What Did Google Do Today? @ tk here on Saturday, September 15, 2007 2:26 AM
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Saturday, September 15, 2007

What Did Google Do Today?

You probably heard about the launch of Google Lunar X Prize to accelerate space research. $30 million is yours if you can get something to fly to the moon (and back, I think Google got this idea from Savage Garden, just kidding). Obviously you have to do better than that to get the prize, but it doesn't really matter since most of us aren't rocket engineers.

Other than the highly publicized Google Lunar X Prize, Google also gave Google's Sitemaps a new look and added a new type of tracking statistic.

Google Sitemaps new subscriber tracking stat

As you can see, the navigation bar has been shifted to the left instead of appearing at the top in the older version. Not much difference in terms of usability as far as I can tell, although it does look better design wise.

Hmmm... do you see something extra? Let's see what Google says about Subscriber Stats.

If your site publishes feeds of its content, this page will display the number of users who have subscribed to these feeds using Google products such as iGoogle, Google Reader, or Orkut.

Ah, so it's like Feedburner's stats except it's limited to only Google products. Note that Feedburner has been bought by Google recently. So you're wondering what Google is doing? Why don't they simply track every subscriber?

Well Google Sitemaps already contains features of other Google products, although they aren't as detailed as the separate Google products. An example of this is Top search queries. It shows you popular queries for your site and is covered extensively by Google Analytics.

So I'm guessing it's easier to leave it to Feedburner to do the heavy work and implement just the basics in Google Sitemaps. And no, the lonely Google subscriber you see in the screenshot isn't me. :) Hello to whoever you are!

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