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

Posted By Darren Rowse 15th of March 2013 General 0 Comments

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.
  1. I’m desperately looking for an RSS reader replacement with the same functionality. I’m not sure how many people will give up on RSS entirely who haven’t already – unless there isn’t a sustainable replacement, in which case managing RSS feeds might become too unwieldy.

  2. I don’t like the decision at all. I use Google Reader everyday and have the app installed on all my devices in addition to using the web based version. I found this article through Google reader. Would love for them to change their minds on this one.

  3. I do use Google Reader and I will miss it. there is small change google will change its mind but… we will see!

  4. Do you use Google Reader?
    Yes. I use it religiously. I work through easily 300-600 articles per day using Google Reader.

    Will you stop reading RSS feeds or will you switch to a new reader?
    I will try and find a replacement (whilst hoping the petitions for Google to retain Reader may have some traction). But, if I cannot find a new reader which offers the same ease of use, and centralised/sync’d experience, I may have to cut down on my RSS subscriptions and online reading habits.

    Which new reader will you choose?
    Not sure yet. Ever since Google Reader entered the market and lured me away from my previous RSS reader, I haven’t even been tempted to look elsewhere. Now that I am forced to, it seems that alot of the readers I had previously used have been squeezed out of the market and have thrown it in.
    It’s hard to find anything on par with Google Reader.

    As a publisher are you concerned that many of your own readers will be lost due to the retirement of Google Reader?
    I am not a publisher, but, as a reader, I will almost certainly be reducing the number of blogs/sites I visit, especially those where advertising outweighs content.

    If you’re concerned – what steps will you take to try to ensure readers transition to other ways of following your site?

  5. Darren, to answer your questions:

    1) I’ve used it for five years. I used Bloglines before, and I have a bit over 120 feeds. I trim it regularly to remove dead or irrelevant blogs.

    2) I’ll have to use another reader. The feeds I read are for entertainment, inspiration, and work. 120 is too much to use a blogroll.

    3) That has occurred to me. Not immediately I confess, but a question asked by a reader has me a little worried.

    4) I guess there are a few things I can do, mostly just harping on about it while GReader is still alive.

    I know it’s a free service, but this just feels like bad faith from Google. It reduced my desire to use their other services like Google+. Anyone know of a non-Google analytics service?

  6. Seems a puzzling decision to me. Usually Google loves to be in the spot where they can see what people are doing and reading. There must be more to the motive than simply the limited resource at the Googleplex. That sounds like PR talk to me. What’s your theory?

  7. 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)?
    Maybe. I try to get another ways to get news. An alternative to rss-readers.

    As a publisher are you concerned that many of your own readers will be lost due to the retirement of Google Reader?
    No. Do you?

    If you’re concerned – what steps will you take to try to ensure readers transition to other ways of following your site?
    Is still time to get another solutions.

  8. I am just devastated by this news. I practically live on google reader. According to my trends I average about 1500 articles read per month. It is how I keep track of the blogs that I read. Eliminate Reader and I simply won’t remember to check them all, nor do I have the time to manually visit each one to see if they have new content.

    This reminds me of when Google Notebook went down, it was like losing a part of my life hahaha.

    And just like with the loss of Notebook I am already looking around for alternatives but I fear that again I won’t find something that does it quite as well as reader. Does anyone have any suggestions? There are tons of RSS readers out there but I havent found any that are as elegantly cross platform that maintain synchronicity across all devices.

  9. I’m just swearing repeatedly. I think I’m going to switch to Feedly but it will be hard to get used to it.

  10. I’m about as upset about this as I am to learn that I can no longer purchase a black and white television, or find a chalkboard in schools.

    People are upset about this? Really? We use different tools now.

    Really? We’re

  11. Our Google overlords want to push the switch to Chrome, and killing Google Reader and iGoogle are part of their plan for World Domination.

    It’s inconvenient for us in the present, but Google is looking at the future and how to best position themselves. Chrome is their plan for the future.

  12. This really bums me out. Although I will probably switch to another form of RSS feed, Google Reader was the best hands down. It cut down many hours of keeping up to date with everything I follow. I hope they will reconsider.

  13. I’m unhappy with Google as a user of Reader. As a blogger, I used this news as an opportunity to promote my subscription list. Here’s my post.


  14. I’m honestly not shocked by it at all. Google has made some horrible choices with their products and the companies they acquire. I’m hoping that Reeder App adds iCloud support for subscriptions. If not, I’ll likely start using Feedly.

