Journal / Feedburner transition confusion resolved

When the feed analytics tool Feedburner was bought by Google, it was inevitable that someday Google would want to move the systems over to Google servers. That migration started a while back, and Google wants everyone to be moved over by the end of February 2009.

The problem is that the migration has caused a lot of confusion and uncertainty. Following a couple of conversations with Sam Brown about this, I started digging around for answers, and thought I would share my findings in the hope that others won’t be so confused.

Feedburner feeds used to take the form feeds.feedburner.com/feedname. Once you move over to the Google system, your feeds take the form feeds2.feedburner.com/feedname. Some feeds seemt to take the form feedproxy.google.com/feedname. So which is correct? Which versions still work properly? Which version should I advertise to my readers? What is MyBrand, and can it save some confusion? Will all this affect my stats?

Some facts:

  • If you click on a feed link on a site of the form feeds.feedburner.com/feedname, it automatically subscribes your feed reader to the feeds2.feedburner.com/feedname version.
  • feedproxy.google.com/feedname is meant to be used for feeds which use Google AdSense in the feed. However, this format also works for feeds with no AdSense (or it does for mine at least).
  • So subscribers to feeds.feedburner.com/feedname AND feeds2.feedburner.com/feedname AND feedproxy.google.com/feedname all count towards your stats.
  • feeds.feedburner.com/feedname will not expire and once the servers are all sorted, everyone will go back to feeds instead of feeds2.feedburner.com/feedname feeds and feeds2 will both map to the same server
  • You should probably (in my opinion) keep your subscription links on sites at feeds.feedburner.com/feedname NOT feeds2.feedburner.com/feedname

There is a lot of confusion there, but a lot of it could be solved with MyBrand. MyBrand is a free Feedburner feature which allows you to use your own domain name with your feeds, eg. feeds.nonimage.com/feedname. This service works by using your domain name to mask the feedburner domain, so:

  • feeds.feedburner.com/feedname, or feeds2.feedburner.com/feedname, or feedproxy.google.com/feedname all become feeds.yourdomain.com/feedname.
  • Therefore whatever Google decides to do with their URLs, your feed URL will remain the same.
  • Using MyBrand will also give you the option to keep the same feed URL if you leave Feedburner, as the URL uses your domain.
  • The users already subscribed to any of the Feedburner or Google URLs for your feed will still show up in your stats, since MyBrand just masks the existing URLs, it doesn’t actually change them. So you won’t lose any subscribers.
  • You can add multiple domains to your account. For example, feeds.feedburner.com/nonimageblog has become feeds.nonimage.com/nonimageblog, but feeds.feedburner.com/CodaClips will become feeds.coda-clips.com/CodaClips. (This means that feeds.nonimage.com/CodaClips is also valid, but if you never advertise this address, it doesn’t matter, and all subscribers od all URLs count towards the overall stats for a feed anyway

Confused? Hopefully less so now. This info has been taken from another of sources, so if I’ve got anything orng, please let me know.

19 responses so far

  1. Chris Thomson

    16th Feb, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    Great clarification. One additional thing to note is that if you used MyBrand before you did the switch to feedburner.google.com, you’ll need to update the CNAME record to a more complex and specific one to your account (as shown on the MyBrand page of your account).

  2. dvfrog

    2nd Mar, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    I’m getting contradictory advise from a “Community Expert” on the Google forums:

    http://groups.google.com/group.....a9b81f809#

    He says “that feeds2.feedburner.com will be the standard URL
    in the next few months. Even if they decide to move all addresses back to feeds.feedburner.com, there will be a permanent redirect and you won’t lose any subscriber because of the address move.”

    But the current redirect from feeds.feedburner.com to feeds2.feedburner.com is only temporary.

    Thoughts?

    (I just want to get an “official” answer from somebody at Google!)

  3. admin

    2nd Mar, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Hi dvfrog

    I have updated my post just now, as what I had written was not exactly correct. I have now linked above to a Feedburner Admin post stating that both feeds and feeds2 will both map to the same server once the server move is sorted out properly. Therefore, it’s my opinion that we should all keep using feeds for now instead of feeds2. This was the post I read originally, but I misinterprested it slightly before.

    If you find out any more concrete facts or anything else I’ve got wrong, please let me know. I’m trying to build as clear a picture for people as possible, since Google doesn’t seem to want to do that themselves.

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  5. Costas

    9th Jul, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    RE: You should probably (in my opinion) keep your subscription links on sites at feeds.feedburner.com/feedname NOT feeds2.feedburner.com/feedname

    When i moved my blog to its own domain i changed all pointers to feeds.feedburner.com and stats became a mess. Stats accounted for 50-70% of my real subscribers (for over a week). When I switched all pointers to feeds2.feedburner.com stats came back to normal. I am not an expert on these issues, but I wanted to share my experience on this.

    Good article, clarified several things in my head.

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