I personally have used Google Alerts for several years to track instance of my poetry and literature on the Web for potential plagiarism. It has helped me discover at two-thirds of all of the plagiarists I have caught.
Despite that, Google Alerts was a largely useless tool for bloggers worried about scraping of their content. Its dependence on the Google Search engine meant that the results were often very delayed and it was impractical to create alerts for all entries on a blog.
However, with the addition of the blog search, it can be used easily in conjunction with MaxPower’s Digital Fingerprint Plugin (original article) to easily create an alert to let you know any time your work is automatically scraped and reposted on another site.
This is definitely a major advancement for bloggers looking to protect their works on the Web. It also provides many other useful features, some of which are covered in the original TechCrunch article.
It’s something that any blogger, especially those that use the Digital Fingerprint plugin, should look at using immediately. It’s too potentially powerful of a tool to ignore.