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Google Reader Reveal Subscriber Numbers to Feeds

Posted By Darren Rowse 15th of October 2007 RSS 0 Comments

Google Reader have just started showing how many readers are subscribing to an RSS feed in a similar way to the way that Bloglines have been showing subscriber numbers for years now.

The subscriber numbers can be seen simply by doing a search for a blog’s name after clicking the ‘Add Subscription’ link once you’ve logged into your Google Reader account.

Keep in mind that the numbers are not total subscriber numbers – just those subscribing via Google Reader (some are saying it could include other Google RSS subscribing services like iGoogle).


via Daily Blog Tips.

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 and LinkedIn.
  1. It’s a cool idea but not ideal. For my blog (The Gospel According To Rhys), it shows that I have only 3 subscribers, whereas it has my blog title, but blogcatalog’s feed showing close to the number of subscribers I have on google (according to feedburner it’s around the 170-180 mark, Google’s subscriber feature shows 181).

    Of course, it could be correct and feedburner wrong, I’m just confused! :)

  2. There’s a serious disconnect between these numbers and Feedburner, even when you add in iGoogle numbers which are listed on the iGoogle pages.

  3. That and needing to search for each feed is annoying. (instead of just listing it next to the ones you have subscribed to.)
    And once you search, you have to keep hitting the back button to search others because there is no re-search box available…

  4. This is a very good tool to monitor one’s blog activities, and the best thing is that, it’s free.

  5. FeedBurner stats are the only numbers I care about.

  6. I’m with Chris on this one. For subscriber counts to make sense, we need a centralized way to monitor/track it. Doing individual searches is interesting (for finding new feeds to subscribe to), but for watching our own subscriber stats, a tool like FeedBurner is much more useful.

  7. i tried to check the number as per your instruction in the second paragraph. but could not do it properly.
    could anybody help

  8. It is because not everyone uses Google Reader for their RSS feeds. So I’ll stick with FeedBurner.

  9. I don’t know if I like that very much, I don’t want poeple thinking my site is trash because I have a low count somewhere that is not even accurate.

  10. OK I must be missing something obvious. I don’t see those stats in Google Reader anywhere. Darren, can you elaborate?

  11. The thing i don’t like about that is it seems to give the count of people that have subscribed through google reader and not the total count of subscribed members.

  12. Umm… how do you get your Feedburner URL to be the one that shows up in the search? Mine is listed as the default “URL/feed”, but that’s not the one that I use or promote. As a result, I’m showing a whopping 43 subscribers, when I’ve actually got about 600 (and nearly half of those are from Google Reader). Not only that, but I don’t even show up in the search for “photography”!

  13. Too bad the numbers are still way off from what Feedburner reports as the total number of Google users.

  14. Feedburner reports the numbers from Google Feedfetchers, which should include other RSS clients from Google and not just Google Reader alone.

    Also, the point here is that this numbers are public for any feed. If a website does not use Feedburner you could estimate their RSS readership unless using a reader like Bloglines or not Google Reader.

  15. Ah OK thanks Daniel.

  16. This is interesting, we have just started up a blog that focuses on clueless managers http://www.antigrind.com (shameless plug) and we have found the same disconnect between Feedburner and Google Readers.

    Will definitely keep an eye on this topic.

  17. Those numbers are WAY off for my blogs. Like, not even close to accurate.

  18. This is great, but Problogger’s howto is not a good one and hard to follow: “The subscriber numbers can be seen simply by doing a search for a blog’s name after clicking the ‘Add Subscription’ link once you’ve logged into your Google Reader account.”

    Here is how to get those numbers for a particular blog feed in 3 steps: http://pimm.wordpress.com/2007/10/14/how-to-get-the-number-of-feed-subscribers-via-google-reader/

  19. Yes, I’m also showing a big discrepancy between Google Reader and Feedburner. 1,952 vs 3,613.

  20. I guess this shows that the ways that the big guys count rss fed subscriptions has a few discrepancies in the algorithms

  21. I had all the different feeds installed in my blog but took it off. I thought that simplicity is the key to getting more RSS subscribers.

    I sure do hope that I can attract as much subscribers as you.

    Carlo Selorio

  22. This doesn’t show my subscriber numbers in a good light, but then I check Feedburner and see 2600+, so I suspect it’s not a live nor accurate count…


  23. Hummm. I’m not seeing the number in google reader.. ? :|
    I try searching for something… Are you talking about the search bar on top of google reader ? :S

  24. Dr. Sophia H. (professor of English; Georgia State University) says: 10/17/2007 at 9:18 pm

    How can we expect a reader to accept our advice as credible and valuable if we do not have a basic command of the language we use to impart our message? In fact, it has been proven that a reader who has to stumble and pick their way through bad writing will NOT only abandon the effort to read with comprehension, but will likewise NOT reccomend that writer to their associates.

    PLEASE CORRECT your verb tense usage. It is unsettling to read your posts and have to stumble through your verbage because of improper grammar; I literally cannot focus on your message because my brain is busy EDITING your work–so your point is lost. If you will:

    Distinguishing between Present Perfect and Present Perfect Progressive verb tense: use present perfect tense to indicate actions begun in the past and either completed at some unspecified time in the past or continuing in the future, i.e: ‘Uncontrolled logging has destroyed many forests.’ (NOT:have destroyed)

    Use present perfect progressive to indicate an ungoing action begun in the past and continuing into the present, i.e: ‘The two sides HAVE been trying to settle the case out of court.’ (NOT: has been trying) The subject is the ‘two sides’. (Basically the correct English usage for a modifier is that it comes AFTER the subject, not before).

    MOST importantly, as EVERY credible writer is aware: your subject MUST agree with the verb in order for the verb to work as a modifier. Now: your headline, in its current state, suggests that Google Reader is plural (more than one) because you are using reveal in its active tense AND as a modifier (after your subject) but because Google Reader is in fact NOT many persons, or many events taking individual action, but is a SINGLE unit operating on or for something else, your headline should read:

    Google Reader Reveals Subscriber Numbers to Feeds–the s must be added to Reveal because you have constructed your clause so that Google Reader is your subject, NOT subscriber numbers. Likewise, Bloglines is NOT many persons or events but is ONE single entity; thus, its modifier MUST be active and (present perfect): ‘…Bloglines HAS been showing subscriber numbers for years now ‘ (NOT: have been). You could use have ONLY if your subject is passive (THEY have been showing subscriber numbers for years.) But because your subject (Bloglines) is active and present, and in this instance, is operating as a SINGLE entity, not many, you must obey the rules of basic English grammar and apply the correct verb tense as a modifier.

    Thanks to: The Everyday Writer (third edition). Might I also suggest you purchase this valuable resource and keep it at your beck and call. Now, back to the important business of writing and imparting wisdom to the knowledge-seekers. *;-)
    Keep writing (just do it well).

    Dr. Sophia H. of Georgia State University

  25. Usage of is and are when referring to collective entities varies from place to place. One might hear an American say, for instance, “U2 is a great band” whereas to British ears it would sound more correct to say, “U2 are a great band”. I saw another band’s website. In Canada things are different again, Rock trio Rush have the following line on their official news site – “Rush kicks off their tour of the UK and Europe…” They/It are/is trying to have it both ways, at once a single entity and a plural collective.

    Now, tell me, aside from the implications for personal taste, does this sound right to you: “The Beatles is a great band”?


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