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Google Reader Is Great But…

Sunday, April 29th, 2007...5:21 am

Google Reader Is Great But…


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It takes far too long to update feeds.

On average it’s taking about 1 to 2 hours for a new post to show up in Google Reader. When I was using Netvibes it never took more than 10 minutes.

After reading some similar complaints on the Google Reader discussion forum it would appear that Google polls feeds once every hour or so, but some people are waiting upwards of 8 hours for posts to appear.

I’m surprised Google hasn’t implemented some sort of ping functionality like Technorati has. If Technorati can have my latest post listed in under 20 minutes surely Google can do the same. Maybe I expect too much from them.

It’s just frustrating to know I could be getting my information quicker by visiting a website. It might be time to try out Bloglines.

17 Comments

  • I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader when I realised that Blogger seemed to be blocking images from Bloglines feeds - or at least that was the explanation I had from the Bloglines techie people when I queried it.

    I then found that Google Reader took absolutely forever to load my feeds so I could see them (I have a lot!). This was getting more and more frustrating and I went back to Bloglines - at which point they seemed to have fixed their images problems - and was all set to stay when the images problem came back again………..

    Currently back with Google Reader which is loading more quickly but is, as you say, much slower to update - but it seems to come and go…….. I recommend keep keeping your feeds listed on both.

  • Several months ago I tried Google Reader and quit almost immediately after having the same problem. It just takes too darn long for the feeds to update in Reader. I’m staying with trusty Newsgator, which has always gotten the job done for me.

  • It’s my one and only complaint about using Google Reader … and your post just proves the point. I’m submitting this point just after your post showed up in Google Reader … 5-1/2 hours after you posted it!

    I may need to check out Bloglines too …

  • Oops … seeing how my post showed up, I neglected to correct for your site’s different time clock. But still 3-1/2 hours late!

  • It’s the only downside using Google Reader! Other than that it’s the best feed reader I’ve came across!

    Personally I can wait that long. From a technological standpoint though, I have to agree with your complaint, it simply takes too long to update feeds.

    Since Google’s blog search has been updated after a couple of minutes, I think there’s hope for improvements in the future.

  • Katherine - Good idea. I’ll give Bloglines a go.

    Man of Silver - Thanks for letting me know about that. It’s a little concerning to know that people who have subscribed to my feed through Google aren’t getting the posts in a timely fashion.

    dlinsin - I hope they do make some improvements. It’s not like them to be so unreliable with the service they offer.

  • I’m a huge fan of all things Google, but am a devout Bloglines user. Contrary to Katherine’s experience, I get the pics, and I’m getting most feeds within 20 minutes or so, some much quicker, even, consistently.

    At this point, it would take an unbelievably awesome app to get me to use another reader.

  • are you publishing a a sitemap? and notifying google of changes to it on each posting?

    it does seem to take a bit longer to show up in google, but I don’t think mind take nearly that long.

    interestingly, when i’d update my google sitemap, bloglines would instantly have my post online… i have no idea how they worked that one..

    i switched away from bloglines for a variety of reasons myself, so hoppefully google can ge this worked out.

    lately i haven’t has as much time for reading feeds as i’d lke (and i have a mountain of them) so i often don’t get to them until a day or so later anyway.

  • jer - I’ve got a sitemap but I don’t think it affects the way Google polls feeds. What will be happening is every so often they will check with Feedburner to see if there is an update. The issue is how often they do these checks. At the moment it looks like it’s anywhere between an hour and eight hours, and there is no way for you to ping them and say “hey, there are new posts, go get them”. I think I might email Google tomorrow and see if they have any solutions.

  • I think in a way Google probably knows this and does it so that people might actually do something else in between than read their feeds all day long.

    Most of their employees probably use Google Reader, if not all, and they thought OK this thing can be addictive maybe we shouldn’t update that often so people can actually get some work done in between.

    Either that or they’re just slow.

  • Make enough noise and Google will fix it…spread the word.

  • I don’t really watch the time, but it seems to be pretty decent…

  • sometimes even i have noticed my posts appearing a bit late there , do share ur experiances if u try some new reader .

  • Google Reader can be a little slow for me at times. I used it for about a month…then went back to good’ol reliable Bloglines

  • I’m a huge Google Reader fan, but this drives me absolutely nuts. How come I show up in Google Blog Search right away, but take hours to show up in Google Reader. Frustrates me to no end.

  • I’ve had up to six hours delay, and an instance when the post never showed up at all (I suspect too many links)!

    I love the simplicity of Google reader, but it makes it a little hard to have a “scoop” when it takes so darn long ;) I’ve had a Google Alert for my blog name 4 hours before the post shows up in the reader!

    My latest post just arrived - took 2 hrs & 14 minutes.

    Definitely needs improvement!

  • I am really close to switching from google reader for this same reason. Posts often take 2-8 hours to show up on some sites.

    I think I will shoot an email to the Google Reader team.

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