Google Reader Gets Smart, Tracks Updates on Feedless Web Sites [News]

RSS, Atom, and other XML-formatted feeds revolutionized the way we keep up with our favorite web sites, allowing us to use newsreaders to track updates rather than bookmarks and constant refreshing. The only problem: Some sites don’t have RSS feeds.

The Google Reader team addressed this problem today, adding a new feature to allow users to track changes to any web site—even those that don't have their own feed.

These custom feeds are most useful if you want to be alerted whenever a specific page has been updated. For example, if you wanted to follow’s latest products, just type “” into Reader’s “Add a subscription” field. Click “create a feed”, and Reader will periodically visit the page and publish any significant changes it finds as items in a custom feed created just for that page.

Here are some more example feeds for sites without feeds that you could follow:

Granted, we’ve seen webapps that create feeds for feedless sites in the past, but the integration into a popular newsreader like Google Reader is a big step. And while most sites worth their salt have feeds coming out their ears, others—like Bill Gates' recently launched Gates Notes—still don't, making the new feature a welcome update for anyone who's dealt with this frustration in the past.

Follow changes to any website [Google Reader Blog]

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