I often click on a post's feed, so as to go to the post's site, just to make sure I'm not reading outdated information. Does Google Reader update the post's contents, so I don't have to keep doing this?
Simple answer is no.
More complex answer is...
As far as I know, Google Reader is only a RSS reader. A good one, but only a reader. If you don't know the RSS format (or Atom, for that purpose, there is no difference), just follow me a little.
A RSS file contains a list of dated events. Basically, in a feed, there are some infos for each event:
- event date
- event name
- event source URL
- event text
What Google Reader displays is the event text. And absolutely no source site text content. However, there are some cases where the source site can send new events when the content is modified. In such cases, Google Reader will display both events, with different text.
According to Tshepang
I just tested now. Can you add to your answer that if one updates a post, and then refreshes Reader (by clicking on the Refresh button), the Reader contents are indeed refreshed. Note that sometimes this is instant, and sometimes takes minutes
Not unless the URL back to the source has changed since Google Reader took its copy of the feed item.
When the RSS reader grabs a feed, it will be a copy of it as it was at that time. The only reason why a reader would download a new version of the post is if it detects a new feed item with a
<link> value that it doesn't already have.
But, it will only download a new copy and won't update an existing feed item.
This is why if your favourite blog moves domains you'll see a repeat of old posts turning up as "new" in your feedbox. That's because according to the URL of the posts and items, they are new. Even if it's the same body content.