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What’s Your Reaction to the Retirement of Google Reader?

Yesterday Google announced the retirement of their Google Reader RSS reader product.

I’ve tweeted a little about it but thought it might be interesting to see the response of readers to this news. it seems at least some people are concerned (with thousands signing this petition already).

For me it is annoying to lose the RSS reader that has become a part of my daily reading of new content on the web – however what is of greater concern to me is the impact it could have upon blog readerships.

Last time I surveyed ProBlogger and dPS reader Google Reader was the #1 reader for subscribing RSS feeds among our readers. While there are many other options out there and some of our readers will no doubt switch to another RSS reader I suspect that some will simply give up on RSS.

Last time I checked ProBlogger’s Google Analytics stats around 7.5% of our traffic was classified as ‘Feedburner/Feed’ traffic. By no means the majority of our traffic – but significant (more than comes from either Facebook or Twitter).

While not all of the 7.5% of traffic will be the result of Google Reader it’ll be interesting to see how much of it is once Google switch it off in July!

What do you think?

  • Do you use Google Reader?
  • If so will you stop reading RSS feeds or will you switch to a new reader (if so, which one)?
  • As a publisher are you concerned that many of your own readers will be lost due to the retirement of Google Reader?
  • If you’re concerned – what steps will you take to try to ensure readers transition to other ways of following your site?
About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Richard Ng says:

    I guess the social media integration has taken over the RSS. Personally I do not use Google Reader but one of the way is to create a post about this upcoming change and encourage the current reader to subscribe to other channel like Social Network, Email etc…

    Cheers!

  2. Sue Waters says:

    My concerns are more if we need to worry about them discontinuing Feedburner at the same time as Google Reader. Does this worry you and if so, what plans are you putting in place?

    Been checking out the different Google Reader alternatives for our users and Feedly seems the best due to the smooth transition and nice interface.

    • Hi Sue. For an excellent replacement for FeedBurner, have a look at FeedBlitz.com. They have a free pdf manual for migrating from FeedBurner to FeedBlitz. FeedBlitz is a feed reader that integrates social media, email newsletters campaigns, and RSS feed tracking.

      In regards to a replacement for Google Reader, like you, I started using Feedly. The interface is minimal, but you can configure your layout, which is good. But I’m more comfortable with Google Reader.

      In regards to Darren’s questions – for readers that subscribe to my feeds, I would have to notify them, probably through my email newsletter, and encourage them to find an alternate Google Reader. I could make a few suggestions. I’ll have to think about that a little more. It’s a good question.

      • Sue Waters says:

        Hi Randy,

        Have considered FeedBlitz.com and it is a good option for pro bloggers. Our users are educational bloggers and only a small portion of them will be using Feedburner. It may be that we give them the option to use FeedBlitz if they prefer.

        Feedly will solve most of what our users need although we have quite a few that use public pages to share bundles from Google Reader. Loss of public pages and easily search inside Google Reader will probably be their biggest frustrations.

  3. marty says:

    I have been hearing the rumors for a while I a more annoyed than anything else.I think this just shows that you should never put never put all your eggs in one basket

  4. Heric Dehon says:

    Well… i became completely lost, at all. Google Reader qwas really important to me. So important that i have 325 subscriptions on it. Obviously i never read ir all. But they are there…

    I´ve spent the day looking for alternatives. Tryed Bloglines, The Old Reader and Prismatic (this one sucks). Than i tryed feedly and now i am really satisfied! In fack, Google made me a favor :)

  5. Lenny says:

    We are dependent on free tools from companies that don’t owe us anything. We are terrible customers who don’t pay for anything. While Google doesn’t really need the money, there are plenty of other companies I use every day that I might want to start paying for, such as Dropbox, Google Apps, Problogger…. :)

  6. Ryan says:

    I am a little worried, but I made a backup xml of my rss feeds just in case they do cancel the service. This way I can re-import them to my favorite RSS reader, GRUML on the Mac.

  7. I use Greater at least a dozen times a day. Almost every RSS subscriber I have comes from Greater. I’m passed to put it politely!

