Duncan Riley> I wrote the other day on Google News being broken, and the further I look the worse it gets.
Naturally I subscribe to Google News Alers on blog related terms: “Blog”, “Blogs” and “Weblog”. Now in my last post on the subject I mentioned how a lot of the results are basically turning into rubbish. That still remains true. But there is something else, the alerts don’t work properly, and are slow, and are most likely a waste of time.
Why? well I won’t name the scrapper that is delivering a RSS feed to my bloglines account from Google News because I don’t want it shut down (like a lot of its predecessors), but if you’re really keen you can find the link on Nick W’s always excellent Thread Watch, which is where I discovered it. But what the scrapper shows me is that Google News Alerts are broken as well. Basically, the delay from a news story being posted on Google to the Alert being delivered varies between 3-12 hours, and that’s if you even get it at all. That’s right: the scrapper is delivering more results than the Alerts on the same search terms, although I must add that like most things on Google News at the moment, a lot of it’s irrelevant to the term searched. None the less, if a 3rd party scrapper can do a better job than Google News Alerts it’s probably time to reduce the clutter in my inbox and unsubscribe. Not good enough Google.