While it's no secret, I'm still surprised at how few people actually use Google News Alerts to track things like when your company, clients or topics of interest are mentioned in the global news. It's really simple: you hop over to Google News Alerts and dump in as many terms as you wish to receive via email.
One thing I dislike about Google News Alerts is that I'd much prefer to subscribe via RSS than email, but beggars can't be choosers (and, I'm sure, Google will release that functionality sometime soon). The other component that was disappointing was the few sources Google was scouring to retrieve results. For instance, I track the keywords "mitch joel" (for obvious reasons), but I would not always get notified if I was mentioned in a Blog posting or in some non-major news sources.
All of this seems to have changed in the past little while.
Turns out that Google recently updated their alerts to include those found in their Google Blog Search, according to the post, Old Google News Alerts Subscribers Getting Unwanted New Blog Search Alerts, from Search Engine Roundtable.
While this is frustrating to some, I say "bravo," "thank you" and "welcome" to this new change. Granted, I could do without the mass amounts of increased email to my Blackberry, but it's my choice - I have a lot of keywords plugged in to be alerted on.
Bottom line: Google News Alerts rock. It's an incredible way to stay in the loop without being inundated with tons of news and articles that you don't want. You might be surprised by the gems of content I've received with keyword triggers like "blog" and "second life."