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