Help Fix the Feedburner Subscriber Count Problem

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Feedburner

If you are a blogger or an avid reader of blogs, you are probably well aware of the ongoing problems with the RSS subscription service, Feedburner.

While Feedburner has always had its problems, over the past few months the variations in Feedburner subscriber stats have been so erratic, they can no longer be trusted. I have seen subscriber counts fluctuate 50-70% on any given day. Many other bloggers have also reported on the same issues with huge Feedburner fluctuations.

This is a problem for a number of reasons. Firstly, content publishers can no longer accurately track the growth of their blogs. Additionally, the Feedburner chicklet (counter) proudly displayed on many blogs has now become irrelevant as a form of social proof.

The ongoing issues with Feedburner are becoming so bad that  some are  beginning to wonder if Feedburner itself is becoming irrelevant. It is certainly strange that Google would fork out approximately $100 million dollars just 3 years ago, only to let the service deteriorate like it has.

What is Google doing about it?

Perhaps Google are actually doing their best to sort out the ongoing issues with Feedburner once and for all. If this is the case however, they have done a pretty rotten job of communicating it to their user base. Neither the Feedburner Twitter account nor status blog are frequently updated with useful information.

The Feedburner team at Google doesn’t seem to realize that frequent and transparent communication is actually an important part of providing a service.

Can we make Google take Feedburner seriously?

I realise it is highly unlikely to ‘make’ Google do anything. However, I see no harm in trying.

This post is just my humble attempt to ‘rally the troops’ if you will.

If you are fed up with the poor service provided by Feedburner and their general lack of communication, please leave a comment below.

If we get enough comments, who knows, that might be enough for Google to fix Feedburner once and for all.

Photo by Chris Campbell

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  • http://sffarlenn.net/ Laneth Sffarlenn

    Personally, I’ve only just entered the arena of using Feedburner’s service but I do know how valued it is by so many people for a myriad of reasons.

    For Google to seemingly have abandoned this tool is just not acceptable – something that is so used and relied upon should be maintained and kept at its best working functionality, regardless of who owns it and what they want to do with it.

    I am hoping that there is just a service interruption and that they’ll eventually fix it all up and let us know what went wrong, but things never happen online the way I would imagine they would…let’s hope I’m right for once!

    • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

      Hi Laneth, Feedburner has been plagued with problems since as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, on the surface at least, it seems as though Google paid $100 million for a bit of a lemon.
      I don’t think anyone is asking for Feedburner to be bulletproof, most of us just want to be kept in the loop about what is going on.

  • http://sffarlenn.net/ Laneth Sffarlenn

    Personally, I’ve only just entered the arena of using Feedburner’s service but I do know how valued it is by so many people for a myriad of reasons.

    For Google to seemingly have abandoned this tool is just not acceptable – something that is so used and relied upon should be maintained and kept at its best working functionality, regardless of who owns it and what they want to do with it.

    I am hoping that there is just a service interruption and that they’ll eventually fix it all up and let us know what went wrong, but things never happen online the way I would imagine they would…let’s hope I’m right for once!

    • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

      Hi Laneth, Feedburner has been plagued with problems since as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, on the surface at least, it seems as though Google paid $100 million for a bit of a lemon.
      I don’t think anyone is asking for Feedburner to be bulletproof, most of us just want to be kept in the loop about what is going on.

  • http://bonfx.com Douglas Bonneville

    My feedburner account shows about 50% less subscribers than a few months ago. I know that’s not right, because my overall daily hits are 10-15% higher overall in the same period. There is probably some kind of release cycle in which someone broke something, and they aren’t allowed to release the fix. A lot of times, companies make the decision to ignore public calls to fix something because if they acknowledge the request, it becomes news in and of itself. Google is not immune to that.

    It seems to me it’s better to be open all the time and admit a mistake so that you build a public reputation as a company that can save face and keep moving with customer sympathy on your side.

    Google also does not seem to be admitting any problems with the horrendous Google News redesign too. This is probably part of a trend we’ll see more and more of with them as they continue to grow.

    • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

      Hi Douglas, You are probably on to something there. It is a shame that Google seems to be loosing transparency as it continues to grow.
      Most users will put up with a few system glitches from time to time as long as long as there is sufficient communication from the provider. It would be better for Google to just admit they have a problem and keep the channels of communication open.

  • http://bonfx.com Douglas Bonneville

    My feedburner account shows about 50% less subscribers than a few months ago. I know that’s not right, because my overall daily hits are 10-15% higher overall in the same period. There is probably some kind of release cycle in which someone broke something, and they aren’t allowed to release the fix. A lot of times, companies make the decision to ignore public calls to fix something because if they acknowledge the request, it becomes news in and of itself. Google is not immune to that.

    It seems to me it’s better to be open all the time and admit a mistake so that you build a public reputation as a company that can save face and keep moving with customer sympathy on your side.

    Google also does not seem to be admitting any problems with the horrendous Google News redesign too. This is probably part of a trend we’ll see more and more of with them as they continue to grow.

    • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

      Hi Douglas, You are probably on to something there. It is a shame that Google seems to be loosing transparency as it continues to grow.
      Most users will put up with a few system glitches from time to time as long as long as there is sufficient communication from the provider. It would be better for Google to just admit they have a problem and keep the channels of communication open.

  • http://sffarlenn.net/ Laneth Sffarlenn

    My memory might be playing up, but didn’t the most recent problems with Feedburner start around the same time as Google Buzz was launched? All the controversy surrounding that botched launch and the “quick fixes” Google had to roll out across the board might have something to do with it?

    • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

      If you are right with the timing (I am not sure), I wouldn’t rule that out as a possible cause. Interesting…

  • http://sffarlenn.net/ Laneth Sffarlenn

    My memory might be playing up, but didn’t the most recent problems with Feedburner start around the same time as Google Buzz was launched? All the controversy surrounding that botched launch and the “quick fixes” Google had to roll out across the board might have something to do with it?

    • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

      If you are right with the timing (I am not sure), I wouldn’t rule that out as a possible cause. Interesting…

  • http://www.davidairey.com David Airey

    Hi Duane, I’m curious why every FeedBurner user was asked to update the feed URL from “feeds” to “feeds2.” Both clearly work. Seems like it was a waste of time.

    • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

      Hi David, I am curious as well. Have no idea what was the reasoning behind that. Thanks for contributing!

  • http://www.davidairey.com David Airey

    Hi Duane, I’m curious why every FeedBurner user was asked to update the feed URL from “feeds” to “feeds2.” Both clearly work. Seems like it was a waste of time.

    • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

      Hi David, I am curious as well. Have no idea what was the reasoning behind that. Thanks for contributing!

  • http://www.catswhoblog.com Jean-Baptiste Jung

    Hi Duane,

    I agree, Feedburner feed count problem is extremely boring. I do not have a perfect solution but you might be interested in my “Weekly average subscriber” count.
    You can find it here: http://www.catswhoblog.com/how-to-get-a-more-relevant-feedburner-count

    • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

      Hi Jean-Baptiste, thanks for the link. I had actually intended to include your link in the original post…but somehow I forgot about it before publishing. Cheers mate!

      If anyone is in need of a possible workaround – Please see Jean-Baptiste’s link above.

  • http://www.catswhoblog.com Jean-Baptiste Jung

    Hi Duane,

    I agree, Feedburner feed count problem is extremely boring. I do not have a perfect solution but you might be interested in my “Weekly average subscriber” count.
    You can find it here: http://www.catswhoblog.com/how-to-get-a-more-relevant-feedburner-count

    • http://www.logobird.com.au Duane Kinsey

      Hi Jean-Baptiste, thanks for the link. I had actually intended to include your link in the original post…but somehow I forgot about it before publishing. Cheers mate!

      If anyone is in need of a possible workaround – Please see Jean-Baptiste’s link above.

  • http://addicted-2-retail.com/ addicted-2-retail

    If you want Google to take it seriously their need to be some health competition? Correct me if I am wrong but there isn’t another “Feed Burning” solution out there? If people stop using feedburner than Big G will have too take notice.

  • http://addicted-2-retail.com/ addicted-2-retail

    If you want Google to take it seriously their need to be some health competition? Correct me if I am wrong but there isn’t another “Feed Burning” solution out there? If people stop using feedburner than Big G will have too take notice.

  • http://www.jamaipanese.com Jamaipanese

    I agree feedburner needs competition!

  • http://www.jamaipanese.com Jamaipanese

    I agree feedburner needs competition!

  • http://40tech.com Evan @ 40Tech

    I’ll add my voice to this – our count fluctuates by 600+ subscribers from day to day, sometimes hitting zero. We’re not a very big site, either, so I can only imagine what the big players are seeing.

  • http://40tech.com Evan @ 40Tech

    I’ll add my voice to this – our count fluctuates by 600+ subscribers from day to day, sometimes hitting zero. We’re not a very big site, either, so I can only imagine what the big players are seeing.

  • http://www.seribahasa.com/ Seri Bahaa

    i hates this feedburner count. their numbers always fluctuates. before i have over one grand readers now it less to 95%. how we bloggers can count on such service.

  • http://www.seribahasa.com/ seri

    i hates this feedburner count. their numbers always fluctuates. before i have over one grand readers now it less to 95%. how we bloggers can count on such service.

  • Withkamrul

    i have more than one gmail account. i subscribed with my feedburner feed with other account but still it shows no subscriber. what a mes

  • Withkamrul

    i have more than one gmail account. i subscribed with my feedburner feed with other account but still it shows no subscriber. what a mes

  • Tolga

    I totally agree! My stats says 0 subscribers for months. and I know at least 10 people who have subscribed, including me! 

    tolga

  • http://twitter.com/Brittany_TYD Brittany

    Mine has been jumping between 130-80 subscribers from one day to the next. Has anyone found any solutions to this problem?

  • http://computerlearnhow.com/ Craig

     I know this post is old but is this still a problem. I have 0 subcribers according to feedburner but I know 3 people who use it to subscibe to my blog including me!

    Cheers

  • http://www.rixbanga.com/ Rix Banga

    I only have about 20 subscribers, but everyday the count shows 0 for most of the day then in the afternoon it displays 20. Very annoying.

    Also, it’s very bad that feedburner doesn’t allow a “read more” button when subscribers receive emails. I know people can click on the title to visit the website but many people don;t know this. 

  • http://twitter.com/ikanuna freelancer

    Yep. This affected me too. Lost just over 300 subscribers on one of my blogs, and just around 150 on six others. Pretty bad looking if you ask me, it looks like somebody in TPTB are targeting bloggers because of their power to change things and their efficiency.
    Sad. Very sad.

  • http://twitter.com/kdnuggets Gregory Piatetsky

    My subscriber count has dropped from 1,500 to zero as well . What are the alternatives to Feedburner?

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