Remember that heart-sinking feeling you had back in middle school when you were the only kid in the class who wasn’t in on the joke, leaving you humiliated and feeling like a social pariah? The worst. You vowed then and there that you would never be left out of the loop again, and that’s why your grown-ass self understands the immeasurable value of Google Alerts. Google Alerts is an automated web-based search engine that keeps you up-to-date and in the know about all of the topics and stories that you subscribe to. From people to businesses, news headlines to financial updates, and everything in between (ahem, that guilty pleasure gossip column), you’ll never be out of the loop again.