  8. danggiakhang says:

    I am so sad first time I read this news. I am wondering why Google decided to do this? Please consider carefully.

    Thanks.

  9. I think that in addition to this, google will be slowly removing its other services.

    For anyone using Google feedburner on their blog to manage their email subscriptions, you seriously need to consider getting a new provider like MailChimp or Aweber.

  10. I only used Reader a little bit, but it was a useful reference area – kind of back-up storage where I used to dump any feeds I was interested in. I now use Feedly, but think I would prefer the layout if it was more like Reader!

    cheers,

    Jon.

  11. We are all human beings. A time comes when you just cannot keep up with this ever changing technologies. Therefore I would not even bother to learn the new Google Reader. This is because, by the time you have mastered how it works Google change it again.

  12. Mike Ramm says:

    I was unpleasantly surprised. I use Google Reader every day and for me it is the best way to keep track of all interesting blog publications that I follow. I made some research today and I couldn’t find any other tool that is as simple and useful as Google Reader. I still have no solution for GR replacement.

  13. Euforilla says:

    I’m glad there are so many comments here, so many suggestions to look up as alternatives!

    At first I thought “Bloglovin’” might be a solution, but I do not like the fact that it links to other pages with a url that starts with “bloglovin”, I don’t know how it will affect eventual ads & co!

  14. Chris says:

    This is quite annoying. It is simple being able to use lots of services from within a google account. And now I need to go elsewhere to read my subscriptions, meaning I now have to sign-up for yet another account. I don’t think this is necessarily a massive loss long-term, just an annoying inconvenience. I still think though that RSS is still miles better for following a blog then using twitter.

  15. Santel says:

    I don’t use much of it but I did have a good list of website in it. Currently I used Feedly that synchronize to my Good Reader.

    I just learned also that once you synchronize your Good reader with Feedly, it can work independently even Good Reader dies.

    I don’t see it as a big drama.

  16. I’m disappointed by the news. I use Google Reader everyday and now have to find a replacement. For me, it’s just a comfort thing. Part of my routine.

    I’ve heard a few people mention newsblur but haven’t decided on replacement yet.

  17. That was shocking!! “WTF they do?” I spend more time on Google reader than GMail and G+ combined.
    My thinking in reflects in this video http://mashable.com/2013/03/14/hitler-google-reader/

  18. karen says:

    I used to use GR but got depressed when I saw 1000′s of posts that I never had the time to read. So I stopped using it. Now I have feeds delivered to my inbox. And there are sites that I signed up with my email, like ProBlogger. So personally, it doesn’t bother me.

    But the potential of losing readers bother me a bit. I’m hoping that social media channels will fill that gap if there are on the usual ones. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Linked In…..

    I saw the writing on the wall when there was a rumor about Feedburner discontinuing last year so I concentrate on email subs. This was one of the reasons why email subs is so important. You have control over the platform. I’ll be posting a short note on my blog, asking people to subscribe by email instead of relying on Google Reader.

  19. Annie André says:

    I heard rumors of google ending their feedburner service. Now it all makes sense. What else do they have in the hopper and plan to cancel. I just don’t understand why they would end this since so many people rely on it and makes me question if google Plus will be around much longer too?

  20. Joan Nova says:

    I immediately ‘googled’ and found alternatives. I chose netnewswire. The transition was simple and it immediately synched with my google reader subscriptions – and I’m already accustomed to it. Don’t wait till July 1 – make the switch now.

    I am concerned, however, more if feedburner bites the dust because email subscribers are generally not as savvy and will probably be lost. rss readers will find another source like I did.

  21. Nuvofelt says:

    I always found RSS feeds really irritating. I never used Google reader, I’m interested to know how many other people feel the same as me.

    • Totally agree. No loss to me–though I recently learned of combinations with Google reader that converted the reading experience into something more similar to magazine reading…just never got around to marrying the two options up.

      I’ve always been of the opinion that a reader should be an invisible tool–a process that enhances my ability to consume the content I’m interested in. Google reader has always come across as too clunky and obtrusive a process, to me.

