This week Google announced that it will be shutting down Google Reader — along with seven of its other products — as part of its “spring cleaning” efforts.

Launched in 2005, Reader made it easier for people to discover and keep up with their favorite websites and blogs. But while consumers are seeking out alternatives and launching “keep Reader alive” campaigns, they’re not the only ones who will be affected come July 1st.

Businesses, their community managers in particular, likely rely on Google Reader to help keep up with industry news. As an agency, you might use Google Reader to keep up with clients’ blogs. Additionally, many consumers subscribe to company blogs and Tumblrs for behind-the-scenes updates and news.

This doesn’t mean that when Reader shuts down that people will be unable to access your blog or website, but they will be expected to change their habits. In some cases, you might lose subscribers who chose not to re-subscribe or import their existing subscriptions to new services.

When the panic dies down around Google’s news, it’s worth talking to your customers about what will happen come July 1st — especially if you have an active company blog. Let your subscribers know how they can continue receiving company updates either through alternative RSS feeds or your social channels.

If you’re currently using Google Reader within your business, you have until July 1st to export your data, including your subscriptions, with Google Takeout. We recommend experimenting with a couple of RSS alternatives to find the best one for your needs.

[Image credit: Saad Faruque]