At Last! Google News does RSS

Source Title:
Google News all Feedy Like
Story Text:

Google's Chris DiBona just announced that Google News finally has RSS feeds - In Atom and RSS2 format, you can get both categories and custom searches.

Untill now, i'd been using one of the converters that GOOG had not shut down, so much nicer to have an official feed, and about bloody time too hehe!



But you have to construct the link. They don't provide a simple input like... you know... a "non-authorized scraped feed" ;-)

There's no autodiscovery,

There's no autodiscovery, but they do provide a link on the left hand side Tim..

What's up with the annoying HTML there?

First I have to say that the thought is nice, it has been anticipated for long, this first (beta?) version might even be useful for something. Unfortunately, that's also the only positive things I can say after having looked at it.

What's up with all the HTML in the descriptions? That's really annoying, as you'll have to parse all that extra useless stuff out before you can use the feed on your own pages. Check this example: Link: Check "description" tag

<br><table border=0 width= valign=top cellpadding=2 cellspacing=7><tr><td valign=top><a href="">Baby <b>lemurs</b> surprise keepers</a><br><font size=-1><font color=#6f6f6f>Charlotte Observer, NC -</font> <nobr>Jul 29, 2005</nobr></font><br><font size=-1>On June 30, just a few weeks after the exhibit opened, staff members took the feeding bowls out of the cage of two ring-tail <b>lemurs</b>, a male and a female, to <b>...</b> <font><br><table>

There's more HTML code than text there, and the kind of code there is plainly sucks... I mean: Font tags ?!! Freaking font tags and <br> tags as well ... and this is not tabular content, so why on earth do you want a table there? ... Sheesh...

Feeds 101:
You should always try as best as you can to separate content from presentation when you're working with feeds, as the feeds will be presented on sites that look very different. It's totally stupid to have eg. a font color #6f6f6f hard coded in the XML - if the page that will display the feed has that as background color, that particular piece of text will become invisible.

Don't force your particular idea of HTML or design/layout upon the users of your feeds, as that idea -- no matter how good -- will not be shared by all. Let the users of the feeds put their own CSS on top, I say.

Things I don't like about Google RSS

Things I don't like about Google News RSS feed

1. My "Customized News" has two sections - one for Adobe and the other one for Macromedia, if I subscribe to Google News RSS, I get the two sets of results together but there is no way to distinguish which news story is pertaining to which search term. You could have a little "label" in the title of the RSS post.

2. There could be stories common in different sections. A search for Adobe would result in pages from Macromedia as well - Google News RSS should be smart enough to filter duplicate entries in the RSS feed.

3. Not sure if I retrieve the feed again, will I get the same results again which I got in my previous pull. Ideally, it shouldn't


Thanks for pointing that out to me Nick!

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