Google Reader has been the source of referrals for many websites. It has been one of the most famous products developed in Google Labs. It helps you manage your subscriptions using RSS. This ensures that you do not miss even a single post on your favorite blogs. But the service has seen a steep decrease in the number of users over the past year. And because of this, Google is shutting down the Reader with effect from July 1, 2013.
This, however, may not be a good decision. The user share may be falling, but it is still quite large. Most of the tweets and Facebook links for news are followed from Google Reader. It is one of the main sources of ‘breaking news.’ Many news websites collect the latest stories using the Reader. For them, shutting down the Reader will be a major point of concern. This also means there will be lesser websites offering latest updates. This will ultimately affect the thousands who are dependent on such websites.
The most important cause of worry is monetary. With the reduction in users, the traffic to various websites will reduce too. Google Reader has been one of the top contributors to daily traffic on various websites. Due to this software, many people earn hundreds of dollars every day. But with it being shut down, the earnings will definitely go down. Whether they are small or large, the losses will adversely affect publishers’ morale.
Critics have termed the concept of Google Reader as their nemesis. The Reader allows you to access content from another website without actually visiting it. This means the readers are not served with the ads on the website. Since the users cannot access these ads, it is a loss for the publishers.
There are, however, still chances that a user visits the websites for reading the article. There will be users who are bloggers too. They might want to link a particular post from your blog via Reader. There are others who, as mentioned before, would want to share your posts on their Twitter handle or Facebook timeline. They could be a major source of revenue generation. Closing down Reader might be a wrong choice because of these reasons as well.
Closing down the Reader will definitely affect a wide audience. The rise of Digg and Feedly might have affected the readership of Reader. But it has failed to break the honest follower market of this Google product. With the Reader shutting down, the users will probably not go for any other option. They might want to get away from this concept entirely. For major websites which were dependent on Reader, this will be a huge blow. Even a three to four per cent fall in the traffic can affect their profits hugely.
The number might even go higher. This is because with reduced regular visitors, the number of third-party non-regular visitors will reduce too. The whole advertising model will have to be revisited after this. We can only hope for a quick solution to all this from Google.