RIP Google Reader, External Keyword Tool is Next

Google Reader RIP

Click to open full infographic – Wordstream

Today Google has retired Google Reader joining a long list of other Google products that have been discontinued. See a full list by clicking the Wordstream infographic to the right.

The reason offered by Google: “usage of Google Reader has declined, and as a company we’re pouring all of our energy into fewer products.”

I suppose it’s to be expected when you have an organizational culture where 20% of your time can be spent experimenting on new projects. Of those that make it to market as betas, many will not become viable as contributions to the business.  Luckily, in the case of Google Reader there are plenty of alternatives like Feedly.

Top SEO Blogs on Google Reader

As reported on Techcrunch, Scobelizer, Problogger and others, you can now see (albeit maybe not 100% accurately) how many Google Reader RSS subscribers there are for a particular blog. There appears to be some discrepancy between Google Reader subscribers reported by Google Reader and those numbers reported by Feedburner.

We’ve previously published a list of search marketing blogs by Feedburner RSS subscribers, so for fun I thought we’d post that same list of SEO blogs by Google Reader subscribers:

  • John Battelle’s Search Blog – 35,976
  • Search Engine Watch – 5,862
  • SEOmoz – 4,589
  • Search Engine Land – 3,910
  • Search Engine Roundtable – 2,843
  • Pronet Advertising – 2,308
  • ShoeMoney – 2,238
  • Search Engine Journal – 2,181
  • Online Marketing Blog – 1,952

Google Reader Tip: Show Only New Items

If you’re an active feed reader, you may feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of feeds in your reader at times. An easy way to slim down the number without removing any, is to show only feeds that have new posts.

If you’re using Google Reader, click on the Show: updated link. This will then hide any feeds and folders that don’t have something new to offer. Plus, as you read through feeds, once you have all items marked as read, they disappear from the sidebar. Not only does it make you feel a bit better about the number of feeds you track but it also helps those that have unread items stand out a bit more.

Google Reader 1

Google Reader Extreme Makeover

One of my favorite designers (that I only know about due to his blog) is Jon Hicks and he’s just released an amazing Google Reader theme.

Google Reader Makeover

The theme cleans up Googles interface so that it makes a better use of the space and polishes it up quite a bit. Jon has re-worked Bloglines in the past and was hoping he’d re-work Google Reader eventually. I tried to create a custom theme for Google Reader once, but gave up a short time later. My CSS skills are good, but Jon’s are amazing.

The Google Reader theme is Mac like (which is one reason why I really like it) and very professional looking. A great makeover!

You can download the files and the install instructions from hicksdesign and have a fancy looking Google Reader in no time.

Will Google Squash Digg?

There’s a bit of a meme going around regarding the potential use of Google Reader as an alternative to digg. The idea is to be able to view the the most popular shared feeds. Steve Mermelstein starts out with a post, “Google Reader Could be a Digg Killer” which caught the attention of prominent bloggers Steve Rubel and Robert Scoble with nice roundup by Jason Lee Miller from WebProNews.