Google Alerts On Social Media: Limitations And Alternatives

Google Alerts is an interesting solution if you want to monitor specific keywords on the web, but it does not work well on social media content. So in this article we will explore an alternative strategy called social listening that is better suited for tracking online conversations and mentions across various social media channels.

KWatch vs Brand24

What Is Google Alerts And Why Is It Useful?

Google Alerts is a free notification service provided by Google that sends email updates to users whenever new content from web pages, news sources, blogs, or other online platforms appears for specific search terms or topics of interest. The service allows users to monitor the web for interesting new content, keeping them informed about mentions of their name, brand, industry keywords, or other topics they wish to track.

The usefulness of Google Alerts lies in its ability to help users stay updated on relevant information without having to manually search for it. By setting up alerts for specific keywords or topics, users can receive timely notifications, allowing them to respond quickly to new developments, news, or mentions. This can be particularly valuable for businesses, professionals, researchers, and individuals who want to stay informed about their industry, competitors, or personal interests.

Some key benefits of using Google Alerts include reputation management (users can monitor mentions of their name or brand online, allowing them to address any negative feedback or misinformation promptly), industry insights (by setting up alerts for industry keywords or topics, users can stay informed about the latest trends, news, and developments in their field), competitive analysis (Google Alerts can help users track their competitors' online activities, such as new product launches, marketing campaigns, or partnerships), content discovery (users can find new and relevant content to share with their audience or use as inspiration for their own content creation), and research (Google Alerts can help researchers and students stay up-to-date on the latest studies, publications, and news in their field of study).

Brand Monitoring

Google Alerts' Limitations

While Google Alerts can be a useful tool for tracking specific topics or keywords, there are several limitations to be aware of:

Social Listening As The Alternative To Google Alerts

Social listening is the practice of monitoring digital conversations, including social media platforms, to understand what people are saying about a particular brand, topic, or industry. It involves analyzing and interpreting these conversations to gain insights, identify trends, and inform marketing strategies. Social listening is not just about tracking brand mentions or keywords; it also includes analyzing the sentiment and context behind these conversations, which helps businesses make data-driven decisions.

Social Listening

Social listening covers a wide range of social media platforms, like X (Twitter), Reddit, LinkedIn, Hacker News, Quora... and more. Google Alerts, on the other hand, primarily focuses on news sites, blogs, and other websites indexed by Google.

Good social listening tools often provide real-time or near real-time monitoring of conversations, allowing businesses to respond quickly to any emerging issues or trends. Google Alerts, while useful, may not always provide the most up-to-date information.

Additionally, social listening tools often include sentiment analysis, which helps businesses understand the tone and emotions behind online conversations. This feature is not available with Google Alerts.

So in the end it's important to keep in mind that social listening tools can track and monitor social media platforms more effectively than Google Alerts because they are specifically designed for this purpose.

Some Good Google Alerts' Alternatives

Several good social listening platforms exist as Google Alerts's alternatives for social media monitoring. Here are some of them. (Us) is a simple social listening platform dedicated to monitoring social media in real-time, like Reddit, X (Twitter), Linkedin, Quora, Hacker News... We automatically perform sentiment analysis on the conversations, and you can easily integrate the alerts into Slack or any other system thanks to our API webhooks.



This social media monitoring tool is highlighted for its ability to monitor conversations and mentions across various platforms (not in real-time though) like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Pinterest, and Quora. It provides sentiment analysis and other valuable features like tracking engagement and reach of posts and social media reporting.



While primarily known for its SEO tools, Semrush also offers social media monitoring features. It's sometimes mentioned as an alternative to Google Trends but it lacks advanced capabilities like real-time alerts, sentiment analsysis, and Slack integration.



Known for its social media management capabilities, Hootsuite also provides social listening and monitoring features across various platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit. It offers sentiment analysis and other features like tracking engagement and reach of posts, but their alerts are not real-time.


Google Alerts is still a good tool if you need to monitor specific keywords on websites that are indexed by Google, even if the quality of Google Alerts has clearly deteriorated these last years.

However, given that Google Alerts often misses some results and cannot correctly monitor social media, it might be interesting for you to leverage the power of a dedicated social listening platform like Brand24, Hootsuite, or

Feel free to see for yourself: register on here.

Product Manager at