Google to Start Reporting Subscriber Numbers

In response to requests from probably thousands of other online publishers, Google announced today that it will begin reporting the number of subscribers any RSS feed has through Google Reader and Google Personalized Homepage.  Other feed reading Google products may be included in the future but these are the two big ones.

FeedBurner requires reporting from feed reader vendors in order for their subscribers to be counted. Feedburner’s Rick Klau said this morning that the Google announcement is good news but reminded readers that Feedburner offers additional statistics including the number of subscribers who actually view your feed and click throughs on individual items.

Publishers can expect to see their Feedburner subscriber numbers include Google Reader numbers Saturday morning but the real difference will be most noticeable on Tuesday or Wednesday when Feedburner numbers hit their weekly peak.

We’ve covered Google Reader extensively here in the past and believe its newest version to be one of if not the best online reader on the market.  The question of adoption has been a nagging one, however.  Hitwise reported last month that Google Reader gets less traffic than industry leader Bloglines and, strangely, Rojo.  On an individual publisher level at least, the question of Google Reader’s number of users should be put to rest tomorrow morning.

For futher coverage of this announcement, see the discussion on TechMeme.