Google Alerts Dying?
Though it sill exists as a service, one Mashable notes that Google Alerts seem to be dying a slow death:
In the wake of Google’s killing of Google Reader, power users now have a new fear: Are Google Alerts next?
Google Alerts is a service that allows users to receive email notifications of updated Google results for a search query or keyword. This lets users easily monitor an ongoing news story or be alerted of new stories mentioning a brand or individual. Google Alerts are actively used by marketers, social media managers, publicists, journalists and researchers. It’s one of Google’s oldest tools, and it’s also one of the most useful — at least, when it works.
For the last few months, users have complained about the unreliable state of Google Alerts. Last month, Search Engine Land’s Danny Sullivan wrote about Google Alerts in a blog post entitledGoogle Alerts: Why Aren’t You Working?. Sullivan’s issue at the time was that Google Alerts was no longer notifying him about all of the various mentions across search, news and blogs for his subscribed keywords.
On Wednesday, The Financial Brand penned an open letter to Google about the state of Google Alerts, saying that the service is now “useless” to financial marketers.
To be fair, search is much more an intrinsic part of Google’s real business (advertising) than a reading service ever was. It’s possible that Google Alerts is just on the fritz and that things will be back to normal soon.
And yet. The decision to close a close down Google Reader — a service users loved — is enough to make even the most vociferous Google-defenders skittish.
I’ve had several Google Alerts set up for years now that I use, or should that be used?, to keep track of items of interest that may pop up in online sources that I don’t check on a regular basis. For the most part, it worked well. However, I too have noticed a drop off in the number of alerts that I received, and in the quality of the material presented. It appears that Google is letting this service die through neglect.