rssGoogle Reader will be retired on July 1, 2013 according to a blog post that was published on the Official Google Blog this week.

Just five months ago, Google announced that it would no longer support the Feedburner API, which many people interpreted as a sign that Feedburner would eventually die. With the announcement of the impending demise of Google Reader, that interpretation is probably quite accurate.

In the blog post, Urs Hölzle, SVP Technical Infrastructure and Google Fellow, wrote, “We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader.”

Are RSS Feeds Dying?

The Google announcement led many people to wonder whether RSS feeds were still relevant, and the answer to that question is a resounding yes. RSS feeds are critical to distributing content, and they aren’t going away. Google is simply moving its focus away from RSS end-user products. Let’s face it–Google wants people to use Google+ for as many things as possible, including consuming content from RSS feeds.

Google has a lot going on, and it’s time to do some trimming. However, the problem with Google killing products like Google Reader and Feedburner (possibly) is how far-reaching those decisions are. The death of Google Reader in July will affect a large number of people who depend on it.

Fortunately, there are alternatives to Google Reader such as FeedDemon or NewzCrawler that work well for people who still prefer to consume feeds in an aggregated reader.

For online publishers who need to create and manage their RSS feeds for distribution, there are a variety of free and paid alternatives to Feedburner. Authoritative Content publishers who use WordPress can ensure that their feeds are sent directly to Newstex and there are no disruptions to their licensing earnings by using the Newspress WordPress Plugin. You can follow the link to learn about more Feedburner alternatives that can handle your RSS email subscription needs and more.

Image: Svilen Milev