Any time media monitoring-related discussions spark, teams rush to find a sustainable set of tools. By the time they search the list, their faces get gloomier with every second.
Most of the social media monitoring tools out there come with a pricey tag, making it seem like a luxury. And then, the needle points to a free tool.
Yes, Google Alerts is that free tool that has become the first choice for many marketers out there, especially newbies to the monitoring world. And to some extent, it does manage to do a fair job.
However, is this totally dependable? Probably not!
Like every free tool out there, Google Alerts lack loads of intuitive features. There’s no dedicated support as well.
You might end up having spammy alerts flooding your inbox with totally unrelated mentions, sometimes making you miss the vital ones.
So let’s first understand the gap that’s built. Despite the issues, is it actually worth investing your money in paid tools? Let’s have a look at it.
Table of Contents
- Why should you look for Google Alerts alternatives in the first place?
- 8 Google Alerts alternatives for efficient online media monitoring
- Which Google Alerts alternative should you choose?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why should you look for Google Alerts alternatives in the first place?
While Google Alerts is a great free tool to monitor the web, it has some limitations that may require people to look for alternatives.
One of the main reasons to explore Google Alerts alternatives is to gain access to more advanced features. Although Google Alerts is a fairly-easy tool, it doesn’t offer some of the more advanced features.
Some alternatives, like Keyhole, have the ability to track real-time mentions of your brand and sentiment analysis. This can help you identify trends and take proactive action based on real-time data.
Another reason to explore alternatives is to gain access to more sources. While Google Alerts primarily covers news articles online, some of the paid tools can track crisis on social media platforms. This is particularly useful for brands that want to track their social media presence, track competitors, and monitor customer feedback in real time.
As you get better at monitoring, you’ll need customization options. The paid tools come with custom dashboards for performance and results and get insight into competitors that Google Alerts doesn’t provide.
While Google Alerts is a great tool, it indeed has some limitations. These tools allow you to get a more comprehensive view of your online presence and make data-driven decisions to improve your brand reputation and performance.
8 Google Alerts alternatives for efficient online media monitoring
Here are our top picks of Google Alerts alternatives in terms of price, features, and user reviews:
Pricing: Starts from $79/mo
Keyhole is an amazing social media monitoring tool that scours the net for your brand mentions in real-time. Keyhole offers social media listening and analytics for top social media platforms and other online media sources, like news, forums, blogs, etc., all in one easy-to-use dashboard.
The tool is excellent for trend analysis as well. Just feed in keywords and select the custom period using QuickTrends. You’ll get the trend data without running out of any monthly credits.
This quick feature lets you narrow down your tracker list so you utilize your monthly quotas only monitoring data that’s truly effective and impactful. Moreover, Keyhole comes with sentiment analysis and competitor monitoring features.
Plus, you can track your profiles, campaigns, and influencers across multiple social media platforms and see what’s driving traffic and engagement to your profile or your fellow competitors.
Here are some features that make Keyhole your go-to partner for branding.
- Connect and manage multiple social media profiles across your favorite platforms seamlessly. Keyhole makes it easy to stay organized and monitor your presence effectively.
- Keyhole works with a number of international languages, including ones that don’t use Latin or Roman script. So you can track keywords beyond English alphabets.
- Say goodbye to limitations on post scheduling. With Keyhole, you can schedule unlimited posts, ensuring your content reaches the widest audience at all times.
- Optimize your social media strategy with the Optimization tab. Get valuable insights and tips to enhance your presence on each platform and maximize your impact.
- Keep a close eye on your competitors. Keyhole allows you to compare your performance to theirs, including best posting times, popular content types, top hashtags, average engagement rate, and more.
- Dive into historical data using Keyhole’s comprehensive API. Uncover trends, identify patterns, and gain valuable insights for strategic decision-making.
- Stay on top of any keyword or hashtag with Keyhole’s robust tracking capabilities. Monitor your own brand’s online presence while keeping a watchful eye on your competitors.
- Engage with influencers seamlessly and track their ROI within your overall campaign. Keyhole helps you onboard influencers and measures their impact on your key performance indicators.
- Analyze sentiment analysis to understand how the world feels about your brand. Gain valuable insights into public perception and make data-driven decisions.
- Stay ahead of the game with the QuickTrends section. Monitor relevant keywords, brands, and hashtags to identify early trends within a custom date range.
- Streamline your reporting process with Keyhole’s automation. Generate custom reports with essential social media metrics and easily share real-time dashboards with your team, clients, and stakeholders.
Keyhole is an excellent tool for providing basic insights about social media accounts and tracking social media conversations. As a college professor, I have found it to be a great way to introduce students to social media analytics.
The dashboard encapsulates a detailed overview of your entire campaign and mentions all details and KPIs that you need. The metrics given on Keyhole are unmatched and help us in setting KPIs and measuring results accordingly. The layout is also very user-friendly, and everything is exportable, so that’s wonderful.