  22. Shawna says:

    I’ve used Google Reader every single day for the past couple years to keep up with the blogs I follow. While I was initially disappointed upon learning that Google was retiring Reader, I let in sink in for a day and then read a few articles on alternatives. I LOVE Feedly. It’s nice they’re making a smooth transition for Reader users. I love the interface, the options and the social sharing toolbar. The mobile app for Android is pretty slick too. I couldn’t be happier! So long, Google Reader!

  23. Sandra says:

    Just switched to Feedly – easy peasy! And actually – my first impression is that I like it better. Especially on my iPad.

    Yeah! My world is back in it’s proper orbit.

  24. At first I was bummed out, because I count on Reader so much, but then I realized that this is great, because…

    1) every month, my reader resets and pulls in feeds I unsubscribed from ages ago and I have to go in and clean it up, bummer – because it would also drop feeds that I had subscribed to recently

    2) I was able to stop following blogs I haven’t visited in a long time and go to my favorite blogs and follow them via email

    Basically, I spent 15 minutes yesterday cleaning up my feed and signing up for my favorite blogs. I think this is a great way to go for me.

  25. Is feedburner going away too? What happens to those who get the feed via email?

    I’m trying to better understand the implications. Anyone know more?

  26. Jose Capelo says:

    I was sad at first but there are quite a few good alternative out there though!

  27. I commented on this yesterday and my post was moderated and never released. I’ve been reading and commenting here for years, so I am wondering if there is a reason my posts are still modded. I don’t believe I have ever posted anything problematic.

    Thanks.

  28. Alexis says:

    I don’t want more stuff in my inbox so Google Reader for me was an indispensable way to keep tabs on great blogs (like yours) without the email clutter. Those that don’t make the Reader cut get bookmarked but I almost never go dig around in there.

    I’m going to have to check out Feedly or one of the other products because I’m not ready to go from RSS reader to hundreds of newsletters in my inbox. I get why Google is making the move but I think cutting well-regarded and popular products doesn’t do much do endear people to the brand. It creates this “why invest in their technology when they might kill it at some point in the future forcing me to move to hassle with porting to something new?”

  29. I was horrified to see that pop-up this morning! I have 390 subscriptions in Reader and spend time there multiple times throughout the day. I love it because I can easily tag/categorize posts, keep track of reference materials, recipes, comments I’ve left on other blogs, use the star feature for particularly interesting or important posts, etc. I can’t even begin to imagine following all of those blogs by e-mail – just WON’T HAPPEN. Time to start checking out other options, but I’m seriously bummed! Plus Reader was an easy way for me to Stumble posts from blogs that don’t have the Stumble button, to see ALL of their posts if they don’t have an index, etc. Sigh … :(

  30. Maria says:

    The news bothered me at first but also helped me discover a few other readers that seem to have some nice and helpful features. I’ve made a back up and I’m ready to move on :-P I think I’ll start using feedly..

  31. Felicia says:

    My computer was just resurrected today after being down for two days – had to wait for the new part and the technician to replace it. So I only got the notice about Reader today. I use it every day and have no clue about other services mentioned here and how to use them. Maybe I’m just getting old but I’m having more and more trouble keeping up with almost daily updates,upgrades, cancellations, changes and everything else “newer and better” in the internet universe! Here we go again …

  32. Flora says:

    It sucks. I really like Google Reader and use it all the time. I will still use a reader, but not sure which one. Maybe ‘The Old Reader.’
    I also hate it that google is getting rid of igoogle as a homepage. It was a very handy tool for having all my favorite feeds visible. I have no alternative for that either. :(

  33. Flora says:

    PS… I just switched to feedly. It was seamless, easy and it is visually way more interesting and has better features. Yes!!!

  34. Jim Logan says:

    Although I live in the Google eco-system and am even writing this comment from a Chromebook, I never really liked Reader. I use NetVibes as an RSS reader, finding it easy to use and great at organizing RSS feeds to quickly scan the few dozen sites I routinely follow. I highly recommend NetVibes.

  35. Debbie says:

    As others have said; Feedly offers an easy transition and the features are better! I just switched over.

