How to Get Google Alerts Without Google Reader

4193013599_a6b32afc23[1]Google Reader shut down last night and by now most of you have switched over to a new feed reader service. (I’m using BazQux, not Feedly). But before you finalize the transition there is one more matter to take care of.

You’ll need to update your Google Search Alerts.

Google’s handy-dandy tool for keeping track of new search results is no longer updating the RSS feed notices. This delivery option was disabled some time yesterday, and a notice was added to the Google Alerts page that recommended you switch from receiving updates via RSS to receiving updates via email.


It turns out that the oh-so-helpful RSS feeds were actually provided by Google Reader, not Google Alerts. That means that the latter was unexpectedly hobbled by the demise of the former.

I’m sure many of my readers have already noticed the lack of updates and already switched over, but if you have not switched then you can do so from the Google Alerts page.

While you have that page open, you might want to also open up a tab for Talkwalker Alerts. This service is similar to Google Alerts and it can offer RSS feed delivery. Now would be a good time to switch, I think.

I’ve been getting Google Alert notices by email for the past day, and I think it is a poor second choice to receiving the notices via RSS. It’s slower and I’m not getting as many results. That strikes me as a good reason to switch to an alternative.

If anyone knows of a service similar to Talkwalker Alerts, pleas leave a comment.

Google OS Blog

image by Nika Composer

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Julie Hong (@J_Hong3)3 July, 2013

    Hi Nate! Thanks for recommending Talkwalker Alerts as a replacement to Google Alerts with the RSS functionality.
    It is indeed super easy to integrate these alerts into feed readers such as Feedly (and you can import Google Alerts into Talkwalker Alerts as well!)

  2. […] drops Google Alerts for RSS as Reader is no longer available. Try […]

  3. Michelle18 July, 2013

    It is asking for my email for Talkwalker – can it forward alerts to RSS feeders like Feedly?

    1. Julie Hong19 July, 2013

      Hi Michelle,

      The email is needed to setup your account, so you can manage your alerts anytime. Then it’s up to you to switch off the email notifications if you only want them integrated on Feedly – which is totally possible.


  4. Jack Barham22 July, 2013

    I think this might be helpful. Alerts to RSS are about to launch a replacement for Google Reader providing an RSS feed for Google Alerts at

    1. Nate Hoffelder22 July, 2013


  5. Frank Burrows21 August, 2013

    Sadly after the first couple of feeds working ok Talkwalker has gone much the way of Google Alerts. I set up about 40 feeds to test but apart from the first dozen or so all the others have never produced any alerts even for terms like football or facebook.

    Of those that did work to start with they are only producing sporadic updates via RSS.

    The search goes on 🙁

    Even setting up a specific RSS feed from Google News seems no longer to work as whatever keyword is used the RSS feed just pumps out the general headlines.

  6. davide27 August, 2013

    i have tried talkwalker with feedly but the quality of the results is very poor: selecting “news” and “best results” even with queries such as “digital publishing” the context with g.alerts would be very good (i get video games hits)


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