What Is Going On with the Feedburner Stats?

By Daniel Scocco

We all know that the number of subscribers reported by Feedburner fluctuate. Some days you’ll gain a couple hundred, other days you’ll lose it. This is because some RSS readers are only counted if the user actually used it to view your RSS feed that day (e.g., Firefox subscriptions).

That being said, lately these fluctuations are reaching a new level. For example, my feed reported around 45,000 subscribers until last week. Then one day it went down to 40,000. The other day it jumped to 50,000, then 55,000, and today it is back to 40,000…

So what is it Feedburner?

I took a look at the stats, and some of the big fluctuations seem to be coming from RSS readers being added and removed from the overall count (e.g., Netvibes). I am just not sure why this is happening.

I also visited some other blogs, and noticed that they are having similar fluctuations, so it might be a widespread thing.

Are you guys experiencing it on your blogs as well? Do you know what might be causing it?



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43 Responses to “What Is Going On with the Feedburner Stats?”

  • Nabeel | Create Your First Website

    Johnchow also reported that his blog hit 100k readers. He also mentioned that it was fluctuating between 96-100k, in his words:

    “The count was hovering around the 96K to 98K mark for the past few days but finally hit the 100K level today.”

    (The blog post is http://www.johnchow.com/how-i-broke-100000-rss-readers/)

    After this post, the readers fell down to 94k, then the other day they were 96 k, then 94 k again, and now when I went there it’s 101k again.

    So I think there is definitely a problem, as I think just yesterday it was 95k and today it’s 101k readers on johnchow.com

    -Nabeel

  • Nabeel | Create Your First Website

    Johnchow also reported that his blog hit 100k readers. He also mentioned that it was fluctuating between 96-100k, in his words:

    “The count was hovering around the 96K to 98K mark for the past few days but finally hit the 100K level today.”

    (The blog post is johnchow.com/how-i-broke-100000-rss-readers/)

    After this post, the readers fell down to 94k, then the other day they were 96 k, then 94 k again, and now when I went there it’s 101k again.

    So I think there is definitely a problem, as I think just yesterday it was 95k and today it’s 101k readers on johnchow.com

    -Nabeel

  • Darshan Chande

    Yeah! Though I don’t have followers in thousands but I still see my RSS followers fluctuate by about hundred or so many a time. I think it’s happening throughout Feedburner users.

  • Michelle

    I’m glad I’m not the only one. My site is nowhere as big as yours, but for a little site the fluctuations are big. I’ve been gaining and dropping about a third of my subscribers every other day. It doesn’t make sense.

  • Marty Weil

    Yes, on a percentage basis, my fluctuations are even greater than yours. I normally have about 550 RSS readers. Last week, it went down to 328; today it is over 620. That’s a pretty wild swing. It’s practically a random number generator.

  • Maxime Guernion

    And it’s worldwide ! Sometimes Netvibes is not counted by FeedBurner, sometimes it’s 10x bigger. FeedBurner’s fault or Netvives ? Don’t know.
    My FeedBurner’s FeedCount jump from around 800 to ~8000 since june 14.

  • Ben Vernon

    Thank god someone else has had this happen. I usually have only 40-50 subs and woke up one day to find a jump to 341. This has stayed around this mark for about a week now. Also I have 311 from netvibes so it must be something to do with that.

  • icantinternet

    I’m not yet in the 1K figures of RSS subscribers, but yes, the number seems to fluctuate alot lately, I noticed this same behaviour on all my blogs/RSS-Feeds. Hope they fix it soon…

  • saki

    I don’t have a blog (yet), but I have noticed big changes of feedburner stats fluctuations in blogs I follow. I was always wondering how can somebody get or lose many readers in one night.

  • Onibalusi Bamidele

    I also experienced the same recently and it appears as if I am loosing half of my feed subscribers, I was wondering what was happening just to check back to see the number was up back.

    Thanks a lot,
    -Onibalusi

  • Diggy

    With me my feedcount drops by more than 50% every 2-3 days. I have noticed that it is all my google rss readers that get removed and added again.

  • Simone Chiaretta

    It seems like it is a problem also with Google Reader subscribers:
    http://feedburnerstatus.blogspot.com/2010/05/google-feedfetcher-subscriber-counts.html

    mine are fluctuating from one month at least… from the 2.6k I usually had, down to 1900 and even 1000, and lately up to 3500… very strange ideed

  • Josh Garcia

    That is great observation! Please write about it when you find what is happening.

    Thanks…
    Josh

  • Shelly | BRICKS-n-MORTAR.com

    Daniel, its not only the RSS readers, but Feedburner has been shamelessly inconsistent in reporting email subscribers also. Since we keep a copied CSV copy of the email subscribers of our site, we are able to check and verify that Feedburner’s not that reliable!!

    Its very spooky in depicting the readers’ graph too, which abruptly rises and falls (i.e., without any logic). Data and analysis reported by Feedburner vary a lot with that of other standard reporting tools (like Statcounter and MyBlogLog in our case)

    Google must own Feedburner completely and amend its erratic behavior rather than letting Feedburner behave like a stepson 🙂

  • Men’s Online Magazine

    Mine changes on a daily basis, so it is hard to actually know the real number

  • Nasrul Hanis

    Happened to me too. But sometimes it just affect some of my sites’ feeds. Still wondering why and hope they’ll fix it soon.

  • Srinivas Rao

    Daniel,

    I”ve been in the same boat as well. I think that it’s a pretty common experience and many people have been tweeting about it. I’ve lost up to 300 subs in one day only to find them back the next day. Hopefully it will get sorted out in the next few days.

