My Complaints and Suggestions for Google Reader

Google Reader Feed OverloadAs I stated in an earlier post, Google Reader is the best RSS Feed Reader on the Internet. However, it is not perfect. And the more I use it, the more potential for improvement I see. Here is my list of what I’d like to see changed with Google Reader:

  • Lack of Different Default Views for Sites: Some websites (such as have hundreds of posts each day. For them, I’d like the default videw to be the List View, where it shows only the post title and the first 20 or so words from the entry. This is a much more space-efficient view and allows for quicker browsing through the headlines, since with this many entries, you’re going to ignore most of them. But for sites with only a few entries, say less than 10 or so unread items, I’d like the default view to be the Expanded View, where the entire content is shown for each post. I don’t like having to switch between views based on which feed I’m viewing; there needs to be a way to specify a default for each feed or specify it based on number of unread posts.
  • Too Many Entries for Some Sites — Show me the Best: As I stated above, some sites have way, way too many entries for me to read all of them. Right now, I have 754 unread articles, and that’s only because I used the “mark all as read” feature a day or two ago. Truthfully, I will never, ever take the time to read all of these entries and I probably should just delete my subscription to that feed. I wish Digg would provide a feed listing only the most popular of the popular stories, but they don’t because they want people on their site voting up articles. So I wish Google would implement a tracking system for high volume sites, so that the most popular unread items are at the top of Google Reader, rather than the most recent.
  • Too Many Entries for Some Sites — Only Show the Latest Stories: If Google Reader won’t show me the most popular stories on “high volume” sites, at least autoamtically mark the older posts as “read”. I’d like to see a per-site option to show “only the most recent ### number of posts.”
  • No Images When Using Google Reader in Offline Mode: First of all, I have to say that having an offline viewing mode for a browser-based application is awesome! I installed Google Gears, clicked the “offline” icon in Google Reader, and all the feeds could be read without an internet connection! Unfortunately, all of the offline feeds had the pictures omitted. Sure, having pictures would require more cache to be used on my PC for the offline content, but a picture is worth 1000 words in most cases, and the omission of pictures makes reading some posts worthless.


  • Anna says:

    Hi Carlton,
    I used to be a Google Reader user and experienced some of the same issues you mentioned above..until I switched to illumio. I like using illumio ( as my feed reader because it keeps track of what I’m interested in and then alerts me to a new feed article that’s matched my interests. So instead of sifting through 300 to 400 articles a day (like I was doing with Google Reader), illumio delivers 20 to 30 “relevant” articles a day. Love it.

    I have to admit though, I’m currently working for the company but I wouldn’t recommend illumio unless I thought it addressed some of the issues you experienced. Try it today!

    • I’m a huge google fan, but I too have had most of the issues mentioned.
      I sure wish they would fix them. It looks like the illumio site no longer exists, I guess I will have to find something similar.

  • xivinrah! says:

    I HATE google reader… simply because they keep every LAST post that I have made on there even when I have DELETED it from my blog. There are some things I WISH I could conceal from people but DAMN… they don’t clean or regulate a gotdamn thing in the feeds and that aggravates me SO much. You can’t clean the feeds from YOUR OWN blog, you can’t manage them, place restrictions, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. There are some things I don’t want everyone to see, but in this case what ever anyone finds through google reader I have to just bear whatever criticism I might get… ALL THANKS TO GOOGLE AND NO ONE ELSE SEEMS TO BE AWARE OF THIS FLAW… which makes it so incredibly upsetting for me because I know it will never be addressed. Makes me wish I had thought twice before even setting up my blog.

  • […] scan all of your sources, using the photo thumbnails to help.  It blows away readers like native Google Reader that presents only text and titles.  It also helps you get started by pre-integrating some popular […]

  • […] for myself, the more advanced blogger may require further options. I have found a site where some complaints and suggestions might be helpful. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. « […]

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