This is the third post in a series of the how and why of Google and Yahoo Alerts. In this post we will review some more complex syntax alerts. If you have missed the other two posts:
- Part I – Why use alerts, Simple syntax alerts (click here to read this post)
- Part II – About syntax for alerts and some simple alerts you can use for yourself and your competitors (click here to read this post)
When creating alerts – simple alerts will often get you simple returns, meaning you many not be accurately targeting what you want as a return for your alert. If after creating some simple alerts you find that you are getting “stuff” that is a waste of time to review – you may want to target your alert more effectively. This post will take you through some more advanced alert syntax.
Syntax #1 – The Wildcard or Asterisk
Adding an asterisk into your search allows the search to find results that have the multiple keywords and then a second variant that is wild.
- Example: “favorite * trail” (click here for a live example on Google)
- Results: favorite biking trail, favorite hiking trail, favorite seaway trail etc.
Syntax #2 – Intitle Syntax
The in intitle syntax looks for pages with the actual title of the page. The title of the page is what shows at the top of your browser when you are viewing a web page. It is not the URL of the page (that is covered int he next syntax)
- Example: intitle:hiking (click here for live example on Google search)
- Results: Many pages with the term “hiking” actually in the title of the page.
There are ways to make the intitle syntax more complex – You can combine any search operator with other keywords. Individual keywords can come before or after the operator:
- Example: boots intitle:hiking (click here for live example inGoogle search)
- Results: pages with the term hiking in the the title and boots as a keyword or in the title.
- Example: allintitle:”boots, hiking, trails” (click here for a live example in Google search)
- Results: pages with all of the terms boots, hiking and trails in the page title.
You can also alienate a search from popping up in the results.
- Example: -nike intitle: “hiking shoes” (click here for a live example in Google search) note the “minus” sign in front of the word nike.
- Results: pages with information about hiking shoes but it would not include Nike if Nike were part of the page.
Syntax #3 – Inurl Syntax
- Example: inurl:hiking (click here for a live example in Google search)
- Results: pages with the term hiking in their actual URL
Let’s say you want to narrow that down a bit to hiking in Canada.
- Example: allinurl:”hiking, canada” (click here for a live example in Google search)
- Results: pages with the term hiking and Canada in their actual URL
You can always test your searches live with Google first before committing to an alert. Remember you can always alter your alerts if you find that you are not getting the returns you anticipated.