  36. K.Singh says:

    I have been using Google Reader for many years now, pretty much from the time I first started blogging. My first reaction was shock and disbelief and a little bit of panick. But my panick is not that much to do with Google Reader itself as at the end of the day its easily replaceable. The main reason for panicking is a realisation that soon Feedburner may be discontinued too, which has been a rumour for quite some time. Now, that will be a major concern for most of us, as I am sure you will all agree.

  37. Sandra says:

    I’ve migrated my feed to feedly, I foind about it reading these post comments and I have to say it’s much better than Google Reader!

  38. eliza huie says:

    I was very disapointed. It does raise concerns not only how I will easily and conveniently access blogs I read but also concerned about my subscribers to my blog. I have begun to look for new options but wish google would just keep it.

  39. Sinea Pies says:

    I am very concerned. I wrote a post, soon as a I heard about it, with a link to another blog that named some alternatives. Doesn’t mean they are the BEST alternatives.

    My greater concern is Feedburner. If that goes away, then many of us have to regroup. One thing I’ve learned as even large companies are going out of business, somebody else comes to take its place. Often they have a better product…a better idea. If that’s the case, GOOGLE perhaps should rethink this. They just may bring about some competition they’d not expected.

  40. Kashif says:

    I believe by retiring Reader, Google is trying to shift users to Google+. Although I’m not sure if its going to work.

    I am already using Feedly, what a relief.

  41. Mary Corbet says:

    I was sorry to hear about Reader because I use it daily, but I figure that, when we rely on free services, we don’t really have much say in it when these services get the ax. Feedly is a good alternative – just a matter of getting used to it.

    The majority of my subscribers are e-mail subscribers, but I do have about 3,500 readers who subscribe via feed. My plan is to send out an “invitation” in a blog post (that won’t be sent to my email subscribers), to subscribe via e-mail for those who use Google Reader. For those who don’t want the influx of a daily e-mail, I’ll make a few recommendations for different RSS readers.

    Seems in my niche, people are switching to a reader called “Bloglovin,” but I wasn’t too keen on it.

  42. Mubi Rana says:

    Google reader was a good thing but i havn’t used it to many times.
    May Be i’m and people are more interested in reading the content on the website not in reader….

  43. Noelle says:

    I’ve used Google reader every day for the past 5 years, so I definitely wasn’t happy when I first heard the announcement. I don’t think I can switch to feedly, as I have over 1000 feeds, and it would probably crash my browser, (not only that, but accessibility is an issue for me.) I exported my subscriptions from reader this morning, my plan is to wait 3 months, (to see if anything better develops,) then start testing things, (and eventually make the switch, but hopefully before July 1st!)

  44. I’m disappointed at this news, as I use Google Reader on a regular basis. Not sure what I’ll do to replace it. I do have some blogs on yahoo pages, but they often don’t update or get cut off–its not reliable. I’m trying to remember to transfer all my Google Reader feeds to email subscriptions, but I like having feeds all in one place, not randomly arriving in my mailbox.

  45. Chris says:

    People don’t subscribe to blogs because Google Reader exists. They subscribe because they want to read the blogs. I left GR months ago–I didn’t like its layout and functionality. After trying several readers I have settled on Feedly. It is slick, does what I need it to. I think it is a stupid move on Google’s part, but it doesn’t mean the sky is falling on subscriptions.

  46. Brian Thompson says:

    Digg is making a google reader replacement. http://blog.digg.com/post/45355701332/were-building-a-reader

  47. My reaction? I’m very unhappy. Google Reader was simple and suited my needs just fine. It seems like a completely foolish move on Google’s part to remove this product and I don’t understand it. I’m also annoyed that I now get to spend precious writing time researching reader alternatives. Totally lame.

  48. Janet Joseph says:

    I am very upset about the Google reader disappearing. For me Google was like a straight hard shot of neat news, no ice and no chaser. I think that we should bring it back because it was very beneficial for all of us.

  49. Danny Howard says:

    I’m really gutted that Google Reader is shutting down because I always login every morning to catch all new reads that keeps me updated within my local market.

    I’ve now switched to a service called the older reader, that is just like Google Reader, I’ve tried othe RSS readers free and now paid but for me it’s all about the design and logout of how I use and read new information.