FeedBurner Subscriber Reports Bug: Major Drops In Counts


FeedBurner is having a reporting failure yet again. I have received at least four emails and several IMs since April 1st from concerned bloggers that their FeedBurner subscribers numbers have dropped. I personally saw this myself, where FeedBurner is reporting only 8,000 or so subscribers to this site, when in fact, we normally have 20,000+.

feedburner report bug

The issue? Googler Matt S. confirmed the issue in a Google Groups thread, saying that FeedBurner is having problems retrieving the accurate numbers from Google Feedfetcher. Google notified the Google Feedfetcher team and they hope it is corrected soon. Here is a screen shot showing the huge discrepancy between March 31st and April 2nd, in terms of the numbers reported from Google Feedfetcher, typically people's most popular RSS syndication service. The difference is 9,842 subscribers versus 18 subscribers.

March 31st: FeedBurner Feedfetcher Issue

April 2nd: FeedBurner Feedfetcher Issue

Here is Matt's post:

If you compare individual days (e.g., March 31 vs. April 1) in Analyze > Feed Stats > Subscribers, I'm guessing most of the missing subscribers are from Google Feedfetcher. We've notified that team of the temporary drop in subscribers we're seeing reported by them and will work with them to resolve the issue.

These issues happen fairly often, so when you see it, don't worry. It is very rare that you would lose 50% of your subscribers overnight, even if you did touch the Queen of England.

Forum discussion at Google Groups.

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Chris Wright

04/03/2009 01:25 pm

Another problem I had on April 1st (which I can confirm was no joke), was that a bucket load of clients of mine noticed Feedburner errors returned for their feeds. All were redirected from blogger atom or rss files. On checking each of their accounts, I found that every single blogger atom or rss file was 0 bytes length. None of them had republished. Out of interest, I checked a couple of my own 'test' Blogger accounts and found them to be at 0 bytes too. I had the problem on over 60 blogger blogs on at least 30 different people. I didn't get the notification in my Feedburner 'health' feed for another 24 hours. Something screwed up somewhere. The fix was to get each client to do a republish of just the indexes (which also updates the feed files). Weirdest thing was I didn't see much noise online about it, which I expected to. Perhaps did a republish and I was just caught it at the right time...

Phil Hollows

04/03/2009 01:40 pm

FeedFetcher stopped reporting its subscribers April 2 it seems according to FeedBlitz RSS service logs. There is an allternative for those looking for one: FeedBlitz's new RSS service. http://tinyurl.com/dh6b7x Thanks Phil Hollows Founder FeedBlitz

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