  15. I’m not happy about this at all. Google Reader is the first stop on my day’s schedule and I do not want to have to go through the mission of moving every blog I read to a new service. I have signed the petition and I really hope Google change their mind.

  16. Darren,

    I use GR and monitor about 200 feeds so I will be looking for a solid alternative. Last night I installed Feedly for Chrome and it seems solid – but I understand they will need to make changes to the backend as they are dependent on Google Reader for data.

    On my site, I plan to bump up my efforts with respect to email, you know that technology that was supposed to be dead 10 years ago, and yet seems to be an important part of the solution with respect to mobile.


  17. I have always preferred a separate application for RSS rather than a browser-based one. I started using NewsFire a couple of years ago when Seth Godin mentioned it in one of his posts. I have been encouraging the readers of my blog and email newsletter to use RSS to get updates but I have never tracked how many do. If Google Reader is retired, I will write about it after researching alternatives. I’m sure there will be many good blog posts to refer to. In fact, I link to Darren’s excellent article about RSS whenever I write about the subject. I hope you will help us all by researching RSS readers and making suggestions on how people can transition from Reader.

  18. I’ve used Google Reader since 2008, so it’s become a part of my life. Honestly, when I heard the news I assumed Reader was becoming obsolete (why else would they retire it?), so I was shocked to see here that it’s the #1 reader for RSS feeds. I’m relatively new to blogging, and I’m getting ready to launch a new one – so now I’m wondering whether I should even bother with an RSS icon at this point. Maybe I’ll wait to see how all this plays out and just build an email list in the interim. I don’t know. Anyway, as for my personal reading use, I will switch to another reader, but I’ll have to do some homework since I’m not sure what’s out there. My virtual world is shaken lol! Thanks for addressing this.

  19. Sad day for the blogosphere really. Many blogs could lose a big subscriber bases. Feedburner must be next!?

    Time to reconsider how we distribute our content really – more focus on emails and social media.

    I’ve collected all the reactions from other bloggers at http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/promotion/google-reader-shut-down/

  20. john s. says: 03/15/2013 at 1:57 am

    Rss saves me so much time… Or makes it too easy and takes all my time… Who knows but I love my Google reader. I will find another but don’t want to. There have been a few articles around mentioning some others but I always have a hard time trusting a new product that replaces one I know I like. I guess I’m a program monogamist. Anyone love their reader?

  21. I’m an avid Google Reader user, it’s how I keep up to date with Pro Blogger and I’m more than a little sad at the thought of its demise.

    Like most users I’ve spent most of today trying alternatives, which is hard as it seems all the other Google Readers are doing the same rendering most of them useless. I can’t understand why Google are killing reader off by stating the idea is to push people on to Google Plus, I use Google Plus but they’re two different things and it would make sense to at least add reader functionality into G+.

    There’s time yet to see what the alternatives are but whilst Reader may not have been full of bells and whistles, the no frills service is primarily what it’s fans want.

  22. cozygirl says: 03/15/2013 at 1:57 am

    I’m so clueless why they have choose to stop providing this…I mean what’s the point?

    I’m leaning towards moving my blog to WordPress as well. Or maybe give it all up…but starting a journey full-time RV’ing those feeds have been so valuable to me!

    Only good point is I’d sure have more free time in a day not reading all the feeds I subscribe to.

    But still not a happy camper to hear this news!!

  23. 1. Yep, I use Google Reader – I started going through the 5 stages of grief last night

    2. I’ll definitely be using a different feed reader – it’s far more convenient than visiting each website everyday to see if there’s a new post. Apparently Newsblur is meant to be just like Google Reader, but that was down last night due to everyone trying to check it out. I managed to try out Feedly and it’s looks OK so far.

    3. Yes, although hopefully the news about Google Reader will prompt them to find an alternative – there’s certainly no shortage of articles now listing different options and it sounds like they’re all trying to make it easy for people to import their current Reader feeds and settings.

    Hopefully readers will also subscribe via email if they decide not to continue using a reader.

    4. A bit closer to 1 July, we’ll probably write a post highlighting this in case any of our readers who subscribe via RSS missed the news somehow. By then, I’ll have tried out Feedly (or whatever other feed readers) enough to be able to recommend one or more of them.

  24. I’m pretty sad, but it also opens an opportunity to find a better product. I use it everyday. GR is a part of my daily research and personal study. I have hundreds of feeds and review 1000s of articles a day. It’s how I stay ahead of the game.

