Google News Drops RSS Buttons Due To Spam?

Jul 21, 2009 • 8:51 am | comments (2) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine

About a week ago, we reported the issues Google News was having with some RSS feeds. At that time, Google dropped the RSS links from the main Google News search pages.

The question is why did they drop the feature? Well, the feature is still there, but they removed the obvious access to that RSS link. Still, why? Well, according to a Google News Help thread, a top contributor said:

The feed link was removed on all versions of Google News, much likely because people started to abuse the feed usage rights. Your page looks all right, though.

Inbal, a Google News representative, confirmed the answer. So was the link removed do to spammers abusing the feed? I am not sure.

In any event, the feature is still there. You can access it two ways:

(1) Go to the bottom of the news search result page and click on the email alert link:

Google News RSS

Then select "Feed" from the drop down menu:

Google News RSS

(2) Most modern browsers have RSS discovery built in, and you should see an RSS icon in the top right of the URL box. Clicking on it, should give you the RSS feed URL:

Firefox: Google News RSS

Safari: Google News RSS

Forum discussion at Google News Help & Google Web Search Help.

Update: Inbal updated the thread to address my question as to why it was removed. It was not a spam thing, but a usability thing.

Please be assured we've removed the RSS feed link *not* in response to usage abuse nor to spam, but it's part of improving our User Interface and your user experience with Google News.

Honestly, if it is a user interface experience thing, then they should add it back.

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