Google Reader, a popular RSS Feed Reader, has gotten a bit better with the addition of a new feature that will allow you to create “feeds” even on a page that doesn’t have an RSS feed. This feature works alongside the Google crawlers, it compares the cached version of the page to the version it’s looking at currently as it crawls the site and then generates a feed based on any changes it finds and creates an entry in your Google Reader.
For example, here is Another Video Game Webcomic. It is on the same site as Joe Loves Crappy Movies. Joe Loves Crappy Movies has an RSS feed, but the other comics on the Digital Pimp Online network don’t, so keeping up to date on those titles is pretty difficult. An RSS feed would help with that and that’s where the new Google Reader feature comes in.
Log into Google Reader and click the Add a subscription button. You then just paste in the URL to the webpage you wish to monitor. If it has a feed listed, it will automatically grab that one. If not, it will generate a feed using the new feature.
You can then view the generated feed just like any other subscription. Unlike other feeds, however, Google generated feeds will update shortly after a Google Bot crawls a site and notices a difference instead of when something is published.
If you run a website without a feed and for some reason would like to opt out of Google allowing this service, there is a way. There should be no additional load on your server because of the Google generated feed as the bot is crawling your site already and compares the current version to its last version.
You can see Google’s announcement about the feature through the Google Reader blog.
If you use another RSS feed reader and would like this feature or you’re just looking for other options, you might check out: