Although there’s a big backlash in the blogosphere over the whole PageRank bitch-slap fiasco, most people — myself included — still use many of Google’s services. I still log into my Gmail account on a daily basis, catching up with freelance writing clients and getting informed of any comments posted on Beyond the Rhetoric. Another part of my daily routine is to hop over to my Google Reader, the main application that I use to keep track of several RSS feeds.

As with all of the other Google services that are available on the ‘net, Google Reader periodically goes through an upgrade or two. A couple months ago, it learned to count past 100, letting me know if I had 101 or 531 remaining items to be read. Jumping into Google Reader yesterday, I discovered another trick that the old dog had learned. It may have been there for a while (or not), but I hadn’t noticed it until yesterday.

google reader with stumbleupon integration

Since when did StumbleUpon and Google forge a relationship? I’ll admit that I’m not the first person to ask about corporate mergers and newfound agreements, but I thought that StumbleUpon had nothing to do with Google, just as Technorati has nothing to do with Alexa (as far as I know). That said, StumbleUpon has been a great source of traffic for certain blogs and I still get a trickle from time to time for certain articles.

Logging into my Analytics account (another Google service), I still see a few visitors to my Million Euro Wiki post via SU. I’m a little surprised, considering that I thought more people would be interested in how to insert Adsense into Million Euro Wiki. But I digress.

How much further will this integration go? When I’m within a particular post in Google Reader, will I then be able to submit it to StumbleUpon immediately? What about other social bookmarking services like, Reddit, and Digg? Are those on the way too?

Strangely, I don’t always see those navigational links at the top of my Google Reader page. Sometimes, I’ll be presented with a blank white bar rather than links to Gmail, Calendar, Photos, and so on. What has your recent experience been with Google Reader? Are you pleased with the StumbleUpon integration? Will you stumble this post? Whatever the case, it doesn’t seem like anything is going to stunt Google’s growth.