Google Alerts is a free service that sends you email as and when something of interest takes place on the Internet on a topic which is being monitored by you and which appears newly in Google results. You can monitor developments on the Internet about your own personal name, any developing news story, latest news about any celebrity or almost anything on the Internet. If you own a website or a blog, you can even use Google Alerts to update you by email as and when somebody links to your website. Thus, in this manner you can monitor new backlinks to your website.
To get email updates from Google Alerts when people link to your website, proceed as under:
(1) Visit Google Alerts website. In the search box, type link:wikipedia.org [replace wikipedia.org with your own domain address or URL for which you want to monitor the links]. In Type, select Everything; in How often, select As-it-happens (or Once a day or Once a week, as per your choice); in Volume, select All results. Now, enter your email address at which you want to get the Alerts when people link to your website. See the following picture for these settings:
(2) As you select these settings, Google Alerts automatically shows you the preview for the Alert for Today (you can also manually click Preview results button), as shown below:
(3) Now, click Create Alert button.
You’ll get the success message informing you that Google Alert was Created. It will also inform you that a verification email has been sent to your designated email address and that you “will not receive Google Alerts on this topic until you click the link in the verification email and confirm your request”.
So, check you email account and in the email received from Google Alerts, verify the Google Alerts request by clicking the link. This email also contains the link to cancel this particular Google Alert if you decide to cancel it in future.
That’s it! Now your Google Alert has been set up. Now onwards, whenever people link to your website, and when that link gets indexed by Google, you’ll get an email update from Google Alert.
Please note that creating a Google Alert does not required you to login with your Google Account; what you require is merely any email address. However, if you use your Google Account and sign in to Google Alert with it, you’ll be in a position to better manage all your Google Alerts.
It may be noted that you’ll get the email update only when Google has indexed the web page that has linked to your website. However, as you’re aware Google is quite fast in indexing web pages. So, usually, you should get the email update of new links to your site on the same day or may be next day.