Keep track of your competition: combining multiple google alerts in one daily email

When you're starting up your startup, its important to know who your competitors are because they will actually become some of your best friends in your startup journey!  But finding out who they are and keeping up with them is unfortunately difficult to do.  

Some of your competitors are not searchable online, they are in the development phases, or maybe just have not been optimized for SEO.  But once you find them, which you usually end up doing, keeping track of their progress is a feat in itself!  And to our rescue comes Google Alerts, which lets you know every time a new page that references them is indexed by Google's search engine!  But *Google Alerts is very rudimentary and gets really cumbersome after trying to follow more than just a couple of competitors.*  You start receiving tons of emails or have to check RSS feeds at unexpected times, not efficient at all.  *Below I've documented a way to bend Google Alerts to receive one daily email with all your new information about your competitors*

 

Step 1: Set up your google alerts

  1. Go to http://www.google.com/alerts
  2. Create your alerts and deliver them all to "Google Reader"

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Step 2: Set up your google reader

  1. Go to http://www.google.com/reader
  2. Put all your published alert feeds into one folder

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Step 3: Get your google reader's folder public feed url

Google unfortunately broke this feature and has not fixed it for years.  However, after scouring the internet for a solution, some amazing people wrote a Greasemonkey script to fix this.  Greasemonkey is a browser plugin that lets you inject user contributed script to control a webpage, and with it, we will be bring the public folder feature back that disappeared!

  1. Download Greasemonkey for Firefox (TamperMonkey for Chrome or Greasekit for Safari)
  2. Go to http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/122134 and Click the Install button
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  3. Go to http://www.google.com/reader and you'll see a new "Public" button next to "Subscribe"
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  4. Click on the "Public" that appeared and enter your tag name in the new popup
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  5. Click on "View Details and Statistics" for your folder
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  6. Copy the "Feed URL" which is now public ( it was not public before you did the above steps )
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Step 4: Subscribe to Daily Emails of the feed

Now its the easy part, just use some feed emailing system to get daily, weekly, monthly, or whatever emails from that feed.  Personally, I used FeedMyInbox because it was easy and free for this use case

  1. Go to FeedMyInbox and add your email and feed to it and sigin up!

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Step 5: Wait for your inbox to receive the email at the frequency you specified in Step 4

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