We all love neat RSS hacks, right? Well, here’s some interesting ways to use Google RSS news feeds. Many of us MakeUseOf readers are keen readers of Google News because it’s an easy way to see news articles from newspapers worldwide, grouped by topic and also grouped with similar headlines. However, not everyone realises that Google News offers a wide selection of RSS feeds, which you can manage using search terms and other useful modifiers.
By learning more about these RSS feeds and incorporating a few interesting tricks to display and read these RSS news feeds, you’ll be able to stay on top of all the very best news as easily as possible. How’s that for useful?
Creating RSS News Feeds
Creating generic and specific news RSS feeds is quite an easy task.
1. Find Your Preferred Google News RSS Feed
You’ve probably already set up Google News to show local news in your preferred language. At the bottom of the news page, you’ll see an RSS link. This link will give you a basic RSS feed for Google News, incorporating your chosen local news and language. Subscribe to this if you are happy to have lots of new updates.
For me, I get: http://news.google.com/news?pz=1&cf=all&ned=uk&hl=en&output=rss
2. Find RSS Feeds For Google News Topics
Also at the bottom of the Google news page is a link to “About Feeds“, which shows you the various news topics and the RSS feeds to subscribe to them.
For instance, Sci-Tech is: http://news.google.com/news?ned=us&topic=t&output=rss
3. Create A Google News Search RSS Feed
At the top of Google News is the all-familiar search bar. Plug in your search term there (using normal Google search formatting) and you’ll be presented with news on that subject. At the bottom of the page, you can see the RSS link where you can copy the RSS URL or subscribe to your feed.
For example, a basic news search for “Lemur”: http://news.google.com/news?q=lemurs&output=rss
A News search for “Lemur” with my preferred settings: http://news.google.com/news?pz=1&cf=all&ned=uk&hl=en&q=lemur&cf=all&output=rss
4. Change Your RSS Feeds
In the previous examples, you can see topic=t is tech, while q=lemur is your search term. You can change ned=us to ned=uk if you prefer results from the UK, plus you can add hl=en if you want the results only in English. Since my Google News was already set up with my preferred settings, the search added those settings into the feed for me.
Either edit the RSS feed link manually or use Google’s advanced search features to add more search parameters to your news search.
For instance, limiting the search to the last month gives us: http://news.google.com/news?pz=1&cf=all&ned=uk&hl=en&as_scoring=r&as_maxm=2&q=lemur&as_qdr=m&as_drrb=q
If you want to fine-tune your feed even further, consider using something like Yahoo Pipes.
What To Do With News RSS Feeds?
There’s plenty of great ideas for using these feeds once you know these tricks. Maybe these scenarios will help you think of something you can use.
- You’re an Apple fanatic and you’d like to show news about Apple products and Steve Jobs in your blog’s sidebar.
- You’re a student and you’d like to see headlines about the new developments in medicine whenever possible.
- You’re a tech professional and you want to ensure you don’t miss any tech news headlines.
- You’re a lemur specialist and you’d like lemur headlines to feature near the top whenever you visit Google News.
- You’re currently very interested in Middle-Eastern politics and want to be informed of all of the updates by email.
Displaying & Reading Google News RSS Feeds
Now that you know how to create all these great news feeds and know what you want to keep track of, there’s some tricks you might like to know about displaying and reading the RSS feeds.
1. Add A Search Term As A Google News Element
After you search in Google News, there is an option at the bottom of the page to “Create Your Own Custom Section For SEARCHTERM“. Click that and it will add your search to your everyday Google News layout.
If you want to rearrange your page, click on “Edit Page” and decide where you’d like your search term to feature.
2. Create Google Alerts
If it’s important that you don’t miss the news updates, try creating a Google Alert for your search. At the bottom of the news search page, click on “Create An Email Alert For SEARCHTERM“. Choose how frequently you want the alert to be sent and whether you want that sent to an email or as an RSS feed.
3. NewsShow For Your Website
Google will allow you to show Google News on your website, as long as you adhere to strict rules. The easiest way to ensure you are sticking to the rules is to use Google NewsShow to create the widget. You can customise it if you like, by using the [NO LONGER WORKS] Google NewsShow wizard.
4. Add News Feeds To Google Reader
If you get your RSS feeds into Google Reader, you can use all sorts of tools to read them, including magazine-style extensions such as Feedly.
5. Read Your News Feeds In Netvibes (Or Another Start Page)
The beauty of Netvibes is that you can create pages dedicated to certain topics, so if you’re studying a given topic you can add your news feeds specific to that topic and ensure you keep up-to-date while you’re studying.
Tell Us What You Do With Your Google News RSS Feeds
We know there’s countless other ways to use news RSS feeds, so let us know what you do with them in the comments!