Blog Post

The real reason for Rojo’s growth

These past few days there has been an interesting conversation about web-based RSS readers, including some comments about Google Reader’s growing popularity. The meme was sparked off after Leann Prescott, an analyst with Hitwise, posted an overview of the web-based RSS readers.

Interestingly, the one RSS reader that showed a remarkable jump was Rojo, which was bought by Six Apart last year. “So Rojo use jumped like right when it was acquired by MT and development came to a close? Strange,” Marshall Kirkpatrick commented in response to Prescott’s post.

rojobug.jpgThat was enough to spark my interest, especially since FeedBurner has not been reporting Rojo subscriptions due to a bug. Kirkpatrick’s comment also made me wonder how can Rojo, a discontinued product be bigger than Google Reader?

So how can there be a jump in the number of “internet visits” to Rojo, as Hitwise data shows? One possible explanation could be that since late-September, 2006, robots.txt file has been removed from (according to, which in turn allows Google to index Rojo hosted posts as individual pages.

This is a pretty good example. It shows up as the third hit if you do a Google search.


This is murky behavior, something that bothers me a lot. It could however offer a faux explanation for the sudden rise in the popularity of Rojo?

6 Responses to “The real reason for Rojo’s growth”

  1. When feedburner stopped accepting stats from Rojo, my subscritions dropped from 640 to 19. I always thought it was suspicious that something like 98% of my readers were using Rojo.

    I still use Rojo (for now) but it seems that they have a lot of numerical inconsistencies.

    Is Rojo’s relationship with common knowledge?

  2. Glad I’m not the only one curious what’s going on here! I know there are some people who swear by Rojo, but there must be some explanation or a few contributing factors. Re your idea here though; the same could be said for tag pages on Technorati, Feedburner pages and any number of other services that show up in Google search results. It is also possible that the issue lies with Hitwise. Or perhaps Rojo totally rocks and I just haven’t been paying enough attention!