Google Knows What You're Reading

by Dev Basu December 4th, 2007 

Credit: Skizoidman

Google Reader Feed Recommendations

Google Reader is my weapon of choice for keeping up with the 1000 + feed stories I subscribe to everyday. As an RSS Feed Reader, Google Reader performs quite admirably in keeping up and sorting hundreds of feeds, and offers great features for sorting through feeds. While I simply thought of Google Reader as a productivity tool in the past, the Reader team has recently launched a nifty recommendations feature in the main dashboard.

RSS Feed Top Recommendations

Here's the word from the mouth of Google:

 

On the Google Reader Home page, the "Top Recommendations" section lists a few feeds you might be interested in, but aren't subscribed to yet. You can get more recommendations by clicking the View all link next to those recommendations, or by clicking the Discover link in the sidebar.

You can preview a feed in Reader before making a decision to subscribe or not; just click on the feed in the list of recommendations. There's also some extra information about the number of subscribers to the feed and approximate posts per week. If you find a feed you like, just click the Subscribe button to add it to your reading list. If you've decided you're not interested in one of the feeds, just click No thanks to take it off your recommendations list.

Your recommendations list is automatically generated. It takes into account the feeds you're already subscribed to, as well as information from your Web History, including your location. Aggregated across many users, this information can indicate which feeds are popular among people with similar interests. For instance, if a lot of people subscribe to feeds about both peanut butter and jelly, and you only subscribe to feeds about peanut butter, Reader will recommend that you try some jelly. This process is completely automated and anonymous; your personal information will be protected in accordance with our privacy policy.

Pretty cool eh? I'd definitely recommend reading over the privacy policy, as Google Reader is essentially indexing and gathering data about your tastes and preferences about what you read online. On the bright side, you'll have a hard time being bored while reading those RSS feeds, as Google Reader's always going to show you something new and interesting!

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One Response to “Google Knows What You're Reading”

  1. theGypsy says:

    This is all part and parcel with the user performance metrics and other data collection that happens over at G – specifically via your Google account etc….

    What is interesting is that it can work in reverse in that you Feeds can effect your organic search listings (when logged in) by also associating you with topical user groups…

    Big brother is watching… grab yer tin foil hats :0)