Google Reader Termination and the Paid Traffic Implications for Small Businesses

Holmdel, NJ (PRWEB) June 27, 2013

Internet behemoth Google announced months ago that Google Reader will officially retire on 7/1/13. This news has resulted in several online contenders scrambling to grab this customer acquisition opportunity, from AOL’s announcement of the Beta AOL Reader to Digg’s attempt to climb onto the same bandwagon as quickly as possible. But that tackles only the future of newsreading; there is still the business website traffic component that must be addressed.

This week, Barbara Ling, online marketing innovator since 1997, published a new article that explores the implications of Google Reader’s demise. Like all major companies, Google wants to ensure it is maximizing its long term profits and keeping its shareholders satisfied with its Wall Street performance. Why, then, would it kill Google Reader, a platform currently used for sharing news?

Consider the traffic component. It was recently reported by Techcrunch at that Google Reader was the number 2 referrer to their site, just behind Google Search. When Google Reader is deactivated, this traffic will suddenly stop, dropping the number of business website visitors. This traffic will somehow have to be replaced. And Google currently offers a solution, Google Adwords.

From a strictly business growth viewpoint, this makes logical sense for Google as Google Reader is simply one component of their business that currently doesn’t provide advertising revenue. Google Plus, for example, which is their answer to Facebook’s popular social network, is ever-increasing in services and applications (take, for example, their recent photo enhancement as mentioned by ABC News at ). Take away from business owners the free traffic component generated by Google Reader, and you now have these sites scrambling for a traffic replacement…one which Google just happens to have available, Adwords and Google Plus.

This decision by Google to kill Google Reader has been a long time coming. Brian Shih, a former Google Reader Product Manager, reported in at that the Google Reader team was pulled years ago to build Google Plus because “…the Reader team actually understood social (and tried a lot of experiments over the years that informed the larger social features at the company).” In other words, Google Reader development was shelved in favor of Google Plus.

Other implications abound. Smart marketers and consultants online rely upon news readers to stay up-to-date and current on cutting edge developments; the demise of Google Reader will force mass migration to whatever platform emerges as the Google Reader Replacement. This is a perfect occasion for other companies nipping at Google’s heels to grab at its customer base; the recently announced AOL’s Beta Reader and Digg’s Beta Reader point to this opportunity.

In Ling’s article on, she explores the above in greater detail and explains where she feels the paid traffic future will be. “I personally believe the demise of Google Reader will result in an increased push to Google Adwords and other site-sharing capabilities currently offered by Google+,” writes Ling. “It’s been a long-term strategic business decision and only highlights Google’s commitment to becoming the premiere social network online.”

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