I noticed the other day that Google have introduced graphics to their Alerts, as can be seen below.
I use Google Alerts a lot. They're tremendously useful for gathering sources of news and it's good to see it's still being worked on and developed. I'm not so sure the graphics add that much to the alerts, but it does make those with them stand out. They don't add a graphic to all alerts, so it'd be interesting to find out what the algorithm does to determine if one should be displayed or not.