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Google Reader Slow Down Due To Plus One Button?

Who knew resource hogs could come in such small packages?

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To many, the Google Reader is a quintessential component of web browsing. The ability to organize all of the sites that interest you, thanks to the power of RSS, is awfully appealing. The usability helps explain the backlash when Google introduced a revamped Reader, one that misguidedly removed the social sharing features. I say misguided because it’s not like social media isn’t perhaps the most popular activity on the Internet, and removing the features, instead of having them integrate with Google+ seems rather silly.

Now that the smoke has cleared, some have noticed the “new and improved” Google Reader has been involved with all kinds of system slowdowns and computer freezes, which reduces Reader’s usability quotient even further; or, if you’re like me and have also experienced these Google Reader-caused glitches, the reaction to these hiccups are a little too colorful for this article. With that in mind, it appears as if the culprit behind these systems overloads has been found, and if the theory is correct, Google+ button is to blame.

According to a post at Geeks are Sexy, it was recently discovered that, when the author was using Google Reader, the platform was eating up a gigabyte of RAM, which led to the following realization:

It turns out the most likely cause of the specific memory problems is related to Google adding a Google+ button for every article. There’s some sort of issue with the link, which is being multiplied by the number of articles in your message pane to create the slowdown.

So, if you’re like me and use your Reader to open up multiple browser tabs with the stories that caught your eye, Google is busy trying to place a +1 button on all of these articles, which seems to be what’s causing user’s computer to slow and/or freeze, both of which I’ve directly experienced.

To address this situation, the referenced article suggest a workaround that should improve Reader’s usability, or, at least, how your computer reacts when Reader is open. Essentially, you’ll need to add an additional filter to whatever ad blocking application you’re using. According to Geeks are Sexy, the address to be added is as follows:

plusone.google.com/u/0/_/+1/fastbutton

According to the post’s author, this added filter has improved the overall functionality of Google Reader, reducing, if not completely eliminating any Google Reader-inspired slowdowns or crashes. For those of you how have experienced the slowdown issue whenever using Google Reader, try this little ad block tweak and see if it makes a difference.

Let us know if you have any luck.

Google Reader Slow Down Due To Plus One Button?
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  • http://www.PlacesToEatOkay.com Steven

    One of the things to take into account is to load the script on the very bottom of the page, so that the content can load first, and then the buttons render after when the script finally loads on the bottom of the page. A lot of people are having the script load first and so when the button starts to render it stops the rest of the page from loading, then you get to where the next button is going to load and it also causes the page to halt loading until the button can render.

  • http://plus.ly/digideth B. Moore

    I can confirm that the Google +1 button is a HUGE speed issue to Google Reader which made using Google Reader a very painful and annoying experience…

    Once I implemented the code snippet above provided by GeeksAreSexy.com in to Adblock+ BAM Google Reader was fast and very enjoyable to use again.

  • Andrew

    Thanks – that worked perfectly for me.

  • Chris

    wow – that worked perfectly! I’m running Safari 5.1.1 on OSX Lion – I installed the AdBlock extension and then loaded the url you specified into the custom filter list and it instantly worked! Thank you!!!

  • Mertz

    Thank you! How irritating! Worked perfectly

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