How to Still Get Google Alerts Via RSS
I’m actually not sad about the death of Google Reader anymore because Feedly has replaced it in my heart. (Make sure you download the mobile app — it’s a thing of true beauty). I’m like a girl who got dumped but doesn’t even care anymore because she rebounded with an even hotter dude.
However, I was pretty upset that when Google rang its Reader death knell, it also destroyed my Google Alerts by not allowing me to receive them via RSS anymore. Since I work in PR, I monitor about 100 terms via Google Alerts because I need to know about mentions of my company (do you know how difficult that is when your company is named “Huge”?), executives and clients. My email inbox is already on the verge of exploding daily and there’s no way I can have all of those alerts in there, too.
I tried a few alternatives like Mention and Talkwalker Alerts but they didn’t catch all the mentions that Google Alerts do. There were a few distressing days in there where I was fuh-reaking out that I couldn’t track any media mentions. I did a bunch of research and finally hit on a solution that’s been working for me, so I wanted to share it for those of you in the same boat:
- Start sending all your Google Alerts to email (if you had them set to “RSS,” you can change the setting on the Manage Alerts page). You can use your regular Gmail address or set up a separate one just for alerts, if you don’t want them all clogging up your main inbox.
- Log in to the Emails to RSS Forwarding app with your Gmail account.
- Create an Emails to RSS bridge. This will generate an email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and an RSS feed (http://emails2rss.appspot.com/rss?id=lotsoflettersandnumbers) and whenever emails are sent to that address, those emails will appear as posts in the accompanying RSS feed.
- Click on the link to your new RSS feed and add it to your Feedly (or whatever RSS feed reader you use).
- Log into Gmail and go to your Forwarding Settings. In the “Forwarding” section, click the “Add a forwarding address” button and then put in your new Emails to RSS email address (email@example.com). Confirm to send an email confirmation.
- Go to your Feedly and wait for the confirmation email to appear in your feed, then click on the confirmation link.
- Log in to your Gmail and go to your Filters Settings. Click on “Create a new filter” (at the bottom of the page).
- A pop-up will appear where you can create a filter. Put firstname.lastname@example.org in the “From” field, then click “Create filter with this search.”
- Check the “skip the inbox (archive it)” box and the “forward it to:” box and select your Emails to RSS email address in the dropdown. Create the filter.
Ta-DAH! Any Google Alerts emails should be automatically forwarded to your Feedly. I know this is annoying to set up but you can set it and forget it. There’s also an app called Alerts to RSS that’s supposed to launch soon and I’m hoping that will be an easier solution. But this totally works for now.
[Update: RSS Google Alerts are back! Finally!]