An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

Send your tips to gostips@gmail.com.

September 23, 2010

Google Reader's Web Page Monitoring to Be Disabled

Google Reader's blog announced that the feed generator for pages that don't have feeds will no longer be available starting from September 30. Google says that not many people used this feature, which is not surprising, considering that it's quite difficult to find it.

Google Reader's page tracking feature was useful to monitor the web pages that don't have feeds. For example, you could use it to find when Google changes the privacy policy, when Google Chrome adds new extension APIs or when there are new products in the Google Store.

Unfortunately, Google Reader's feeds looked terrible. The title for each item was "generated feed for [URL]", the feature didn't detect new images and the feeds were updated when the new versions of the pages were added to Google's search index. Here's Google Reader's feed for google.com and here are the changes found by Page2RSS. Page2RSS found 8 changes in September, while Google only found one. Page2RSS has another important advantage: the service constantly monitors web pages and it's not tied to a search engine that indexes billions of web pages.

28 comments:

  1. the strange thing is, that some pages did receive very frequent updates from google, which rarely got updates from page2rss, but for most of the sites I read, it was the other way round...

    ReplyDelete
  2. It really doesn't work in my experience.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yup. This didn't work for me either.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Used the service this morning to generate a feed for Google New (http://www.google.com/newproducts/) as there is no RSS feed for the page. Bad Google!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Too bad. Yeah, I think you're right about the difficulty to find because I believe this is the first time I realized it was a distinct feature.

    ReplyDelete
  6. But there is always www.feed43.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Is there an easy way to find all "google web page monitor" monitored sites in google reader so I can quickly convert them to page2rss?

    All this extra work; I should have stayed with page2rss.

    Even if they did not update as much as page2rss, I still prefered the google page monitor; one less party to be dependent of for collecting information from pages without RSS feed.

    One thing that bothered me previously with page2rss were the constant updates for rotating banners.

    ReplyDelete
  8. A shame, as i used it to follow various sites, that didnt have rss.. But yes, it didnt work properly. Shame they didnt invest in fixing the issues. oh well..

    ReplyDelete
  9. Use www.ChangeDetection.com to monitor a page (it can generate RSS feed or send email)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Page2RSS doesn't work very well for me. For one page I get new updates every day just because a visitor counter at the bottom is updated.

    ReplyDelete
  11. If you still require these tracking features, check out Femtoo.com, I use it to track Dilbert, the weather, news articles, product prices and blogs:

    - Track *any* page 24 x 7, every 30 mins.
    - Recieve notifications via email or to your iPhone via Notifo
    - Agregate all of your trackers into a single RSS Feed - very handy.

    it's free, powerful and really cool!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I used this feature to track many web pages, too bad as it was very convenient.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Such a shame, a very much used feature by me. Not everyone used or had RSS feeds available for the info I wanted.

    I hope this other service can cope with the influx of people.

    ReplyDelete
  14. This is really disappointing. I use a generated feed for blogspot blogs that don't have feeds. I don't understand why they would choose not to have a feed, but they do not. Example: http://breeweehawaii.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. I too use this feature for several of my daily feeds. What am I going to do now? I don't like the look of Page2RSS or most of the other readers out there.

    I want my Google!

    ReplyDelete
  16. It worked for me, was helpful for seeing when prices of things changes, particularly iTunes Store Apps!
    I will miss this feature. Do Google really have to can it?

    ReplyDelete
  17. feed43 lets you customize your feed down to a T

    ReplyDelete
  18. They are right to stop it. Not so many who enjoyed using it because it didn't work mostly.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Blamable for Google to fail with the backbone of the web.

    ReplyDelete
  20. too bad. diffbot.com is a lot more solid than page2rss though.

    ReplyDelete
  21. sniff, I have more 54 feeds. It worked fine!

    ReplyDelete
  22. too bad / very sad...I loved this feature...mostly for the small obscure websites that only get changed infrequently - but with critical-time sensitive data/info.

    very sad.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I will miss this feature.Shame they didnt invest in fixing the issues. oh well...

    ReplyDelete
  24. Errr i have a bad feeling about it just like i did at the time of Google Wave

    ReplyDelete
  25. I am new to all this reader stuff. Does this mean that i will no longer get updates from blogs i am subscribed too? I downloaded the OPML and nothing happened.

    ReplyDelete
  26. They really need to bring this back. Having to go to an external site is a big hassle when we could just copy and paste the URL into the "Add subscription" area.

    The other sites like Page2RSS suck, too. There's no discrimination about which changes are important and which are trivial and should be ignored. Page2RSS feeds update me constantly on stupid crap like page visit numbers changing, while Google Reader's built-in change tracker only notified me of actual changes.

    feed43.com can do as good of a job as the built-in tracker, but you have to manually program it. Grrr.

    ReplyDelete
  27. For web page monitoring, try ChangeDetect.

    No RSS feeds though. All updates are by e-mail.

    Relevancy and color-coded highlights of changes.

    But it is not free, despite what it says on the homepage.

    http://www.changedetect.com/

    ReplyDelete
  28. Surely a lot of users will be dissapointed on this. Well I hope that it will not be the same again like in Google wave. Monitor website is really important.

    ReplyDelete