Google RSS on the Way. My Wishlist…

Search Engine Land confirmed yesterday that RSS feeds for search results are on their way to Google.

Interesting? Yes, but after a bit of thought, I’m lowering my expectations. There’s no way to be know if these concerns will ever come about, but let me document them anyway:

  • Drinking from the Firehose? – If, as expected, this works similar to blog search RSS, the amount of content could be huge. Putting up tighter filters may help, ie. searching in quotes, longer search phrases, more specific search terms; but the web is a big place…
  • Content I Want? – Blog search RSS is one thing. I’m interested in what real people have to say on topics I’m interested in… But the larger web? I think a lot of people will be surprised at the amount of web spam, and automated content production going on. It will be interesting to see if there’s any kind of web-authority filter on the output.
  • Yes or No to New Links? – A few years back, Google stopped showing their comprehensive list of incoming links when people used the link: command. This was one of the few windows into who was linking into your website, and it left Yahoo Site Explorer as the most authoritative option. Now with RSS for search results, one of the best uses for this tool could be tracking new incoming web links. So will Google step-up? or continue to bury this information?
  • Site Level Tracking? – One feature I’m really hoping for, is the ability to track new content on a single website URL. The site: command can be inserted into a search, so it’s reasonable to expect that search result can be converted into an alert service. I’ll be very surprised if this isn’t possible, but I’ll also be *very* disappointed if Google doesn’t deliver.

The first two items are concerns of utility, and the second two are opportunities. If Google delivers on the bottom two items? Its value to me will double overnight.


  1. The “link:” command is alive and well in Google:

    In fact, you can already create an RSS feed for this information if you use Google’s web developer tools.

  2. The link command is alive and well, admittedly. But it only shows a portion of the incoming links for a website. Compare the numbers between Yahoo and Google. Google shows a sampling of backlinks, not all.

  3. Ah, I see what you’re saying.