24 August 2013

Are You Relying on Google Alerts to Do Your Work?

I posted a blog entry "How Good Are Google Alerts" on my Search Tip of the Day blog, but I thought I'd mention it here also as I know there are some who rely on Google's "alerts" to notify them of a variety of things, including when others have used key phrases that appear in their writing.

Based upon my experience with the search discussed, I'm wondering if some of us might not be relying too much on Google to do our work for us. The obituaries and death notice mentioned in the blog post were easily located by performing Google searches, so the pages were ones that could be found by Google. I've got the search term (trautvetter) spelled correctly in my search alerts and it was spelled correctly in the pages that never appeared in my emailed alerts that I receive daily.

I know that many of my fellow genealogists use the alerts to find new genealogical material and that others use the alerts to receive notifications when their copyrighted material has been posted on another blog. And there are others who have Google alerts set up so that they can see when they've been mentioned on another blog or website.

Despite the reason, I'm wondering if the alerts really work the way we think that they should? Or are they not finding everything?

I don't have an answer...but if you are relying totally on Google alerts to "do your work," you might want to think again.



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