Google Feedfetcher Had A Hangover



When I went to check my blog early today, there was one thing that I noticed and that was the big drop on my RSS subscribers. Last time I checked, my Feedburner chicklet showed that I had 174 readers. This morning, it showed only 109.

What happened? I had no idea. It’s normal for the number of my RSS subscribers to drop 10 readers at a time but for it to lose 65 readers overnight was weird. Since I don’t know what the reason was, I couldn’t do anything about so I thought to myself that I’d just wait until tomorrow and see what happens.

Later that afternoon, I got John Chow’s RSS feed via email and saw the title of his latest post – “How I Lost 4,993 RSS Subscribers Overnight“. I immediately knew that what ever reason he had for losing that much subscribers was the same reason I lost mine. From John’s post, I found out that the culprit was Google’s Feedfetcher and that it wasn’t showing the number of RSS subccribers using Google Reader. Btw, I’m sure John is happy that this didn’t happen during the RSS competition vs Shoemoney. Hehe

Though John Chow showed proof that the culprit was Google Feedfetcher, I still wasn’t sure and I wanted to confirm it so I decided to pay the Feedburner blog a visit and saw this Saturday Subscriber Count Drop?

If you saw your subscriber count drop precipitously in your Saturday, November 3rd summary from FeedBurner, the reason is that specific subscriber stats from Google Feedfetcher were offline because this service was apparently out late with friends on Friday night, and well, it completely slept through Saturday. It appears to have rallied, however, and amid firm declarations of “I’m never doing that again”, Feedfetcher has started diligently reporting subscriber numbers to us, early this morning Pacific Time. FeedBurner publishers’ subscriber counts should be closer to what you’d normally expect starting with reports that will be available on Monday morning.

There ya go! That explains everything. Good to know that it’s just temporary and that things should be back to normal on Monday morning.

Anyone else got worried by the sudden drop of RSS subscribers n the Feedburner chicklet? What percentage of your total RSS subscribers use Google Reader? How about you, do you use Google Reader? Share your thoughts!


Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

12 Comments

  1. JP Habaradas

    November 7, 2007 at 1:35 PM

    @aj – I’m not obsessive about these things but they do have some serious effects on my blog that’s why I check them once in a while. I keep track of it but not every hour. I’m over that phase already. Hehe :D

  2. aj batac

    November 7, 2007 at 1:32 PM

    First there was PageRank going down, now feed count. Some people seems to be obsessive by these things (hey, don’t get me wrong – I was too!). :lol:

    I always suggest to my friends to focus on content and those 2 things will come naturally.

    Yeah, and checking stats from time to time is ok. But jeez, not every hour. :razz:

  3. JP Habaradas

    November 7, 2007 at 3:15 AM

    @benj – Normally, my Feedburner chicklet shows 10-20 less readers but when it shows that it lost almost half then it means Google Feedfetcher isn’t working again. :)

  4. benj

    November 7, 2007 at 3:12 AM

    My RSS stats also gets halved from time to time. I saw it go to as low as 47 over the weekend. I knew it would normalize though. hehe

  5. JP Habaradas

    November 6, 2007 at 9:30 PM

    @Sonnie – I’m not using any widgets on this theme. All of the sidebar content are hard coded into the sidebar.php file. :)

  6. Sonnie

    November 6, 2007 at 9:28 PM

    @ Jaypee, this is off topic, how did you widgetize the top commenters plugin? Or can you point me to the latest version. Thanks

  7. Sonnie

    November 6, 2007 at 4:25 AM

    Ohh, that explains why my feedburner subscription dropped by 60 readers. My Grazr blogroll has gone crazy as well. Is it over now? Because my Grazr is not yet working and it uses google reader for my subscription feeds.

  8. JP Habaradas

    November 6, 2007 at 4:30 AM

    @Sonnie – Yeah, everyone who uses Feedburner has experienced or noticed the drop in RSS subscribers. Btw, it went back to normal Monday morning here in the US so things should be working by now. If your Grazr blogroll is not working, you might have to check with them. :)

  9. JP Habaradas

    November 5, 2007 at 10:40 PM

    @Brown Baron – Me too. I thought that my reader don’t love me or my blog anymore. Hehe Yeah, it’s good that it’s just a glitch in the system. :D

  10. Brown Baron

    November 5, 2007 at 10:37 PM

    My first thought when I saw the numbers was “Great, my readers have gone on strike :shock: ” Good thing it was just a glitch :mrgreen:

  11. JP Habaradas

    November 5, 2007 at 10:25 AM

    @jhay – I also don’t check my feed stats often and I only noticed it from the Feedburner chicklet.

    Your observation is correct. Google is the new Big Brother of the Internet. :D

  12. jhay

    November 5, 2007 at 10:23 AM

    I don’t check my feed stats that often so I really didn’t notice it. What I did notice was that, when Google moves an inch, say one of its services goes down or gets screwed up, it creates ripples upon ripples in the blogosphere.

    Google, is God. :razz:

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