Google Reader now lets you 'subscribe' without RSS!

Google Reader isn't just an RSS reader anymore. Now it lets you subscribe even to sites that don't have RSS feeds.

Google Reader used to be just an online RSS reader. You'd subscribe by copying and pasting a site's RSS feed URL into Google Reader's "Add a subscription" box. And you still can. But starting today, you can add any URL -- even if it's not an RSS feed, and even if the site itself doesn't publish an RSS feed.

If Google Reader doesn't recognize a URL as RSS, a dialog box will offer to "create a feed for you." Just click "Create a feed," and now Google Reader will monitor the page. If the page changes, a link to that page will show up in Google Reader as if a new RSS item had been posted. They'll even show you a preview "snippet" of the page, just as they do with real RSS posts.

I've been following several sites for several years using a site called, which sends you an e-mail message when the page of your choice has been updated. But now I think I'll migrate those pages over to Google Reader, since I use Google's RSS reader every day anyway.

This is great news for people who use Google Reader, and a real incentive for those who don't to start.

NOTE: The Brains Without Borders blog has been discontinued, and replaced with "Inside Google" -- my new blog on! The "archives" for Brains Without Borders will co-exist here on the "Inside Google" blog. Please drop me a line and let me know how you like "Inside Google," and what you'd like to see covered!

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