Top 6 alternatives to Google Alerts

Tom
February 23, 2017 ・ 10 min read

Do you want to know what people say about your business and products online? Track an important topic or a competitor? Track a hashtag, a marketing campaign, or just any keyword on the web and in social media? You can use Google Alerts. Well… can you?

Google Alerts is probably the most popular media monitoring tool out there.

It’s free of any charge, comes from Google, and is, due to its simplicity, super easy to use. At the same time, it might be a downside as the tool doesn’t provide any form of data analysis.

However, the most important question of all is: does it do the job? Apparently, looking at comments and discussions among users, it doesn’t – it gives a headache for a number of reasons.

People move away from Google Alerts for various reasons, for example:

  • Too late or no results
  • Limited sources
  • Filters doesn’t work
  • Loads of spam
  • Lack of customer care and educational resources from Google
  • Sometimes it doesn’t find content which is already on Google

There’s more reasons you can find online.

The malfunctions of Google Alerts are a considerable disappointment for these in business and marketing who need reliability and analytics. Advanced media monitoring tools crawl more online sources, provide better results and loads of in-depth data analysis.

If they brought you here and you’re looking for a Google Alerts alternative, here’s all about solid substitutes.

Top 6 alternatives to Google Alerts

  1. Brand24
  2. Brandwatch
  3. Talkwalker
  4. Sprout Social
  5. Meltwater
  6. Critical Mention

1. Brand24

Brand24 is one of the top alternatives to Google Alerts. We will compare these two tool on a few levels that are common to all web and media monitoring tools:

  1. Cost
  2. Project set-up
  3. Data coverage
  4. Deliverability
  5. Volume of mentions
  6. Data export
  7. Data analysis

For the sake of the comparison, on April 22, I set up a project monitoring one keyword both in Google Alerts and Brand24: Tesla.

Cost

99.9% of web and social media monitoring tools are paid.

Maintaining and developing such a tool comes at a cost of data maintenance wich gets expensive. Every single mention from every single project users have takes space in the cloud. It generates costs.

This 00.1% is Google Alerts – it’s completely free.

Google Alerts

Google Alerts comes free of any cost.

Brand24

Just like every other web and media monitoring tool, apart from Google Alerts, Brand24 is a paid tool. It works in SaaS (software as a service) model which is a monthly subscription service. It comes in three pricing plans:

  • Personal Plus – $49
  • Professional Premium – $99
  • Professional Max – $399

The image shows pricing page from Brand24, a Google Alerts alternativeHave a closer look at prices

Project set-up options

Project set-up is important as it influences the quality of data your media monitoring tool provide.

The more options during project set-up, the more precise results you’ll get.

Google Alerts

Project set-up options:

  • Frequency
  • Sources
  • Language
  • Region
  • Quantity
  • Email address
The image shows an alert set-up in

Brand24

Project set-up options:

  • Required keywords
  • Excluded keywords
  • Language
  • Email notifications
  • Sources
  • Notifications
  • Reports
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Project-set-up-Brand24.png

One great feature that Google Alerts misses here is required and excluded keywords.

It comes super useful if you need really precise results, or when you monitor a common word that at the same is a proper word. Just imagine that you want to collect mentions about a beer brand called Brooklyn without excluded / required keywords.

Madness.


Data coverage

It’s where a media monitoring tool looks for mentions of your keywords.

While collecting mentions from websites is relatively easy, collecting data from social media platforms is more of a delicate matter because of privacy restrictions in the aftermath of Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal.

After data leakage, Facebook, seeing its users fleeing from the platform, decided to take up privacy issues as their main priority. To show the world they improve their data security standards, they blocked thousands of apps and tools that might have been gathering Facebook data in any way – both illegally and legally.

Facebook, which also owns Instagram, has now strict protocols and authentication processes to ensure that external apps such as web and social media monitoring tools collect only publicly available data.

Facebook reviews each media monitoring tool to ensure everything done in accordance with their standards and best practices.

Here are the sources both tools monitor.

Google Alerts

  • News
  • Blogs
  • Web
  • Video
  • Books
  • Discussion forums

Brand24

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • TikTok
  • Twitch
  • YouTube
  • TripAdvisor
  • Yelp
  • Blogs
  • Discussion forums
  • News sites
  • Podcasts

The number of sources Google Alerts covers is smaller not only in comparison to Brand24 but also its other alternatives, for example, Awario, Talkwalker, or Brandwatch.


