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September 11, 2007

Google Reader Numbers

Here are some interesting facts about Google Reader:

* Google Reader has two kinds of feeds:
- feeds that have one subscriber (two thirds from the number of feeds, they're updated every 3 hours)
- feeds that have more than one subscriber (these feeds are updated every hour)

* Google Reader uses 10 TB for storing all the raw data

* Google Reader crawls 8 million feeds

* Google Reader is the only major feed reader that keeps the entire history for all the feeds.

* many Google applications use Google Reader's infrastructure for feeds: iGoogle, orkut, Gmail's web clips, Blogger widgets, Google Spreadsheets, Ajax API. Google Reader is the place for any kind of user-driven activities that involve feeds and it's independent from Google Blog Search.

* the rate of user growth = the rate of growth for the number of feeds

* the index size grows 4% every week

* 70% of the Google Reader traffic comes from Firefox (a lot of geeky users)

* Gmail and orkut are the only Google applications that have a bigger number of pageviews/user than Google Reader

* search requires a lot of computational resources. Google Reader uses two indexes for search:
- a big tree updated twice a day (150machines, 600 million documents)
- 40 small trees for recent posts, updated every 5 minutes (40 machines, 40million documents)

* future features:
- very soon: internationalization, feed recommendations, accepting pings sent to Google Blog Search
- in the near future: simple clustering based on links (posts that link to the same page), adding comments to the shared items
- in the distant future: getting calls to Reader from Gmail and orkut's main interface
- idea for monetization: adding AdSense ads and sharing the revenue with publishers, assuming they use AdSense

Note: Most of the information from this post comes from a confidential video in which Google's Ben Darnell explained to some Nooglers how Google Reader works. The video was hosted by Google Video, but it's no longer available. More about the video here.

{ via Blogoscoped }


  1. How the heck did you get these numbers?

  2. Google accidently released an internal video on Google Video. Its not publicly anymore but some people were able to view it.

  3. Those are some massive numbers.

  4. google reader doesn't show the number of subscribers a feed has. bloglines shows the number of subscribers.

  5. Just curious to know. If 70% of the traffic comes from Firefox(Geeks?), how much comes from Opera(What do U call them?)?

  6. Considering that many user complained when Google Reader was broke in Opera and that Google Reader has a special interface for Wii (which uses Opera as a browser), I suspect the number of Opera users is pretty significant. The video didn't mention a number for IE or Opera, but the percentage of Firefox users is way too big. This probably reflects that feeds are still a long way from being used by the general public.

  7. "70% of the Google Reader traffic comes from Firefox"

    Take that in the jaw, billyG

  8. So do they also update their search index with their reader feed updation??

  9. Oh! Surprise! Orkut has more page views than, Google Reader? Then they should definitely invest more in it.

  10. Is there any way to find out how many active users google reader has?


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