1: Ditch the ‘www’ If you are setting up an alert for your website then lose the ‘www’ from the URL, as this will help
you find out who is linking to and taking advantage of your website.
2: Use quotations When entering your keywords, do so by putting them in quotes – for example, “Team GB”. This is ideal for your business or personal name
as you will receive alerts when the words appear together.
3: Put in a plus sign If you put a ‘+’ in front of your alert, this will avoid synonyms and variations in spelling. For example, if you type ‘+bake’ you will avoid alerts for baker, bakery, baking, etc, thereby refining your alerts.
4: Exclude words with a minus Exclude certain words from the search by putting a ‘–’ symbol in front of the word – for example, ‘Wiltshire -Trowbridge’ – so you can search for some things and exclude other associated things.
5: Single site searches You can utilise the site operator option to search specific sites for your target phrases; for example, ‘site:bbc.co.uk “david beckham”’. The results will be any mention of David Beckham on the BBC website.
6: Exclude on sites Or, if you want to search for something while excluding a certain site, use a ‘-’ symbol. So ‘“david beckham” -site:twitter.com’ will return results for David Beckham but exclude the Twitter site.