Pricing: $49 – $179 per month
Mention is a decent alternative to Google Alerts for monitoring online mentions. With its comprehensive monitoring capabilities, Mention covers social media platforms, forums, Google reviews on website, and more. It provides real-time updates, ensuring prompt notifications and immediate engagement.
Mention gives you advanced analytics, deep brand insights, customization options, and collaboration features. Its sentiment analysis helps gauge the sentiment associated with brand mentions.
- It is easy to monitor the success of marketing campaigns.
- The customer support team is quite helpful and quick at resolving issues.
- The UX of the tool is pleasing and easy to navigate.
It was quite easy to understand how it works and get it set up for first use. I managed to get all of our accounts connected and started using features within an hour or so.
- Sometimes the results are irrelevant, which is frustrating for users.
- The pricing is steep for smaller companies and organizations.
- It tends to report on names similar to a brand and can’t distinguish the phrase that matches it.
Mention has missed some critical mentions while my keywords were set up to capture those specific online references of our brand. If it wasn’t for one of their competitors, we would have completely missed this important mention. Note that I have the basic package, but this mention on a major news outlet should have been grabbed.
Pricing: On request
Talkwalker is another Google Alerts alternative that monitors all corners of the web, from news sites and blogs to social media platforms. All you need to do is set up alerts based on specific keywords, brand names, or even topics that are relevant to your business. And you’ll get the notifications you want when you want them.
Talkwalker also exhibits an intuitive and user-friendly interface, making it easy to set up and manage alerts. The tool provides a straightforward way to monitor and stay updated on brand mentions.
- Their help pages are comprehensive and are great resources for quick solutions.
- The tool is easy to use and browse through features and functionalities.
- It provides a separate dashboard for quick segregation of each client’s data.
Luis Enrique R
The thing I like the most is Talkwalker’s free search feature that allows you to get quick insights from large sets of social data without having to pay the large sums that social listening tools usually cost.
- Listening is limited when it comes to Facebook and Instagram.
- Some users have conveyed that there was a learning curve and needs for training in order to seize the maximum value.
- Data mining and sentiment tagging can be improved a lot more.
Data accuracy is very poor, query submission is also important, Sentiment tagging is very poor in Talkwalker and one can’t truly believe in its tagging. Data downloading is limited and if the data amount is high, then you can find a lot of data missing.
Pricing: $49 – $399 per month
Awario is a manageable alternative to Google Alerts, thanks to its powerful features and capabilities. It comes with robust search and filtering options for defining specific keywords, excluding irrelevant terms, and focusing on relevant mentions.
It also employs sentiment analysis to determine the emotional tone behind mentions of your brand. You can even compare your brand’s mentions with that of your competitors using Awario.
- The onboarding process is made easy by the Awario team.
- Setting up queries with customization is one of its best features.
- The clean interface is quite responsive and fast, unlike most listening tools in the market.
The best part of tracking the information you need is through charts and graphs that make it easy to understand what information you are gathering.
- The monitoring seems passive and delayed at times.
- The monthly limits are quite less when compared to competitors.
- The tool is quite confusing for beginners.
I did dislike its sort of vagueness. Some of the metrics seem either pointless or lack depth. The reporting was fine, however. Also, you can only fine-tune your searches so much, so you may get irrelevant notifications or results. For instance, if a Twitter user has a similar name to yours, their tweets will show in your feed.
Pricing: $99- $499 per month
Brand24 can also be considered as another alternative. Just like Google Alerts, it keeps an eagle eye on the web, tracking mentions of your brand across social media platforms, news sites, blogs, and more.
Brand24 goes beyond basic monitoring. It provides detailed reports and analytics, giving you comprehensive data on brand mentions, sentiment analysis, influencer identification, and more.
- The CS team takes the crown in promptness.
- You can filter negative comments and tackle them right away.
- You don’t need prior expertise to get the most out of the tool.
It is so easy to use, and it is easy to find what you are looking for. All the information is displayed very well, and it enables you to find all the data you are after in a flash. It’s very detailed too!
- The tool is pricey for solopreneurs and small firms.
- You might get spammy and irrelevant results.
- Insight generation and sentiment analysis are lacking.
The UI is pretty rough – the site feels crowded and sometimes difficult to navigate. It’s rather expensive for what’s being offered, and you don’t get to create many projects for the lower price tiers.
6. Sprout Social
Pricing: $249 -$499 per month
SproutSocial is much more than a Google Alerts alternative. While Google Alerts only monitors mentions of your brand across the web, Sprout Social offers a broader range of social media management and monitoring services that can replace Google Alerts and offer much more.
You can monitor mentions of your brand on social media and proactively identify potential customers, track competitors, and evaluate campaign performance using Sprout Social’s analytics reports.
- It is great for its publishing features, which are quite comprehensive.
- You can easily respond to comments and direct messages across multiple social media platforms.
- You can use it for auditing your competitors on social media as well.
Sprout Social made it simple to pull reports, gather data, and create digestible action plans in order to amplify our social media efforts across a very small team.
