Google had added a new section to the Google Discover help documents around markup you can use to define your RSS feed for Chrome to use for the “follow” feature. In May, Google Chrome announced an RSS reader like feature for Chrome named Follow.
In the new section in the help docs Google describes the feature and tells us how to optimize the site for it, the guidelines and how to handle multiple feeds.
The Chrome Follow feature lets people follow a website and get the latest updates from that website in the Following tab within Discover in Chrome. This is being called the new Google Reader, but it is far from Google Reader, to be honest. Currently, the Follow button is an experimental feature that’s available to some users in English in the US that are using Chrome Android Beta.
Here is what it looks like:
By default, the Follow feature uses RSS or Atom feeds on your website. If you don’t have an RSS or Atom feed on your website, Google automatically generates a feed for your entire domain based on our view of your site. If you have one or more feeds on your website, you can optimize your Follow experience by explicitly telling Google which feed you want people to follow for a given page on your site.
Here are the Follow feature RSS guidelines:
- Don’t block your feed with your robots.txt file.
- Make sure that your feed is up-to-date, like you would for sitemap files.
- You can host your feed somewhere other than your domain; Google supports this.
- If you redirect your feed, use a 3xx (redirects) HTTP status code so that Google can follow it.
So check out those docs if you want to make sure people see the correct feed from your site.
Forum discussion at Twitter.