Yesterday we reported that Google was going to start providing the number of subscribers to a feed each time it went to fetch it. Like other online feed readers many people might subscribe to a feed, but Google only goes to fetch it at specified intervals. Then, when you want to read a specific feed it shows you the version that it last retrieved. From what I can tell Google Reader updates its local (a.k.a. cached) version of the feed every 1 to 4 hours, which is perfect for the casual user.

This morning I woke up and wanted to see what our Google numbers looked like, and it caught me a little off guard. I knew that we had a pretty big Google fan base but I was really shocked to see Google take up the largest portion of our subscriber pie chart with 30%:

Feed Subscribers

So that got me curious…I wanted to know how other sites were affected, particularly the ones with already large subscriber amounts. I picked several sites to compare yesterday’s subscriber count to today’s using a Netvibes module that I made several months back. Using it you can enter in several different FeedBurner ID’s and it will retrieve yesterday’s subscriber count and also today’s numbers. So I pulled up it up for CyberNet, Problogger, Read/Write Web, Micro Persuasion, TechCrunch, and GigaOm which revealed several big jumps:

Feed Subscribers

Then I went on to calculate the percentage increase for each of those sites:

  • CyberNet: 37%
  • Problogger: 58%
  • Read/Write Web: 19%
  • Micro Persuasion: 24%
  • TechCrunch: 43%
  • GigaOm: 21%

As you can see, Google has really caused an increase in feed numbers which is sure to please publishers. If you have a blog and you’re keeping track of your subscriber counts let us know what your increase was like in the comments below. If you don’t want to provide your actual subscriber numbers you can just give us the percentage by using this formula:

Feed Forumla

There Are 15 Comments

  1. I saw a 46% jump for my blog. The question I have now is whether those stats are still skewed by other feedfetchers underreporting the numbers — and with which feeds is it still an issue?

  2. While my subscriber count is a small percentage of yours, my google increase is almost the exact same at 37.5%. I was pleasantly stunned. :)

  3. I went up 38%, hitting 260. Oddly enough the biggest increase has been on my excerpt-only feed: the full-text’s increase was ~15% behind.

  4. Something is a fishy…I had a 55% increase yesterday going from 31 to 49 subscribers. This is not logical, it was not like I had a big surge of traffic on my blog yesterday. :evil:

    [i104.photobucket.com]

  5. Mr. Guru, you may want to read the post again. :)
    Until today, 16 of those weren’t showing up in your daily numbers.

  6. Fx Extension Guru wrote:

    Something is a fishy…I had a 55% increase yesterday going from 31 to 49 subscribers. This is not logical, it was not like I had a big surge of traffic on my blog yesterday. :evil:

    [i104.photobucket.com]

    Yep, Chris is right. Your subscriber count went up because of the “Google Feedfetcher” addition to the pie chart. Before these numbers weren’t reported.

    I am happy to see that Google has had a similar impact on the other blogs out there. In fact, I would almost say that Google probably has the largest share of readers on most blogs (compared to other services like Bloglines) which was something a lot of people were wondering. I guess everyone likes the new Google Reader. ;)

  7. CenterNetworks ([centernetworks.com]

    The only question I haven’t seen answered is whether the count from Google will change daily based on whether a user actually “looks” at the feed.

    What we need is an active and a total rss feed subs number.

  8. And then they were gone: I’m back down to one and two Google subscribers on my respective feeds. Anyone know who’s messing up?

  9. i only know techcrunch and i do not like, this is like everything, just fame, it doesnt meant they are the best or something.

  10. Allen Stern wrote:
    CenterNetworks ([centernetworks.com]

    The only question I haven’t seen answered is whether the count from Google will change daily based on whether a user actually “looks” at the feed.

    What we need is an active and a total rss feed subs number.

    I believe I read that Google is only reporting the number of subscribers, so the numbers may not accurately reflect how many “readers” you actually have.

    Tom Edwards wrote:
    And then they were gone: I’m back down to one and two Google subscribers on my respective feeds. Anyone know who’s messing up?

    It’s probably just because of the weekend. Feed subscribers always dip then so check back on Tuesday to see what your Monday numbers are like.

    Richard wrote:
    i only know techcrunch and i do not like, this is like everything, just fame, it doesnt meant they are the best or something.

    You’re absolutely right, these numbers don’t mean that you’re the best by any means.

  11. I had a 40% jump on [ajaydsouza.com] and 50% jump on [techtites.com]

    Atleast the numbers are more impressive now!

  12. Indeed they are! So I’m guessing Google is everyone’s largest feed reader source.

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