, Ebony, Wedding, Jet, and Popular Mechanics. Not surprisingly, Google plans to add more:

Over time, as we scan more articles, you’ll see more and more magazines appear in Google Book Search results. Eventually, we’ll also begin blending magazine results into our main Google.com search results, so you may begin finding magazines you didn’t even know you were looking for. For now you can restrict your search to magazines we’ve scanned by trying an advanced search.