yasmine's picture
R.I.P. Google Reader Say goodbye to Google Reader, which will be shutting down July 1, 2013 according to Google's blog. By now, this announcement isn't news. In fact, our social media channels were in an uproar when the news first hit as we're sure yours was as well. Most of us consume our information through RSS. Obviously, it's not the only platform that allows us to but it's the most popular. I couldn't find the exact number of users Google Reader has for this post but it's safe to say it's in the tens of millions. As users and bloggers ourselves, we're concerned about finding a viable alternative and losing our readers as many others are. Before we get into solutions for these issues, it's worth taking a moment to discuss the reason Google cited for retiring the service, stating "...over the years usage has declined." We've seen many articles speculate it's due to an effort to push more users to consume information through the floundering Google+ instead. While we'll likely never know for sure, it's worth noting that the methods we use to consume news has changed. RSS is NOT dead by any means as it has been contemplated by many authors. In actuality, our dependency for information discovery has widened. We're spending more and more time on social networks and as a result, we've relying on them for the latest news. Think about how often you discovered a breaking story on Twitter/Facebook, or a new job posting on LinkedIn before you opened your RSS reader? While RSS readers are best for aggregating articles and allowing you to quickly scan headlines, it doesn't beat instant gratification. All is not lost and as I alluded to in the title, there are solutions to keep your audience engaged and to ensure you minimize the impact of your site traffic. The best way to start is to push your readers to subscribe to your content by email. It provides you with more control and possessing an email list also gives you more opportunities to reach your audience. Add an RSS to Email tool to your site which will allow your readers to get notified of your posts directly by email as soon as new content is published vs. having to manually check themselves. You may want to look into our own free RSS to Email tool that can be set up within a couple of minutes.

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Also, don't forget what we mentioned above - add social sharing buttons to your site if you don't have them already, continue to build your online networks, and optimize your posts for sharing. These should be things you're doing continuously to grow your audience. Finally, check out these 5 Google Reader alternatives listed by Lifehacker for yourself if you're an active user of Google Reader. How does Google Reader shutting down impact you?
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