Pandia Search Engine News has published an excellent article on using Google Alerts to gather competitive intelligence on other businesses as well as monitor the buzz about your own business or industry.
From the article —
One of the oft overlooked hidden gems in Google’s enormous offering is Google Alerts. Within minutes, one can be signed up for email alerts that can give them and their business a leg up on the competition.
Alerts can be used to spy on competitors, keep track of what people are saying about your business, or follow an important news story.
Some reasons listed in the article of using Google Alerts for intelligence gathering include:
1. Spy on Your Competitors
2. Keep Up To Date on Your Industry
3. Track Yourself and Your Business
4. Get News Stories for Your Site or Blog
You can read the entire article and sign up for Google Alerts @ Using Google Alerts for Intelligence Gathering.