In an announcement that seems to go against their “Don’t be evil” policy, Google has declared that Google Reader will be shut down on July 1.
Google’s official line was that they are shutting down Google Reader because it has decreased in popularity in recent years. The outcry on the internet suggests otherwise. Bloggers, tweeters, and even the community on Google+ are livid.
If you are an author and you blog, you need to care about this change. Even if you don’t use Google Reader, your faithful readers do. When Reader shuts down, you will take a hit in readership. Guaranteed.
It’s time to prepare.
Tips for Authors
Make sure your Google Authorship is set up.
Google mentioned they were shutting down Reader to pay more attention to Google+. We know that there is a huge push by Google to get authors and publishers registered with Google+ and Authorship. In the Google world, it’s all connected. The death of Google reader isn’t collateral damage. I predict that Google already has a fix up it’s sleeve and is just waiting for the right time to reveal it.
If people want your content in their inbox, fill that need by offering them a newsletter. MailChimp is free until you reach 2,000 subscribers. Best of all, it has an RSS to email option which allows you, dear author, to sit back and relax while MailChimp sends those blog posts. Make sure that the sign-up space is prominent on your site. You want as many people as possible to sign up.
Communicate the change.
Let your readers know that there are other ways to find you. When you make the switch from reader to another service, talk about it. Encourage others to do the same (while adding your blog to their reading list!). Cut down the number of people who will be surprised on July 1.
- When Reader shuts down, you will take a hit in readership. Guaranteed. – Click to tweet.
- If you are an author and you blog, you need to care about this change. – Click to tweet.
- Was Google being evil when they decided to shut down Google Reader? – Click to tweet.
- What RSS readers do you use? @AuthorMedia suggests 10. – Click to tweet.
- Ten RSS reader alternatives to Google Reader. – Click to tweet.
Tips for Readers
Get on Google+
Set up your circles to include the writers and blogs you used to follow in reader. Make sure your circles are distinct – Historical Experts, Fashion Gurus, Social Media Types, SEOs, etc.
Start aggregating your own feed via Twitter.
It may be a generational thing but more people are flocking to Twitter, Reddit, and Tumblr to get their news and information sources than anywhere else. It’s time to curate your own news feed in real time. Set up a list.
Get caught up on Facebook’s upcoming changes
Facebook announced that it was creating a personalized newspaper for every user based on their likes, interests, friends, brands, pages, and friends they followed. This means Facebook is going to morph to be a lot like your Google Reader used to be.
10 Google Reader Alternatives
Note: If you want to make the transition seamless, use Google Takeout to transfer your RSS subscriptions.
What do you think about Google’s announcement? Which RSS readers do you recommend? Do you think Google will replace Reader with something else in the future?