Frequency of alerts

This is all about your notifications: how often you get them and how timely they are.

In both cases, as-it-happens and real-time are a bit far-fetched – there’s no media monitoring tool out there that collects mentions in real time no matter what the price tag is, even though they say so.

There’s always a slight delay because of technical limitations.

Google Alerts

  • As-it-happens
  • At most once a day
  • At most once a week
A screenshot from Google Alerts showing frequency of alerts compared to its alternative – Brand24

Brand24

  • Real-time
  • Every hour
  • Every 6 hours
  • Every 12 hours
  • Once a day
  • Every week
  • Every month
The image comes from Google Alerts alternative, Brand24, and shows frequency of alerts

Google Alerts has less delivery times.

In the case of Brand24, you can additionally adjust notifications using filters. Your email notification can be filtered according to even more specific keywords, sentiment, influencer score, sources, and other criteria depending on your choice.


The look of notifications

Both in Google Alerts and Brand24 you can access collected mentions inside tools in a mentions feed, or via email notifications.

Email notifications in Google Alerts

The image shows an email notifications about mentions from Google Alerts

Notifications from Google Alert contain only mentions.

Email notifications in Brand24

Mentions in email notification in Brand24, a Google Alerts alternative

Notifications in Brand24 contain not only mentions, but also brief data summary: volume, reach, positive mentions, negative mentions, and the number of followers.

Volume of mentions

Over one day, tools collected the following numbers of mentions:

  • Google Alerts: 89
  • Brand24: 8926 results

There’s a dramatic difference between Google Alerts and Brand24. It’s not only because the smaller number of source both tools monitor, but also because of technicalities.

Little results from Google Alerts was one of the most common complaint about the tool.

Data export

  • Google Alerts: Not available
  • Brand24: .xlsx, PDF Reports, infographics

Without a shadow of doubt Brand24, as a Google Alerts alternative, can do more.

When it comes to data export, Brand24 gives you a couple of options. You can export your data as an Excel file, as a PDF with your company logo or as an infographic.

The Excel file contains an entire range of data regarding mentions. It lists every single mention and describes it via various parameters, such as title, source, timing, content, estimated social media reach and more.

A PDF report consists of a couple of pages filled with data, such as discussion intensity chart, the most popular social media authors and so on so forth. Also, you can customize the report visually by choosing a color of your choice and uploading your company logo.

An infographic provides you with the summary of the most important bits of data.

Sentiment analysis

  • Google Alerts: Not available
  • Brand24: Available

Brand24 provides sentiment analysis of mentions. There’s a possibility to filter positive, negative and neutral mentions. Then can be displayed on a chart, too.

Influencer analysis

  • Google Alerts: Not available
  • Brand24: Source, mentions, reach, share of voice, influence score

Brand24 gives the opportunity to filter authors and sources data using numerous filters such as Source, Mentions, Reach, Voice share, Influence and Influencer Score. Combined, they can help you with identifying influencers.

Metrics of influence inside Brand24, a social media monitoring tool which is a good Google Alerts alternative

There’s more inside!

Competitive Monitoring

Google Alerts: Not available

Brand24: Available

In Brand24 you can set up a project monitoring your competition and receive real-time mentions to track your competitors’ marketing efforts, product launches and upgrades, pain-points, customer reviews and so on.

Also, Brand24 allows conducting a project comparison so that you can get an idea of how your online presence compares to your competitors.

Campaign Monitoring

Google Alerts: Not available

Brand24: Available

Campaign monitoring in Google Alerts alternative, Brand24, a social media monitoring tool

Campaign monitoring in Brand24 is as easy as pie. It also includes hashtag monitoring. You can analyze your marketing efforts and learn about its social media reach, the number of conversations, sentiment and more.

Sources of mentions inside Brand24

Viral Content Tracking

Google Alerts: Only the best results

Brand24: Storm Alerts

Both Google Alerts and Brand24 provide the opportunity to receive the most influential and buzzing mentions. However, in Brand24 this option is more advanced than in Google Alerts as you can more thoroughly adjust filters. This feature is called Storm Alerts. Basically, these alerts notify you about sudden changes in volume buzz.

