Dec 10 2008

Feedburner to Google is an epic fail

Published by at 3:16 am under Blogging,Site Configuration

If you’re reading this, then you’re one of the lucky ones who actually got the notification from Google that my RSS feed has moved.  Google sent me an email yesterday that they’d moved my RSS feeds from Feedburner to Google “at my request”.  Since I never requested such a move, it means that they are moving a number of people and I just happened to pick the lucky number yesterday.

I’ve had nothing but trouble with Google and Feedburner for the last month.  First, the number of readers of the RSS feed dropped by 1000 overnight a month ago.  Then several of my posts started republishing, again and again … and again.  Now they’ve moved me off of Feedburner and onto Google’s feed solution, and I lost another 500 readers of the feeds.  Thanks to Google I’ve lost nearly half of RSS readership in a month.  That’s just not acceptable.

I’m on the road and don’t have the time to do much about this, but I’m seriously thinking of taking my feeds back in house and cutting Google out of the picture entirely.  I don’t make much money off of the blog, not even enough to pay for my hosting services when it’s all said and done, but every little bit helps.  And Google’s cutting into what little I do make.  Not good.

The only good news is that according to my occasional vanity search on the term ‘security blog’ I’m vying for second place behind Bruce Schneier with Google’s own security blog.  Maybe this is their way of getting back on top.

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7 responses so far

7 Responses to “Feedburner to Google is an epic fail”

  1. alan shimelon 10 Dec 2008 at 5:17 am

    Martin – Far be it from me to defend Google/Feedburner here, but are you sure it is them? I think you are blaming them for the wrong things. I also received the dreaded “we completed your move request” letter a few weeks ago. That was why the SBN feed disappeared. I had to scramble with my friends at Lijit to get it all working again, though the Feedburner team did help. However, beyond that I think you might be off here.

    On your reoccurring RSS articles, are you sure they are not the result of a setting on your Word Press blog? I thought you mentioned something about a plug in gone awry or something to that effect. Have you asked Feedburner to take a look at what is going on? Knowing what I know about Feedburner, I don’t think it is them republishing a feed article without getting something from your blog on it. Blaming Feedburner without actually knowing for sure may be a bit reckless.

    On your subscriber numbers, I think you may be overreacting. I also get the dips in my subscriber stats. However, I have been assured many times that this does not mean you actually lost any subscribers. It just means that one or more of the feed readers that Feedburner polls on your subscriber base did not report in time or in format. In all likelihood, you have the same amount of people reading your blog than you ever did. If you look at the stats below subscriber numbers, you should not see a difference in the real numbers. The only think hurt by Feedburner reporting less subscribers is your ego, but everyone is still reading the feed.

    So I think you are perhaps blaming Feedburner without all of the facts at hand here. Hope that helps!


  2. Benon 10 Dec 2008 at 6:58 am

    I’m still getting your feed, Martin, without updating to the new Google feed address. I received a similar email yesterday and when I tried the feed URL assigned it failed. Suffice to say, I did not bother to update my feed link yet. In the meantime, Google seems to be replicating the feed out the original feedburner link, so everything seems to be ok for now, at least until I’m forced to update the feed link itself…

  3. Martinon 10 Dec 2008 at 3:10 pm


    First of all, let’s separate the two issues. The issue with my feeds is an unknown, the only change I know I made recently was to upgrade WordPress to the latest version. That was several days before the issue with the re-issued blog posts started happening. It may be that I hadn’t posted anything after the upgrade until the WRT54G post, but I’m not certain. I’m willing to give you that one as a possible, even probable, issue with my site. I’ve been on the road or preparing to be on the road for most of the last two weeks, I haven’t had the time to troubleshoot.

    The issue with my feed readership though is 100% Feedburner. You don’t lose 1000 readers in a day then lose another 500 in a day by yourself. My numbers dropped overnight and then leveled off both times. I’m hoping readers are still getting the feed, but I have no confidence this is really happening. How can I know it’s getting delivered if Feedburner/Google can’t deliver decent stats?

    Yes, some of this is about ego. I don’t like seeing one of the measurements of how I’m doing as a blogger suddenly fall so much. It’d be one thing if the numbers dipped because I stopped writing or because I was writing stupid things, but when I’m doing the same thing I have been doing for as long as I have and the numbers drop, I get annoyed. And any blogger that says his writing isn’t at least a little bit about ego is lying to himself, lying to us or in need of psychiatric help to find his lost ego.

    If you can talk to some of the folks at GoogleBurner and have them contact me, I’d love to hear about how I haven’t really lost any readers thanks to the changes. But I’d rather have consistent statistics. I was seeing 3500 readers per day from Feedburner, then it dropped to 2500, now it’s 2000. Am I still supposed to give them the benefit of the doubt when it drops to 0?

  4. Martinon 12 Dec 2008 at 6:41 am

    Well, if it’s any indication that maybe someone at Google/Feedburner is listening, my numbers jumped back up to their pre-RSS shift numbers. Maybe the other 1000 readers will start showing up again.

  5. hankon 13 Dec 2008 at 2:06 pm

    I’m in the same boat, same scenario, quite angry. Missing my readers, and on top of it, I have a network feed that they “couldn’t find viability in” so they turned off network feeds for me and my 6 other folks in our Group Feed. grrrr…

  6. Richon 23 Dec 2008 at 10:43 am

    I am running into the same problems, I rolled my feedburner account over to Google, but now my feeds are no longer updating, and the new feed does not contain any of my old posts. I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do yet, but I’m glad I’m not the only one with problems.

  7. Danielaon 20 Jan 2009 at 1:51 pm

    I did not move yet, but searched for alternatives for a Google/Feedburner move. So I dropped in here. As I am not a professional, does anybody have suggestions for another feedservice with similar service without this forced Google move?

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