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Google Alerts - Did Something Change?

   
1:05 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Hmmm, this past week I've seen Google Alerts with a lot more information than previous. I mean, I'm used to seeing one or two references in each alert. This past week, I'm seeing 5, 10 and sometimes more references per alert.

I'm going to guess something changed recently. Anyone else notice anything different with their Google Alerts?

4:36 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



I'm getting tons of alerts that result in sending me to sites infected with malware..... TONS OF THEM. I set up alerts to check for scraped content. Doesn't google check this stuff?
6:10 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting tons of alerts that result in sending me to sites infected with malware..... TONS OF THEM. I set up alerts to check for scraped content. Doesn't google check this stuff?

It's all part of Google's attempt to get everyone to switch to Chrome.

6:10 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



alerts that result in sending me to sites infected with malware...

You don't actually click those links without at least some investigating first, do you?

The snippets that come with the alert usually give me a huge clue about the sites. Then there is the url, those can be informative.

The I paste the base url into Google to see what pos up, if I'm at all interested in actually look at the site/page.

Most often I never get that far with these goofy scraper pages.

Legitimate references are not that hard to spot, at least that's been my experience.

Maybe I'm missing something?

11:27 am on Jan 1, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have several alerts, but many are non-functional while some don't reference as many pages as they should.
7:31 pm on Jan 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have deleted some alerts because of the non-sense I am seeing in my inbox.

One of the first times I am unimpressed with a Google product.

Maybe I will try that Yahoo alert instead.

7:25 am on Jan 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Google Alerts definately is having problems atm.

I am getting alerts for some things in several languages, and some not even relevant at all to the keywords.

Also seem to now be getting a lot of total junk from rss feed blogs with 3-5 word snippets, most totally irrelevant.

9:28 am on Jan 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member vincevincevince is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



I suspect this is linked to the fact that Google no longer respects exact string searches ("keyword"). Try the terms you complain about in alerts in the main search - same problem.

If you company name is widgetwidget then search for "widget widget" and get matches for "widgetwidget". Exact just does not seem to exist for Google any more. I'm not sure what kind of change they've made, but evidently they are no longer able to support 100% precision in their matching algorithm.

9:57 pm on Jan 3, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



I'm currently getting one alert per day for the domain mytown-web.tld being newly listed on someone else's site. Most alerts contain a single entry, rarely two or three. But every day a new onw?!

None of the links I've visited show my domain anywhere that I can find, and certainly not on the page links given in the alert.

What they all SEEM to have is mytown and web as separate words. In other words google is not actually returning domains on other sites, merely text.

Does that make sense compared to other peoples' observations?

10:41 am on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I'm getting a log of OLD alerts, some I knew I got some month ago (for example news abouts stocks from 2006). It seems to me like google deleted some of it's alerts DB and is now catching up again.
9:27 pm on Jan 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member dstiles is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



That doen't work for my alert, which is only showing pages/sites with no relevant information at all (ie my domain isn't mentioned anywhere).

Personally I think google is rapidly losing the entire plot! :(

4:49 am on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Kenb,
to answer your question.. of course not. I used a test machine with lots of protection

I just wish that we could report the alerts when they link to sites with malware and/or scraped content.

9:50 am on Jan 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Will check out the Yahoo version - came back after Christmas break to 159 almost useless Google Alerts in my inbox. I have keyword strings of up to 6 words and Google sends me items with only one of those 6 words in the title or description.
2:19 pm on Feb 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Ah-ha, my Google Alerts now have images! The one I just received contains an image for a Blu-Ray disc. It was a movie review that makes mention of me name. Yes, I'm famous!
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