Last week I wrote an article about how to easily make lots of RSS feeds for the Bing News search engine.
I wrote that because I wanted to use Bing more, so it should follow that when I made those RSS feeds, I actually started using those RSS feeds.
And after using them for over a week, I wanted to return with a followup and a warning:
There will be crud.
I mentioned in an even earlier article about Bing News that there was weirdness in the search results. What I’m seeing in the RSS feeds, only magnified a bit. For example:
Those are not two news stories, but pages from PayPal. Or this:
One PayPal page, one randomish-looking Web page.
Why is this happening? I have two theories:
- I am limiting these RSS feeds by country. If a country doesn’t generate a lot of results on its own, the random pages will be a lot more obvious. On the other hand, if a country generates lots of results, you won’t notice the junk so much.
- I’m using a very common keyword (database). I suspect if I were using multiple keywords or a less-general keyboard, I would be getting less junk in the search results.
Does this mean I’m going to stop using the Bing News RSS feeds? Absolutely not. They’re not perfect – in addition to the crud factor I get stories presented as new when they’re actually months or even years old – but at the same time I’m finding stories and pointers that aren’t showing up in my regular resources. For that reason I’ll be tolerant of the crud when it pops up.
If you want to use Bing News RSS feeds but have a lower crud tolerance than I do, I recommend choosing keywords as specific as possible, and if you want to use the location option, consider pre-screening the country list and removing those countries with lower frequencies of relevant news.