Learn more about them in this blog post.

Storm Alerts in Brand24, a Google Alerts alternative

Languages

Google Alerts: Afrikaans, English, Arabic, Belarusian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Esperanto, Estonian, Filipino, Finnish, French, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Spanish, Indonesian, Icelandic, Japanese, Catalan, Korean, Lithuanian, Latvian, Dutch, German, Norwegian, Armenian, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Romanian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Swahili, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Vietnamese, Italian.

Brand24: Czech, Danish, German, English, Spanish, Finnish, French, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, Turkish, Vietnamese.

2. Brandwatch

Brandwatch is an enterprise-level media monitoring tool. It definitely can be one of the best alternatives to Google Alerts, but it is one of the most expensive tools on the market.

Brandwatch monitors a lot more sources than Google alerts, since it covers major social media channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, or Twitch, apart from blogs and news sites, forums, and review sites.

Brandwatch offers features such as:

  • geolocation
  • image analysis
  • powerful demographic data to learn more about your audience
  • API access
  • industry trends

Brandwatch, in comparison to Google Alerts, delivers you analytics and ready to implement insights that could boost your business online presence, help you make more informed decisions, and, ultimately, increase your market share.

Pricing

Brandwatch does not offer a free trial period, and there is no information about its pricing on the official website.

One of the sources says Brandwatch starts at $1,000 per month for 10,000 mentions.

Here is an article about Brandwatch alternatives.

3. Talkwalker

Talkwalker offers you two types of alternatives to Google Alerts. A pricier version and a free product – Talkwalker Alerts.

Talkwalker Alerts works just like Google Alerts and also is free, so it definitely is an alternative to Google’s solution.

Talkwalker offers a paid version of the solution as well, that is focused on advanced real-time social monitoring. It gathers data from social networks and other online sources and combines them with market data. This social media monitoring software covers multiple social networks to give you the most comprehensive data possible, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The main product consists of social listening and analytics suite, influencer marketing platform, and AI engine. You can use Talkwalker for various purposes and it surely delivers a lot more insights and analytics than Google Alerts.

You can check out this article on Talkwalker alternatives.

Pricing

Talkwalker offers a couple of pricing plans. The Basic one aimed at smaller brands or owned media-focused companies costs $9,600 yearly. The prices of the two remaining plans, Corporate and Enterprise are discussed on request.

4. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is one of the most popular social media tools among marketers and PR professionals. It is mostly a social media management tool but offers social media monitoring as well. Sprout Social covers Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Thus, it can be an alternative to Google Alerts.

It lets you uncover audience insights from online conversations. These aspects might help you in many areas of your business.

However, this Listening feature is available for an additional fee.

If you need to find out more about Sprout Social, you may want to read this article.

Pricing

Sprout Social’s Listening feature starts at $999 per month.

5. Meltwater

Meltwater is an all-in-one solution. Its main aim is media monitoring and Social Media Listening, but it also offers Social Media Management, PR Analytics, and Influencer Engagement tools.

It can be a good alternative to Google Alerts, but it is definitely considered as one of the priciest monitoring solutions.

An additional plus is that Meltwater delivers mentions from print, TV, and radio to their clients, and equally monitors many online platforms such as social media channels or online news and podcasts.

Pricing

Meltwater does not provide any public information about the pricing. 

Some researchers cite that it may start at 4000$/year and others that at 6000$/year. Any of these assumptions have been confirmed though. 

Want to read about Meltwater alternatives?

6. Critical Mention

Critical Mention is an old-school media monitoring tool, so there are probably more advanced and modern solutions, but still, it can be an alternative to Google Alerts.

Critical Mention stands out because it not only monitors online sources, but it covers offline media as well. The platform gives users the possibility to discover mentions from TV, radio and online media, such news websites and social media.  

Critical Mention offers real-time monitoring and analytics.

You find more information about Critical Mention inside our article about its alternatives.

Pricing

Critical Mention price is not widely shared and known.

Anyways, it is being said that the Critical Mention price typically runs $4,000-$10,000 per year. 

Related reads:

Talkwalker alternatives

Brandwatch alternatives

Critical Mention alternatives

Sprout Social alternatives

Meltwater alternatives