Let Google Search While You Sleep

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. To keep current, I regularly do Internet searches on my company’s products, customers and competitors, but that takes a lot of time. Is there some way to program the computer to do such searches on a regular basis?

A. Google, the Internet search engine, recently introduced a beta product called Google Alerts (see screenshot below). It’s a free service that automatically does what you’re now doing manually.

Just provide Alerts with the key words for your queries and tell it how often you want to be alerted (once a week, once a day or as it happens) and whether you want to search the news, the Web or both. Alerts will send you an e-mail with every new thing it uncovers. To engage the service, go to www.googlealert.com .

When I first discovered it, I signed up and entered my last name to test it. Within days it alerted me that a long-lost cousin had just won an award as a sports coach and confirmed that I write for the Journal of Accountancy .

SPONSORED REPORT

How to make the most of a negotiation

Negotiators are made, not born. In this sponsored report, we cover strategies and tactics to help you head into 2017 ready to take on business deals, salary discussions and more.

VIDEO

Will the Affordable Care Act be repealed?

The results of the 2016 presidential election are likely to have a big impact on federal tax policy in the coming years. Eddie Adkins, CPA, a partner in the Washington National Tax Office at Grant Thornton, discusses what parts of the ACA might survive the repeal of most of the law.

QUIZ

News quiz: Scam email plagues tax professionals—again

Even as the IRS reported on success in reducing tax return identity theft in the 2016 season, the Service also warned tax professionals about yet another email phishing scam. See how much you know about recent news with this short quiz.