Friday, August 23, 2013

How Good Are Google Alerts?

I don't have an answer to this question, but I'll ask it anyway.

I have a Google alert set for the word "Trautvetter." I don't get too many results from Google on this search and most are for articles written by an author who focuses on the airline industry. What is interesting is that there were no results in Google for obituaries for a relative with that last name who died approximately a month ago. The death notice appeared in two online newspapers and on the website for the funeral home. None of my Google alerts mentioned any of these items.

Not that I expect Google to tell me when relatives die, but it would have been nice if the items had appeared in my "alerts." Why they didn't I don't know.

Thoughts are appreciated.


  1. Is it possible that the newspaper misspelled the name? If the name was not spelled correctly, Google alerts would not pick it up.

  2. I don't understand how the alerts work. I have google alert set up for the titles of my two blogs. I get alerts often but never when I actually write a blog post. The alerts for for other types of articles.

  3. Michael,

    I use's ObitMessenger service for new obituaries. It's free, and they even send you an email every 2 weeks if there have been no hits, just as a reminder.

    I got one today on my alert for my high school and/or family name in my hometown newspaper:

    Thank you for using ObitMessengerTM. There have been no obituaries matching your search for "Reynolds High" OR Disher in the last 14 days.

  4. None of my Google Alerts have alerted me to ANYTHING (including my own blog posts) in about 6 months. I've written numerous blog posts in that time, and not a single alert have I gotten.

    I would love it if someone could point me to a similar (more reliable) alert program/app so I can make sure I'm getting all the stuff I'm supposed to be getting.