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Google Testing Reader Subscriptions in Search Results

John Doherty —  August 11, 2012
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Today I was working on building out a new site, which involved adding some functionality to a WordPress site that I started last night. I wanted to add breadcrumbs to the theme, so I remembered that Joost de Valk has the correct WordPress code for this on his site.

I searched [yoast breadcrumbs code] and was returned this SERP - 

What’s Going On?

Apparently, Google is testing showing you personalized results (through Search, Plus Your World) through your RSS/Google Reader subscriptions. I see the same test when I search for my friend and peer [ross hudgens] because I am subscribed to his RSS feed as well -

Now What?

If this test becomes more than that, I think this shows the value of having people sign up to receive your updates via RSS. Even those RSS is dying, and most people are getting their updates through Twitter and social networks now, this is an interesting move for Google. I can’t imagine that this one will be successful, but Google seems to be clasping at straws, trying to get personalized results into your SERPs. I think Google+ is eventually the goal for this, but it’s not used enough so now Google is asking themselves “Well, what now?”

So have people sign up to your RSS feed by making a clear call-to-action. Here’s mine:

If it’s your first or second visit, you’ll see a different call to action for just the RSS feed.


Personally I wonder if Google would ever give us stats on how these changes affect click-through rates. I’d love it if Google would show something similar to what they show for author stats, but I don’t think they want us knowing how these different factors help or hurt our sites.

Have you seen this test? Think it’ll stick around?

John Doherty

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I'm the new (as of October 2013) Online Marketing Manager of Hotpads.com, soon to be based in San Francisco. Previous to Hotpads I worked at Distilled for 2 years as an online marketing consultant. In my spare time I shoot lifestyle photography, explore new and interesting food in New York, ski, rock climb, and update my Twitter and Google+ accounts.

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