No I Did Not Lose 1006 RSS Readers Overnight

Yesterday, my Feedburner RSS showed 4,444 readers. Today, it showed 3,438 readers. While my RSS readership does go up and down by over 100 per day, a 1,000+ drop is very unusual and requires further investigation, especially when yesterday was one of my bigger traffic days.

I was not the only one affected by a huge drop in RSS subscribers. Both David Lithman and Matt of Net Business Blog were hit as well. It turns out the problem was a glitch in Google’s Feedfetcher.

Here was the breakdown of RSS readers from yesterday.


This is how the picture looks today.


Notice that all the numbers are pretty close to each other except for Google Feedfetcher, which went from 2,081 down to 928. It turns out there’s a hiccup in the system with either FeedBurner not fully reporting RSS numbers from Google Feedfetcher or Google not fully reporting all its Google Reader numbers to FeedBurner.

On the good news side, this appears to a one-day glitch. Having an under reported feed count doesn’t really mean anything in terms of dollars. Matt said it might affect his FeedBurner Ad income since that is paid on a CPM basis. However, the ads are still being served to the RSS subscribers so he does get credit for them. It’s just the feed count that is messed up. I expect the feed count to return to normal tomorrow.