Google FeedFetcher subscriber counts erratic

Thursday, May 20, 2010 | 4:47 AM


Issue: Subscriber counts may appear lower than normal in publisher reports because of missing Google FeedFetcher reports.  All subscribers are still receiving the feed, this only effects the reporting number in the publisher dashboard and the awareness API.  There are no issues with feed delivery for text feeds or podcasts.

Status: Currently, we rely on the Google FeedFetcher user-agent to report to us the number of subscribers for a feed.  This number is calculated from a mix of Google properties including Google Reader and iGoogle.  We will be changing our method of calculating subscribers to use internal Google APIs between FeedBurner and the processes that run Google FeedFetcher so this number is more accurate in the future.  This post will be updated when that is running in production.

Update (11:00am PST 9-Jul): Today we rolled out a new subscriber count reporting fix that seeks first and foremost to address the issues surrounding Google FeedFetcher reporting. We will be monitoring counts closely to gauge success.