Google Web Search RSS, Finally

Previously, I’ve listed the methods I use to keep track of all the information floating out in the ‘tubes.

One method I didn’t cover is using search, duh. I didn’t cover it because one glaring omission from Google’s web search has been RSS feeds for keywords.

If you’ve ever tried to monitor a keyword search over time, you’ll know the order sometimes changes, and new pages appear. This is thanks to Google’s algorithm, but there’s no good way to know what has changed.

Enter RSS, which has been a commonly requested enhancement for quiet some time. RSS allows you to see only new pages for your keyword, making it much easier to use for monitoring.

I use Google Alerts to track a lot of stuff, and recently, I noticed the alerts were including more content than previously. Yesterday, Marshall reported that Google had finally exposed RSS for keyword searches, integrated into Google Alerts, which is pretty handy. The process he reports is a bit convoluted, but I think Google has fixed it.

Here’s what I did to create RSS feeds for “theappslab”. I created a new alert, set type to “Web” and the delivery method to “Feed” and away I went with my brand new Google Alert.

Pretty simple stuff. Once created, the alert generates a feed link you can use in any reader and bonus for Google Reader users, offers a shortcut link to view the feed in Reader.

So, this is kind of a big deal. A lot of people Google themselves and track other keywords they care about, and now, through the beauty of RSS, you can do it passively, letting the updates come to you.



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