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Google Alerts – Craigslist Notifications (And More)

So I use craigslist quite a bit but I’ve always had one problem. You can’t watch for keywords on the site. Like a notification if someone posts a laptop for sale or to narrow it down a “Toshiba laptop”. After talking with some friends and search online I have found the best option.  Google Alerts. Please note this will work for any website and any word your looking for. Your not limited to just craigslist.

So What Are Google Alerts?

Google Alerts are emails sent to you when Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term. You can use Google Alerts to monitor anything on the Web. For example, people use Google Alerts to:

  • find out what is being said about their company or product.
  • monitor a developing news story.
  • keep up to date on a competitor or industry.
  • get the latest news on a celebrity or sports team.
  • find out what’s being said about themselves.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You enter a query that you’re interested in.
  2. Google Alerts checks regularly to see if there are new results for your query.
  3. If there are new results, Google Alerts sends them to you in an email.

For general queries like [ football ], you can get a summary of the new results every day. For specific topics, like [ cardiovascular atherosclerosis ], you might not get an email every day, but you’ll find out when something new and relevant is published.


Setting Up A Notification

Here is an example I’m currently using on craigslist. I’ve been wanting a Yakima hitch for my outback. I’ve been checking the site daily by going to craigslist, searching for “Yakima” and browsing though all the listed. Most I’ve already seen. Now with this example I get an instant email stating a new item matching my search query has been posted on craigslist.

Below you can see my search query.

Yakima site:eugene.craigslist.org

Now to break down what that’s doing. Its searching for the word “Yakima” in the site “eugene.craigslist.org” If I were to leave off the URL it would be sending me 1000’s of emails every time the word Yakima popped up on a new website. So if you have a specific website your watching for a new item or even a job you would just type in site: followed by the URL.

Example of a craigslist alert
Managing your alerts

 Google Alerts

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Cory Fiala

Technology and outdoor enthusiast. Currently the sole systems administrator for a local K-12 school district with 800+ staff and 5,500+ students. I support windows servers, Linux systems (FreeBSD and Ubuntu), along with vSphere (4 node cluster). 60+ virtual machines and 8 physical servers. This doesn't include my personal homelab.


  1. I used to use Google Alerts a lot for Craigslist notifications but I ended up creating an alert tool specifically for Craigslist.

    You can create an alert while searching on Craigslist.

    p.s. I use Google alerts for most everything else 🙂


  2. I really need on hiw to properly install a notification whenever a new add is posted on he free items. I have missed out on a few thing wit just havin g to watch it. Please can someone help. Thank you! !!! : ) trish

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