Constructing a Good Filter

The value of Syften depends on the quality of your filters. Let’s have a look at how to construct a good one.

In this guide we’ll learn how to uncover potential new users for Syften itself.

The Art of Helping People Solve Problems

Seth Godin, in his exellent book This Is Marketing, gives us this definition:

Marketing is the generous act of helping someone solve a problem. Their problem. It’s a chance to change the culture for the better. Marketing involves very little in the way of shouting, hustling, or coercion. It’s a chance to serve, instead.

Now, it turns out, most people are unaware that Google Alerts doesn’t really work. Let’s help them out by informing them of that, and providing them with an alternative – Syften!

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Looking For Interesting Threads

A great rule of thumb is that if there were threads in the past that would have been of interest, then we can expect similar ones to come up in the future. Let’s make sure that this time we won’t miss them.

Let’s do a couple of Google searches for a few terms that come to mind. All of these queries will be limited to, as we’re only interested in getting a general idea of the types of discussions people are having.

First try: "google alerts replacement".

Ooups, it seems nobody used that phrasing in the past. It’s unreasonable to assume someone will in the future. Let’s try again, this time a more general query: "google alerts" replacement.

It’s better, but can we find a query that yields more than 99 results? It seems that the preferred term is “alternative”, not “replacement”. Let’s try again.

Excellent, exactly what we’re looking for. Every now and again someone on Reddit will be looking for Syften – and it’s up to us to help them. Our new filter becomes:

"google alerts" alternative

It’s almost perfect. Almost, because as we see sometimes the plural “alternatives” is used. Let’s match that by using the star operator. Our final filter becomes:

"google alerts" alternative*

And that’s a high quality filter we can be confident with.


A good filter has no value unless you react to the results it yields. Learn how to do content marketing that converts or how to monitor your competitors.

You can find more examples in the documentation.

And if you're still having trouble with your filters we'll design them for you. It's what we do! Start Designing Your Filters