How Do You Delete or Remove Your Content from RSS Results Like Google Reader?

Jun 4, 2008 • 10:04 am | comments (4) by | Filed Under Other Search Topics

Whenever a post is removed from a blog, my first instinct is to go to an RSS reader like Google Reader or Bloglines and find the same post there, to see if it is still available.

A big mistake most bloggers and authors make is when they make mistakes they delete the post and not edit it. For example, let's say you get mad and you blog about what angers you, while you are angry. Yes, that is typically the worse time to blog, when you are angry. You hit the publish button and then go on your way. Minutes later, your post comes up in your RSS reader and you read it. You instantly become ashamed and want to pull the story asap. But instead of editing the post, you click the delete button in your blog software.

What happens? Your story remains in most RSS readers because most readers to not support removing deleted posts. Most readers do support post updates. So if you simply replace your blog post with "This post was removed...", then the RSS reader will update with that content and your original post might not show up in your friend's RSS reader.

A Google Groups thread discusses just that. Google Reader Guide, Roger, explains how this works:

As a workaround, publishers such as yourself who wish to remove content from Google Reader can change the item's content but leave the item in the feed - Google Reader's crawler will update the item in the cache with the new content as long as the item ID remains the same. This will at least keep the content in question from continuing to appearing in the feed.

Please keep in mind that although Google Reader will re-crawl changed items with stable IDs, not all feedreaders are obliged to do this - any content posted at any time has the potential to be cached by other services.

Forum discussion at Google Groups.

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