- There is a lack of advanced analytics. Hence, it might be the best tool for data buffs.
- Report customization is limiting, making potential tools like Keyhole a better fit.
- The plans with additional charges for each user are way too pricey for the features they offer at present.
Juan Carlos D
There’s no way to rely on this tool. Downtimes here and there, it’s TOO expensive for what you get; it’s really overvalued. There’s a world of tools out there that fits the same needs for half the cost and double reliability. I don’t like the fact that many features are add-ons or only available to the most expensive plans. I don’t like either the fact that their support takes “their time” to solve your issues as if I could tell my clients to wait… Not satisfied at all.
Pricing: On request
Next up, we have Brandwatch in this extensive list of Google Alerts alternatives. One advantage of Brandwatch over Google Alerts is that it offers more advanced features, such as advanced sentiment analysis, in-depth analytics, and the ability to pinpoint key influencers in your industry.
Another key difference between Brandwatch and Google Alerts is that in addition to web alerts, Brandwatch offers social listening, allowing brands to monitor conversations happening around their brand or relevant keywords and analyze them for sentiment, location, and other factors.
- The tool is great for listening to your social audience and gaining insights.
- It has team collaboration features, making working together easier for different members.
- The query writing is made easy with their NLP assistance. Tools and widgets are super informative.
Brandwatch is helpful to sort through sentiments about my brands when there are thousands of mentions online. I like that I can see the volume of what’s being said and can filter out some.
- The tool is often buggy at the publishing and reporting end.
- From the analytics front, users have often complained about missing metrics, empty reports, and more.
- No matter the filters, the results are often spammy and completely irrelevant.
The data analysis in the tool is not at all intuitive compared to other social listening tools. To get to real topic segmentation analysis, you’re only allowed to go through pages and select up to 100 posts at a time to segment or mass groups of similar phrases together and call them a topic (but the latter means much less accuracy in topic segmentation). Not to mention historical data can be a hit or miss now that they charge to get 100% historical data on top of what you pay for their limited amount of mentions.
Pricing: On request
Meltwater is a potential alternative to Google Alerts as a media monitoring tool. Unlike Google Alerts, which provides email notifications periodically, Meltwater offers greater customization options in terms of the time, frequency, destination, and type of alerts.
Its competitive intelligence solution helps businesses of all sizes track changes and monitor their industry landscape effectively. The flexibility and customization options offered by Meltwater make it a versatile tool for businesses to track and manage their online presence more effectively.
- You can easily search for media coverage using Meltwater.
- Assess your social media strategy and know what’s working and what’s not.
- With its simple data mining features, you can quickly pull data from multiple sources.
We don’t really like anything about Meltwater. It’s essentially a glorified version of Google Alerts that is more tailored to media and public relations, we’ve concluded that we need to have something like it, and Meltwater fits what we do better than the competition, but it doesn’t fit what we do in the regulatory arena of Washington DC all that well.
- The setup process is tricky, so digging into all useful metrics at once takes time.
- The boolean logic strings are difficult to configure.
- The UI is also dated and difficult to navigate through.
There are always glitches, missing data, or simply won’t load. The customer service says that they will fix something, but really it takes weeks, and you basically have to put a fire under their butt in order to get them to do anything. The functions are not customizable, so a lot of times, the way that the functions are presented they are not in line with your business or what you need. Every time a social network’s API changes, the whole system is messed up for the next few days.
Which Google Alerts alternative should you choose?
In conclusion, Google Alerts is an excellent and free tool to monitor the web and stay updated on industry trends, brand mentions, and competitors. However, it has some limitations, and that’s why it’s essential to explore Google Alerts alternatives. The alternative options offer more advanced features, customization options, and access to more sources online.
If you’re looking for a powerful alternative to Google Alerts, we highly recommend trying Keyhole. With Keyhole, you can monitor social media and other online sources in real-time, sentiment analysis, and custom reporting.
What’s great is that Keyhole offers a free trial to see the power and value of its features. So if you’re serious about taking your brand to the next level, sign up for Keyhole’s free trial today, and see how it can help you monitor and improve your online presence.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the best Google Alerts alternatives?
There are several excellent Google Alerts alternatives, including Keyhole, Mention, Talkwalker, and Awario. Each of these tools offers unique features and benefits to users.
2. How do I create a Google Alert?
To create a Google Alert, go to Google Alerts and enter the keyword or phrase you want to monitor. Customize the alert settings, such as frequency and sources, and click "Create Alert".
3. How do Google Alerts alternatives compare to Google Alerts?
Google Alerts alternatives often offer more advanced features, such as more options for sources or language settings, real-time monitoring, sentiment analysis, and more detailed metrics. Additionally, some Google Alerts alternatives cover more sources than Google Alerts, such as social media platforms or news outlets.
4. Can I receive Google Alerts via email?
Yes, you can receive Google Alerts via email. When setting up an alert, select the option to receive alerts by email. You can also choose the frequency of email notifications.