Blocking Private RSS Feeds


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Bloglines had proposed a new standard to prevent search engines from reading and returning your private RSS feeds in searches.

we are proposing (and have implemented) an RSS and ATOM extension that allows publishers to indicate the distribution restrictions of a feed. Setting the access restriction to ‘deny’ will indicate the feed should not be re-distributed. In Bloglines, we’ll use this to prevent the display of the feed information or posts in search results or any other public venue. If other readers and aggregators use the information in the same way, and publishers of feeds, including services that let users create feeds, implement this standard, we could make significant progress toward making feeds truly safe for non-public information.

For now, this means if you specify these settings Bloglines (and will not return these feeds in their searches.

From TechCrunch:

The proposed standard will allow XML/RSS/Atom feed publishers to keep their feeds out of search engines and unavailable for discovery by adding an access:restriction tag to the top of their feeds. Bloglines and Ask now support this tag and will keep feeds tagged as restricted out of their search and subscription results.

You’ll be able to pass a private feed URL to a friend you want to subscribe, but your prospective employer will not find it in participating search engines if you have a private account.

I have mixed feelings on this. I think it’s wonderful that they would think of this, and the fact that it will allow those with private feeds a chance to keep them private … but if you don’t want people to discover the content in the first place, why publish it on the internet? Or at least why publish it with your name attached? Why not publish anonymously? Maybe I am just thinking backwards…

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2 Responses to Blocking Private RSS Feeds

  1. Michael Junge says:

    It’s a general misconception that everything on the internet is or should be available to every one.
    I have lots of stuff out there that you won’t find in any search engine or indexing engine. My family photos are not public . One of my blogs doesn’t concern anybody else than my climbing bodies and me.
    Unfortunately today I can’t use RSS on either photo albums or private blogs because I can’t hide the feeds from aggregators and search engines.
    I would very much like that, and I’m happy to read about these proposals.

    :-) Michael

  2. Tom says:

    cool blog!

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