Google’s New Found Fascination With RSS

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Google’s New Found Fascination With RSS

Google, a company which revolutionalised the Internet search has
finally started to use RSS in a big way. It was more than an
obvious move for Google to start looking into this ever-growing
market. As the other web giants Yahoo! and MSN keep on enhancing
the different uses of RSS, in this article we analyze how Google
is contributing to “operation syndication”.
Google News Feeds
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
whole.
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 syndication
lifestyle.
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!

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