Previously, the term “feeds” was
synonymous to Google News, another big service provided by Google. Since
Google didn’t give any support to RSS or Atom feeds, programmers started
to scrap headlines off Google News. And these headlines were then
displayed on another Web site.
However, now you see Google supports both RSS and Atom feeds. Reportedly
Google News team had been receiving a lot of feature requests for RSS
feed support. And that’s why the company decided to give a dose of news
through both the syndication flavors, Atom and RSS. This shows that even
Google couldn’t ignore the growing popularity of RSS.
It still took Google a long time before
they actually started on with the Google News feeds. But even now
Google’s support has only been added to Google News content and has not
been extended to it’s standard web search. Even though Yahoo! has
started to provide News feeds just for that one specific keyword. For
example, if you would like to follow news that mentions “George Bush”,
you can do that perfectly. This hasn’t been implemented by Google as of
yet, but might be soon.
Re-use of Google RSS feed content is
officially limited to non-commercial uses and requires complete
credentials of all the individual sources included, Google itself and
the publication of the search terms and criteria used to create the
feed. Will these restrictions really help Google to harness the true
power of RSS? Well, now that’s another question!
Google’s RSS Ad Patent
“Google Files for RSS Ad Patent” – That
seems to be the hottest topic been going around the Internet for some
time now. Another classic example of the web getting “Googlized”, as the
world’s biggest search engine revs up to dominate the RSS ad market.
If you still didn’t get what exactly
I’m talking about here, Google has filed for a patent with the US Patent
and Trade Office (USPTO) for embedding advertisements into syndicated
RSS and Atom feeds.
According to the abstract, the patent
is all about a method for "incorporating targeted ads into information
in a syndicated presentation format in an automated manner." This goes
beyond RSS or Atom feeds, as it pertains to syndicated formats on the
However, Google wasn’t the first to
jump in the RSS ad bandwagon. Companies like Pheedo and Kanoodle had
already started trying their hand at it long back. If we see the
positive side of this, Google taking it’s own protection measures in the
RSS ad bracket, is itself a big proof about the potential of this
growing technology. The filing is not astonishing though, for a firm of
it’s size can delve much deeper.
Quoting from Pheedo’s official blog
“Google is not going to own RSS advertising. At best, Google may gain
some protection for its specific techniques and methods of inserting and
tracking ads in syndicated content.” All I can say is, Google is surely
making huge strides in the RSS sector but everything does have a limit.
Google RSS Reader
After heavily betting upon RSS by
filing a patent for the ads, Google wasn’t surely gonna stay behind when
it came to RSS readers. It was very predictable for the company to
launch it’s own aggregator, another step towards bettering the
What’s common between Google’s reader
and its other services is the simplicity of use. The way Google designs
it’s services, (doesn’t matter if it’s Gmail or Adsense) is what wins
over everything else. That’s exactly what one gets to see in Google’s
reader. The ease of use and how simple it is.
The web-based reader, which is in its
beta stage, requires a login similar to Gmail. Once logged in, feeds can
be added and organized very effortlessly. The feeds can be organized by
various names or the user can also import subscriptions from other RSS
aggregators or online services and easily subscribe to feeds just by
entering the RSS feed’s URL. They have also started to distribute the
trendy “Add to Google” button, an addition to a collection of many
others provided by different readers.
Google’s entry into the RSS reader
market will definitely shake well-established companies like Newsgator
and Pluck. Since Google has complete power over the sponsor ad listings
in the search results, advertising this new service wouldn’t be a big
deal. Just type in “RSS Reader” in Google and you’ll know for yourself.
On a last note, Google is surely taking
in on RSS and is trying to take the technology to new level. This
clearly shows that RSS is here to stay. Something for all of us to sit
up and take notice!