Google subscribes to RSS feeds to enable more timely searches?


I’m no Google expert – perhaps one of you are, or know someone who is (or someone who plays one on TV!).

I notice that within seconds of posting a new blog entry, or when a new comment is posted, both Google US and Google UK re-index my site.

But they only seem to randomly re-index the site about once a day.

So here’s the question – does Google subscribe to monitor my RSS feed via Ping-servers to get notification of updates, so it can re-index as soon as information changes?

Google experts?




  1. Paul Claessen says:

    “the odds would be against that”

    That’s what I thought last night .. but the guy DID have the fourth ace!

    But I digress … 😉

  2. OK, my choice of words about “notification” may be wrong – but considering that EVERY post I made today was followed with Google hits from the US and England withing two minutes, and that they each only hit me one other time… what is the explanation?

    I am assuming they are probably looking at someplace like Technorati, and other ping servers (they ARE updated every time I make a post). But I am not sure, and my curiosity makes me ask…

    It almost certainly is not just a coincidence – the odds would be against that.


  3. Paul Claessen says:

    … there’s a REASON they called it “REALLY SIMPLE Syndication” 😉

  4. Paul Claessen says:

    To be clear: this ‘subscription’ is a transaction between you and your reader. There is NO ‘subscription’ transaction between the reader and the feed. That’s just a simple html read, initiated by the reader. The feed is nothing but an xml formatted version of some content of your web page: it’s basically just another web page. It just sits there, waiting to be read .. 😉

  5. Paul Claessen says:

    “does Google subscribe to my RSS feed to get notification of updates”

    Your feed isn’t SENDING any notifications.
    To nobody.
    Remember that an rss FEED is a PULL (passive), not a PUSH (active) service.

    An ssr READER actively goes out to retrieve someone’s feed and compares it with the previous one to determine if anything has changed.
    You can check my blog every 5 minutes, or have a program do that for you and let you know when anything has changed. That’s all the reader does: in principle it’s not different from YOU checking a site. The fact that feeds present content in condensed xml format is just a detail.

    In order to explain what you have experienced, Google will have to actively access your site and read you complete rss feed EVERY few seconds. I doubt it will do that! Nor should you like that very much! (bandwidth hog).

    I suspect this was a coincidence.