I think the core of this subject is great, however the wording should be altered for ethics' sake. All in all I think it is a wondrous thing for the small to enterprise level businesses to keep their finger on the pulse ( I am a small business owner my self) of their clients as well as the competition. Overall this is a great article on utilizing a neato hack. This combined with gmail rss feeds could be a powerful tool for instant mineable data. Read on for more.
Using Google Alerts for Intelligence GatheringSpy on Your Competitors
Every business has a competitor. More likely, you have several direct competitors and several more indirect competitors. While regularly checking out their websites is an important part of the process, it doesn't paint the whole picture. A competitor's website is very much crafted to the image that they want to portray to their customers. This is great if you want to know what their latest sale is or how much their new product costs, but it isn't likely to feature a negative review in last Sunday's newspaper. That's where Google Alerts comes in. By simply setting up a News, Groups, and search alert for each of your competitors, you will know what other people are saying about your competition both the media and consumers, both good and bad.