Google Alert is a great program, I use it extensively to track web articles and stories of my favourite news items, tracking software updates, stock market, my website page-rank and some ego-surfing.
I have one very simple suggestion for the Google Alert team at Google.
Currently, I receive a different mail for each of my alert ( I have around 20 alerts ), what I would ideally like is that Google sends me only one email for all the alerts.
This may not be possible if the user has set alert frequency to "As it happens" but for those who have set it as "Once a day", this is very much possible.
Another feature that I miss in these alerts is the popularity / page rank. Can you incorporate a green indicator just before the title of news stories as you have in the Google Directory.