How to Use Google News Like an RSS Feed Reader

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

A screenshot of the Google News website on a computer.
Photo © gmutlu / Getty Images

If you previously used Google News RSS feeds dating back to 2016 or earlier, you may have 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. However, 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

Screenshots showing how to create a GoogleNews RSS feed in Google Alerts

 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.
  2. On the search results page that appears, click the News tab.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the News results and click Create Alert.
  4. On the Alerts page, click Show options
  5. From the Deliver to drop-down menu, choose RSS Feed. There are also other options you can customize in the dropdown lists in this section.
  6. Once you're satisfied with your alter, click Create Alert.
  7. Then you can select the RSS button on the next page to copy the HTML for your feed reader. 

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

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

A screenshot of News.Google.com.
News.Google.com.

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.

Click the Follow Button to Subscribe to a Topic

A screenshot showing how to follow a topic on News.Google.com.
How to follow a topic on News.Google.com.

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

The Follow button will say Following if you choose to follow it. You can always click it again to unfollow it anytime.

Save Stories to Read Later and Customize Your News Experience

A screenshot of the story options on a news story at News.Google.com.
Story options on a news story at News.Google.com.

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

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

You can also click 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

A screenshot of the Favorites tab on News.Google.com.
The Favorites tab on News.Google.com.

To see all the headlines for the topics you subscribed to and the stories you saved for later in the previous steps, click on 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.
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!

Updated by: Elise Moreau