  25. I was quite surprised that Google announced the impending death of Reader in July. I immediately started reading reviews, and chose to go with Fever (FeedAFever). It’s easy to install in any hosting account, and allows you to have complete control over your feeds, settings, etc.. without relying on another company that could close shop or change your settings.

    So far, Fever is proving to be an almost drop-in replacement for Google Reader, with a few neat add-on options. Sure, it’s a one time fee of $30, but that is more than made up for by the flexibility and autonomy you’ll have over your feeds going forward.

    Just my 2 cents. :)

  26. I feel really bad about the fact. Not just for us loyal content consumer, but also for Google the company. We at least has some alternatives available and some of them have reacted very very fast to google’s announcement to attract users. But for google, I will say this isn’t a proper “strategic” decision to make since users loyalty are no-doubt important to today’s business. And Swiping away your clients (even free users) for your own financial purpose doesn’t even fit Google’s own “do no evil” promise. Damn, maybe they are planning to cancel google calendar in the future? Calendar also make basically no profit, right?

  27. I use Google Reader every day and have come to depend on it for my main source of information from various blogs. I definitely don’t want to see it go and will probably start using a different reader although I’m not sure which one. I’ve heard Feedly is a good one, but haven’t really looked into it yet. Do you have any recommendations?

  28. Just like Google to kill something useful that they can’t monetize well. I suspect they’ll kill off Google alerts next.

    I’m looking at feedly but it’s not the same.

    Stupid Google.

  29. Google has made a lot of stupid moves but this is the biggest one I can remember in their history of stupid moves. I have used Google Reader to consume almost 400k summaries in the past 6+ years and I am who I am because of what I’ve learned using it. No doubt this is another move to support Google+ but I think I’ll move on to a tool like Feedly. Needless to say, I’m royally pissed…

  30. Well, I signed the petition. I get most of my news via Google Reader, and it’ll be missed if / when they kill it. I understand usage is down, but I think that for those of us still using it, it’s going to be a loss. In the meantime, I *am* also using FeedDemon, so if Reader goes away altogether, at least I won’t be completely hosed…..

  31. I’m a little gutted that this service is going. I had been using it for quite some time and regularly visit it. Fortunately I started trying out Feedly recently, and that seems to a good alternative – it also syncs with Google Reader in case I wanted to switch back (which obviously isn’t going to happen now).

    I would have thought it would be a prime location for ads and promoted posts. But I guess not!

    I have a feeling Feed Burner might be next on the hit list.

  32. I’m absolutely concerned about losing readers. I’m different from the majority of your readers – I don’t blog for money. I blog for fun, because I’m an artist and a storyteller. My posting frequency varies from days in between posts to a whole month without putting up anything new, so I don’t get a lot of “check every morning” traffic. A full 80% of my traffic comes to me through RSS feeds. While losing readers for someone like me is less crucial than it is for people who make an income from blogging, it still worries me that I’ll lose readers.

  33. While I will miss Google Reader on my desktop and laptop, I will really miss the ability for other apps to sync with reader such as FeedlerRSS on iPad, and Flipboard on my iPad and Android phone. I’ve seen a lot of people saying that Flipboard/Zite/Twitter work just fine for them, but I don’t buy it. The magazine style is fine for sitting on the couch and browsing a few things, but it’s not an efficient way to manage and read hundreds of different feeds. Many of the alternatives such as NewsBlur and Feedly aren’t working due to the flood of new users from Reader, but they will be worth checking out in due time. I would imagine that other services will pop up before July. Maybe Bloglines will make a grand return?

  34. I used Google for almost everything I didn’t want to receive by email.. I will have to go back to email notifications :( just wish they don’t turn down even feedburner

  35. This news has rattled the nerves of all those who wholly rely on google reader to read the latest contents of their choice. Earlier Google ended ads from RSS feed and now this is the second brutal step. I am afraid what it is going to do further in life after Google Panda and Penguin. God bless us

  36. Google Reader has become a daily routine for me, opening a tab in my browser first thing in the morning and browsing through my selected news sources and press releases while sipping on my morning coffee. This tab stays open all day and is checked routinely, so obviously this is something that may be impacting my Internet activities. I need RSS feeds for staying on top of things and while I can surely adjust and find another way of doing so, it seems almost unnecessary for Google to cut off this outlet entirely.

    I do understand it though, as my stats suggest that my biggest source of traffic is through Twitter and Facebook. So I can’t say I’m at all surprised.

