August 9, 2005 12:19 PM PDT

Google News gets RSS and Atom feeds

Google has introduced RSS and Atom feeds for its popular Google News aggregation service.

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, and Atom are XML-based document formats that alert Internet users to the latest articles or postings on their favorite Web sites via a single feed reader, which can be integrated into an e-mail application or Web browser.

Google News users can now subscribe to get an RSS or Atom feed from any of seven key subject areas designated by Google. They can also create customized RSS news feeds or see the results of any Google News alerts they have set up.

Google News, which aggregates links to the latest news stories on thousands of Web sites, is available in 22 versions for different audiences around the world. The RSS and Atom feeds are being initially offered on just six versions--U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and India.

"We've launched this service because we've had a lot of requests from Google users to support RSS and Atom," a Google UK spokeswoman explained.

In April 2004, U.K. programmer Julian Bond said he received a cease-and-desist notice from Google after creating his own feed that scraped headlines off Google News. These headlines were then displayed on another Web site, called Ecademy.

Google UK declined to comment on this matter. (Google representatives in the U.S. have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story.)

But Bond said Tuesday that the company took action because the results of his RSS feed from Google were being fed into online RSS aggregators and then republished on the Web.

"I was really irritated about Google not offering RSS feeds from (Google) News search. So I wrote a scraper that did the search and generated an RSS feed from it," explained Bond, who added that he welcomed the news that Google was now offering RSS and Atom feeds.

"It will mean that I can retire my scraper and stop having to maintain it every time Google changes their page layout," Bond said.

Graeme Wearden of ZDNet UK reported from London.


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The High Road
> (Google representatives in the U.S. have
> instituted a policy of not talking with CNET
> reporters until July 2006 in response
> to privacy issues raised by a previous story.)

Is it really necessary to mention this situation everytime CNET posts a story about Google? It speaks poorly of CNET, as it shows a lack of civilized discourse. When you post an article critically criticizing and outlining a company's business stratedgies, there's a good chance they will not respond by sending fruit baskets and warm words. Instead, Google chose the high road by quietly resigning to not offer any additional information to CNET for a year, rather than overly criticizing CNET's policies.
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It seems a bit childish to me. Why can't Google take some critisism on the chin? Microsoft, Apple, SCO and Sun are insulted all the time. Scott McNealy is regually insulted personally, yet he has not decided to run off and cry. If they felt that CNETs claims were wrong then they should offer a rebuttle.

Personally I find it funny and I think that CNET should mention it all the time. It makes Google look like they think they are better than everybody else, which they probably do. The High Road indeed.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Yeah it is...
Google has some great people working for it, but the leadership is a pack of cry babies who think they are better than the rest of the industry. I read article in question and CNET raised some very valid concerns. Too bad Google's execs are too immature to respond to it in a proper manner.

They make a pretty nice search engine. Nothing else they've done (except buying up the news group archives) is worth mentioning.
Posted by (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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