How to Use Google News Like an RSS Feed Reader

You don't even need an RSS reader when you've got Google News

The Google News website on a computer.

gmutlu / Getty Images

If you previously used Google News RSS feeds dating back to 2016 or earlier, you probably realized that things have changed a lot since then.

In 2017, Google announced that it would be deprecating old RSS feed subscription URLs by December 1st, 2017. Instructions for obtaining the new RSS feeds were given in the Google Product Forums, but those instructions no longer appear to work since RSS options are nowhere to be found within Google News pages.

Despite this, there's still one sneaky way to set up RSS feeds of your news searches. And if that doesn't work for you, you can at least start using Google News similar to an RSS reader.

Don't Look for RSS Feeds in Google News

Previously, adding an RSS feed to a category or search in Google News was easy enough to do. Unfortunately, since the changes Google News has gone through, finding that RSS feed can be difficult...because you'll have to look in an unexpected place - Google search results. Here's how to set up a Google News RSS feed:

  1. Go to www.google.com and search for the topic you want to create an RSS feed for. In this example, we're using Nutrition.

    Google search screenshot
  2. On the search results page that appears, select the News tab.

    Google results in news - screenshot
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the News results and press Create Alert.

    Google news create alert - screenshot
  4. On the Alerts page, be sure to sign in to your Google account first. Then, choose Show options towards the top of the page. 

    Google create alert screenshot

    You can also go directly to Google Alerts to create an RSS feed on any topic, include news.

  5. Next to How often, pick As-it-happens.

    Google alert choose frequency screenshot
  6. From the Deliver to drop-down menu, select RSS Feed. There are also other options you can customize in the drop-down lists in this section.

    Google deliver alert to RSS screenshot
  7. Once you're satisfied with everything, press Create Alert.

  8. Then you can select the RSS icon on the next page to copy the HTML for your feed reader. 

    Google alert created screenshot

Sign Into Your Google Account, Access Google News and Search for a Topic

Google News homepage - screenshot

Using Google News is really quite simple. As long as you use it while signed into your Google Account, all of your data will be stored there, meaning you can use it almost exactly like an RSS reader.

In a web browser, sign into your Google account (or create a new Google account if you don't have one yet). Navigate to News.Google.com.

You can either click the category sections in the left sidebar or use the search bar at the top to type in a keyword or phrase that you'd like to scour the news for. For some of the broad categories that appear in the left sidebar (such as Business, Technology, Entertainment, etc.) you'll see subcategories appear in a horizontal menu at the top of their results, which you can click to filter everything else out.

If you're more interested in stories about a very specific subject (as opposed to a broader category), it can be helpful to search for an exact phrase instead of just a word. To search for an exact phrase, include quotation marks around the phrase.

You also don't have to search for just one item at a time. The real power of Google News is that you can search for multiple items.

To search for multiple items, type in the word "OR" between the items, but do not include the quotation marks.

  • Example: "Dallas Cowboys" OR "Houston Texans"
  • Results: Any news articles or blog posts that either contains the phrase "Dallas Cowboys" or "Houston Texans"

Sometimes, you want to make sure two phrases are in a single article. This is done the same way as searching for multiple items, only you type in the word "AND" instead of "OR".

  • Example: "Dallas Cowboys" AND "Houston Texans"
  • Results: Any news articles or blog posts that either contains both the phrase "Dallas Cowboys" and the phrase "Houston Texans" in the same article or blog post

Google will then search through every website it has classified as news and bring back results for your search.

Follow and Subscribe to a Topic

Similar to searching and adding an RSS feed to your RSS reader, you can simply choose Follow at the top of your topic to add it to your Google account.

  1. Open Google News. The page is different than the News tab in your regular Google search.

  2. Choose a topic from the side menu that you'd like to follow. You can also search for a more specific topic.

  3. When you arrive on the topic results, locate and press Follow just above the listing.

    Google News topic page screenshot
  4. Once the blue start is filled in, you'll be following the topic, and you'll receive regular updates on it. You can always select Follow again to stop following it too.

    Following topic on Google News screenshot

Save Stories to Read Later and Customize Your News Experience

All you have to do to read a story is click on it and it will open in a new tab. Most RSS readers have a save feature that allows users to bookmark stories to revisit later, and Google News does too.

Google News save story screenshot

Hover your cursor over any headline, and look for the bookmark icon. Press it to save it for later.

Google News more options

You can also select the three vertical dots icon to tell Google what you do or don't like. You can choose to:

  • View full coverage for additional information from other sources on the same story;
  • Hide all stories from that specific source;
  • Like the story to get more stories like it; and
  • Dislike the story to get less stories like it.

View Your Topics and Saved Stories Under Favorites

Google News story saved screenshot

To see all the headlines for the topics you subscribed to and the stories you saved for later in the previous steps, select Favorites in the left sidebar.

Your topics will appear as cards under the Topics & Sources tab. To see your saved stories, use the horizontal menu at the top to navigate to Saved stories.

Download the Google News App

Two screenshots of the Google News app for Android.

Google News is even more powerful and fun to use on mobile platforms with the official app for iOS and Android devices.

Take your news with you on the go, see news from the topics you're interested, save stories for later and customize your entire news experience just like you would in an RSS reader. With Google News, you don't even need reader—you just need to use it like one!