    I intend to still write a post that will let my readers know they can connect and stay up to date through the big two social networks, as well as Google+. I’ll be interested to see if Google Reader elements pop up within Google+ moving forward. If it does, this may not be a terrible outcome.

  37. Ellie says: 03/15/2013 at 2:35 am

    Google Reader has become my newspaper. It’s how I stay up on everything that I deem relevant. I’m unsure how I’ll replace Reader at this time, but I hope I can find an acceptable replacement.

    Sad Reader reader

  38. I use Google Reader all the time; it allows me to read my feeds wherever I am, so I’m REALLY DISAPPOINTED!

  39. I have to think that (1) it harms Google’s brand and (2) they’re so big it doesn’t matter to them.

  40. Yes! I’ve been using Google Reader for years! Not sure what I’ll use next. But I’m sure plenty of bloggers and tech people will write about their suggestions.

    I was using Reader to categorized and store articles. Fortunately, over the past few months I’ve switched to using Evernote to save articles.

  41. I was disappointed when I saw the pop up this morning on my Google Reader. It’s so easy to use, and I put all my subscriptions in it to avoid email overload. it’s just the perfect place to gather all the interesting blogs together and have one place to read them.

    I’ve just added Feedly to my Chrome, but not sure how it works as yet. Not sure what will happen when Reader retires.

    It’s a real shame. Do you know of any free, simple, rss readers you can recommend for us instead?

  42. I’m switching over to freely – who is going to be saving all their users lists when the shut Reader down. Basically they will be helping Google Reader users to save all their hard work. The app is a bit slow but lovely and has been the best solution that has been suggested to me so far.

  43. While the traffic at Ian’s Messy Desk is a drop in the bucket compared to ProBlogger, about 50% of my readers connect via RSS. Of those, about 80% come via Google’s feed service. I suspect there will be some impact on traffic.

    It’s also annoying to me to have to reconfigure my feed-reading process. I have Reader nicely tuned and accessible on all devices.

  44. I was pretty shocked because I know how widely used they are, but at the same time I’m not directly affected because I’ve always been a fan of Feedly when they first opened up. Feedly is still going to be running and will accept Google Reader users with open arms.

    Your third question does have me wondering though. I’m not sure if readership will take a drop simply from Google Reader disappearing. I’m hoping people who use rss readers understand the need to jump ship.

    As for prevention, there’s not much I can do. I can publish an article on it, but I’d much rather not publish something that is somewhat off-topic to my theme.

  45. I wanted to start using it on my travel blog by offering it additionally to my normal RSS feed.
    So now I can skip this! The reason, why i avoided it in the beginning is precisely this: Google is big and powerful, so I don’t want to depend on it 100%. I mean, the depency with search, analytics, webmaster-tool, etc. is already big enough, isn’t it?

  46. I use Google Reader every day to keep up with many blogs and to make sure my blog gets to many readers. I’ll have to find an alternative reader. And yes, I’m concerned about my lost readership when Google retires Reader. What are they thinking?

  47. Never used Google Reader. I use FeedDemon after trying a number of desktop RSS feed applications.

    Like the users of Google Reader, I use RSS feeds to keep up with the blogs I wish to follow (including this one). RSS feeds are a time saver for me. Read the list of new posts without visiting all the sites. You can also monitor your own social networking accounts for hacks.

    I am going to keep my RSS feeds for the die hards like me plus for the search bots. Why cut off a source of exposure just because Google dumped it’s reader?

  48. Boy Howdy am I concerned! I use Google Reader exclusively. Although I was probably going to have to find a new home page anyway since their iGoogle is going away also in November. Truly disappointing. I love Google products and their new initiatives don’t wow me as much as these two have.

    As a blogger myself, it does concern me, but mostly as a reader it does because it was a fabulous way for me to follow my favorite blogs without inundating my inbox on a daily basis.

    Sounds like a future blog post – such as you have done here – is a good way to enlighten the community on A) the impact of Google’s decision and B) how to find my blog in the new world!

  49. Disappointed but on reflection, not so surprised. Google had already stopped supporting Feedburner, so this is an unsurprising next step. I AM surprised that no one else has commented (as far as I can tell) but maybe that’s an illustration of Google’s rationale.

  50. I used to use Google Reader but switched to Thunderbird. I find it more comfortable to read feeds along with daily emails instead of while browsing. So, I guess I won’t get affected too much. However, Google Reader is the most convenient and user friendly feed reader I ever know.

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