I've got a google alert setup as follows :

"Example Company" OR "http://www.example.com/" -site:pinterest.com

What I'm trying to achieve here is to get an alert for articles/content that:

The above line used to work as I've had it setup for the past 3 years or so, but recently I've started to get loads of Pinterest results, so it seems the Pinterest filter isn't working.

Any ideas why this is/what needs to be updated in my Alerts search query?

  • 2
    In my experience, Google Alerts breaks fairly regularly. I will wager that in a couple of weeks your query will be working again, without you having done anything and with no explanation.
    – ale
    Aug 15 '17 at 20:05

You can use the Google Advanced Search page to put together a list of search criteria in an easy way. Then, by clicking Advanced Search, it will give you the exact criteria. These results can then be pasted into Google Alerts as the search criteria.

You will notice on the page that there is not an option for -site:. If this is a recent change on Google's behalf or not, I'm not sure. However the suggestion posted by @pnuts to use -pinterest should give you the desired results.

EDIT: The following criteria has not returned any results from http://pinterest.com/, however has given results including the text pinterest and http://pinterest.com/:

Pinterest Google Alerts example

With that being the case, it's possible that Google has changed something in the way that Alerts work. Likely, if the Alert is re-created, the problem will be resolved.

Although that is not ideal as it does not find the root cause of the problem, it is a viable workaround in the case that Google Alerts change again.

  • @pnuts Thanks - just did some more tests and found that, although it's not listed, -site:pinterest.com does work as OP suggested. I'll remove answer. Harder than I thought. :)
    – Ashton
    Aug 16 '17 at 1:27
  • As OP would like it to work. But I have only found as search results. I haven't found a way to accurately test using Alerts. Even typing just "pinterest" as the search results (google.com/alerts - "Create an alert about...") doesn't show any alerts from pinterest.com.
    – Ashton
    Aug 16 '17 at 1:32
  • 1
    @pnuts I've adjusted it to "As it happens" using this criteria: "Pinterest" "http://pinterest.com" -site:pinterest.com. I will keep you posted.
    – Ashton
    Aug 16 '17 at 1:41
  • 2
    @pnuts Agreed. Unless Alerts behave differently, what OP states should be working correctly.
    – Ashton
    Aug 16 '17 at 1:50
  • After 24 hours with the following criteria, I can confirm that there I have received no alerts from the site pinterest.com, but plenty of alerts for other websites containing the text pinterest and http://pinterest.com/. Updated answer with these details. It's getting more confusing. :)
    – Ashton
    Aug 17 '17 at 2:10

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