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 Rojo.com (according to archives.org), 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.

rojoscreengrab.gif

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?


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