  • Sean (Big Boo) Scaplehorn

    I’ve always assumed that’s what Feedburner does. I’ve noticed my stats go up and down quite frequently ever since I first started using it nearly two and a half years ago.

    I’ve always assumed it must have something to do with how often each user actually picks up or reads the feed, but have never seen anything to back this theory up before.

    I also miss some of the statistics screens that were lost a while back after Google bought Feedburner. I found them easy to read than digging through Analytics.

  • Roshan Ahmed

    I’ve been noticing it on your blog (and I’ve asked you once!). I think I’ve seen the same on other blogs as well.

  • Jonathan Volk

    Yea… I am seeing a similar flux! Up to 39,000+ down to 34,000+. Crazy stuff

  • Umesh

    I think some automated sites or robots make this counter goes up and down. When I see log and RSS stats, I think it’s something to do with automation script on the sites who crawls your page through feed.

  • Bryon Powell

    I’ve noticed larger than larger fluctuations in the past week or so. While there may be other things going on, it appears that on some days Feedburner fails to count one or more sources for the Google Reader count. I’m on my third main feed URL, all of which are redirected, but there not all being captured. This has occasionally happened in the past, but it’s been much worse this past week.

  • Jonathan Beebe

    I haven’t the slightest clue as to WHY that might be happening, but I sure wish there was more of a ‘confirmed’ aspect to feedburner subscriptions. It seems highly inaccurate to consider someone a subscriber simply from accessing your feed. To me, that type of subscription system would always be more than a little flawed.

  • Robert

    Mine jumps up and down all the time on one of my sites, it’s never the same two days in a row

  • Kurt Avish

    I don’t have so much rss subs. But I am seeing some very noticeable fluctuations too. My average is around 980 subscribers but some time during the day I see it going to 940 and then the next day it goes back to 980.

    I doubt 40 people are subscribing and unsubscribing per day like that!

    Also almost everyday during some hours the stats shows ZERO subs.

  • Amy @ My Friend Amy

    Yes! And thanks for this post b/c It’s the first time I’ve seen someone else say there’s is jumping. For about a month it was dropping subscribers every other day until last week there was a major inflation. I also figured out it seemed to be due to Netvibes but couldn’t much further than that.

  • mondex1

    I think all of us are experiencing this sudden big drops. I just hope that it will be fixed soon.

  • Giri

    In the beginning I was using blogger.com for my blogging. At that time I didn’t face any fluctuation problem as you said. I had but very low (10 or 15 only) but Once I have migrated to WordPress now I am facing the problem which you and others have mentioned.

    I am not having huge readers count for my Blog.. I have 600 readers.. some time it came to 450, 350 even 150 also :-). I know I have approx 600 readers (due to regular monitoring) but these fluctuation are really irritating. I couldn’t put widget for Feed count due to these fluctuations. If some one looks with 150 readers count, what they will feel? All my work and effort will be gone that time in their view.

    after migrating WordPress I am able to see the message called “That feed could not be found” frequently in Feedburner. When I was in Blogger.com I didn’t face like this atleast this much of frequency.

    Hope above info will be useful for some one.

    Thanks
    Giri

  • Danny

    Would love to hear what the answer is to this problem..

  • Blake @ Props Blog Reviews

    Mine has been spazzing out bigtime too. I haven’t been real active, so it hasn’t bothered me, but it is strange seeing my count cut in half, then double back up…

  • Schmidty – Man Vs. Style

    I have also wondered exactly why this happens as mine also has huge fluctuations…..greater than 50% on occasions. really glad you brought this up.

    Would be great to get an explanation.

    Cheers,

    Schmidty

  • Dev | Technshare

    Hey Daniel,

    Yeah, Everyone is having problem with feed burner.
    Anyways, Thanks for the share.

    ~Dev

  • Shelly

    Can’t comprehend why you rejected (didn’t publish) my comment on this post that I submitted yesterday!!! There wasn’t anything offensive in it I guess!

    • Nabeel | Create Your First Website

      I guess it’s published now! Maybe Daniel was very Busy!!

  • Norway Photos

    My feed counter more than doubled overnight from 1200 to 2600 on my music blog. The reason seems to be netvibes.
    Very annoying to not have an accurate way of knowing the feed count trends!

  • Greg

    I just took the Feedburner count off my blog because it was so erratic. Don’t know why, but until they get it straightened out, I figure it doesn’t serve much value.

  • mrtom

    And I thought I was left on my own with this problem. I’ve been experiencing it for a good few weeks. I noticed that every couple days Google Reader subscrbiers are not included in the total number of reader…

  • Liposuction side effects

    I don’t know on my other blog if my feedburner stats is fluctuating or not. I guess this issue will put some doubt on Feedburners reliability.

  • Lynn Marentette

    My blog stats went up because Feedburner added Netvibes stats to the totals. Does anyone know how to learn more about this?

  • Steven Aitchison

    Hi Daniel, I was searching Google to see if anyone else is experiencing this problem. Apparently it is widespread. I am fluctuating between 6k and 9k

    • Liposuction side effects

      I too is waiting for any announcement from Google regarding Feedburner’s stats issue

  • TechPatel

    Don’t know whats happening, mine is 1 (one) from last 2 days.

  • Jeremy Ashburn

    My feeds have been fluxuating intensely as well over the past month. I think that it’s all part of the “Google Dance.” I think these fluxuations are becoming part of the norm. We’re going to need to look at average fluxuations vs daily fluxuations.

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