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Google Alerts - Did Something Change?

     
1:05 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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?

1:27 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've seen lots more alerts for certain keywords, and seem to be coming in "batches" as opposed to "as they happen". I'm using RSS, though and haven't seen any difference in the actual alert format.
1:28 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i have one google blog alert from 12 days ago with 9 items listed.
1:53 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I see it to. Seems to be picking up advertisements from our ecom sites.
2:11 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ya, I'm convinced something changed. Incoming alerts are up. The content of the alerts is quite a bit more than previous. Meaning, there are many more alerts showing up per notification.

I just followed 2 of 8 that were in a recent notification. Both were junk sites. One of them tried the "virus scanning" tactic on me, scared me there for a minute.

I've just gone through me last ten alerts. I'm seeing a lot more junk now than before. It is almost as if Google opened up another part of its index and now I'm seeing things that have probably been there for a while and just not picked up via Google Alerts.

Man, look at all this junk it is picking up, whew...

8:01 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I see what P1R sees. Lots more content and more alerts, mostly from junk blog sites. Volume up, quality down!
9:03 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if this is related to the following...

[webmasterworld.com...]

I have also been getting more alerts with 8 to 10 references... some of it junk.

9:15 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing an uptick in the number of alerts I get too.

But the thing that makes me wonder is that along 2with alerts for mentions/links on other sites I'm also getting alerts for new pages on my own site. I haven't seen that before that I can recall.

11:26 pm on Dec 23, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Here as well. I used to get maybe 1-2 alerts a day, now getting 5-10.

They seemed to have relaxed their rules.

One of our alerts is set up with quotes like "nameofourcompany.com" and we would only get exact matches. Now we are seeing alerts with spaces between the words or only part of the name.

9:57 pm on Dec 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Alerts are coming in more frequently for one of our sites BUT there is no relevant content on any of the indicated sites I've look at. On some small sites I've checked all visible pages.

So either a lot more people are cloaking or google is playing tricks. I don't think all of the sites are cloaking, if any, since as far as I can tell they are reputable, and I cannot imagine that the ones I've looked at would link to our site for any reason.

10:38 pm on Dec 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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On an odd note, after looking at my alerts, i noticed that i recevied an alert based on "example.com" which linked to a twitter converstation that i had with graywolf about tron, with a tinyurl address, and oddly enough, my domain is nowhere listed on that page.
11:52 pm on Dec 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've been seeing lots more alerts coming through in the past month and lots more spam sites therein.
12:53 am on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yep much more alerts after a long period of nothing.

Two of the sites I clicked on brought up virus alerts / attacks.

One had a video embedded in the page, it didn't load and as soon as I clicked on the play button the virus attack warning came up.

Be careful what you click on now ...

3:06 am on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Me too. My alerts are more frequent with more *irrelevant* links. I use Google Alerts in part to monitor for my URLs. Many of the links don't contain my URLs although may contain some words from my URL. Plus there are junk sites listed. If Google is listening, please fix this... it's annoying.
7:31 am on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There seems to be a lot more "related: types of items coming up even if they are not relevant.
7:34 am on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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We have seen an increase also, especially from the junk blogs that just run from scraping and RSS feeds. So much so that we killed most blog alerts.

Also seeing a lot of strange ones - like russian, chinese, even arabic fonts.

3:04 pm on Dec 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Also seeing a lot of strange ones - like russian, chinese, even arabic fonts.

I'm convinced something changed, and it was a big change.

The number of Google Alerts is definitely up considerably. I have mine set to "as they happen" so I've seen the increase on a one by one level.

After following those first two links and ending up on one of those Virus Scanning malware sites, I'm gun shy about following any more of them. Now I'm just hovering over the links to see where they lead and boy oh boy, what a bunch of garbage Google is now sending me.

And yes, there are .cn, .jp, .ru and all sorts of interesting TLDs showing up. Most of it looks like scraped content. And some of it appears to be cloaked content.

I've also been getting alerts for Google searches. Yes, it is a Google URI with a query appended. Some really bizarre stuff that wasn't there with previous alerts.

7:38 pm on Dec 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting a TON of these crap alerts, because I have a lot of alerts going at any given time. Glad it's not just me.
8:26 pm on Dec 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Too bad. It's changing from an alert service to a version of another spam filled inbox.
8:35 pm on Dec 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This Alert tool is crap in most cases, it's not consistent, it seems to me it updates as consistent as the WMT data.
8:48 pm on Dec 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have one very specific alert set up, used to get maybe one a week. Now I'm getting them daily. What I'm seeing aren't necessarily junk sites, but repeats of items that should already be indexed by Google, such as a mention in a blogroll sidebar. As others have said it looks to me like the bar has been lowered...
9:05 pm on Dec 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I ask get my alerts once a day, but, yeah, a few days ago I started getting a lot more info in each of the emails. Can't say that it's worse, because it's always lame and boring. But, more lame stuff.
9:10 pm on Dec 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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a mention in a blogroll sidebar

Those repeated alerts are making me a bit crazy. Also sending me Home Page urls instead of Permalinks. By the time I check, the home page has often moved on.

I guess it's just a minor annoyance to put up with, and the trade off is seeing more deep mentions, more social media and such. There are new services popping up all the time now that promise they "deep index" social media and the like. I imagine Google feels some pressure to keep pace.

10:08 pm on Dec 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Yea well. If I have an alert for fireworks and I get an article about a sperm bank (as I did today), then something's *definitely* amiss.
12:08 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Poor Google Alerts - it's crying out while Skynet is trying to take it over but no-one is helping it. We're all doomed. LOL!

ps. Yahoo has a nice alert service too and can even monitor RSS feeds...

2:34 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've only ever used it to monitor references to my various site url's
eg. "example-example.com". It used to be spot on, only listing sites with references to my sites, now it's junk with references to any word in the url.

Lovejoy

3:25 am on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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now im getting them on just the domain name without the tld.
ugh
12:39 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The alert volume for the 20 or so sites I track using site/link:www.domain.com has more than doubled in the last few weeks.
3:55 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have no clue as to what I'm being alerted about... just shows a few listings... I've canceled all my alerts just a few minutes ago.
4:35 pm on Dec 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Same here, Google alert quality way down, switched off many of them due to spam-like behavious on the part of google.

I'm getting better results from custom made Yahoo Pipes.

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