General Question

MissAnthrope's avatar

Are Feedburner stats reliable?

Asked by MissAnthrope (21491points) January 6th, 2011

I’m looking at my Feedburner subscriber statistics and it’s all over the place. I’m wondering if it’s right and/or what to believe…

Day 1 – 4
Day 2 – 11
Day 3 – 4
Day 4 – 10
Day 5 – 11
Day 6 – 5
Day 7 – 4
Day 8 – 5
(and so on..)

I’m trying to get an idea of how many people are reading regularly, is it 5? Is it 10? What the heck?

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7 Answers

prolificus's avatar

I’m not sure how accurate the Feedsburner stat count is. When I blogged, I used http://statcounter.com/ and http://www.sitemeter.com/. Both seemed relatively accurate. The Feedsburner site might explain if those stats are unique new and or returning visitors. Also, I’m sure there are user forums somewhere online giving a headsup if there are any known glitches.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I do use StatCounter and BlogPatrol, so I have an idea of who’s visiting and of my repeat visitors. The Feedburner stats list those who have subscribed, which I would take to mean are regular readers. I just am wondering how or why there would be so much fluctuation.

prolificus's avatar

Could it be actual download of the associated RSS post? I subscribe to many feeds, but I only download and read certain posts. Maybe the count reflects the number of posts either downloaded or viewed from the feed itself.

Do you display the whole post or just a snippet in your RSS feed?

MissAnthrope's avatar

I have to admit my knowledge of how RSS works is a bit limited, as I’ve never had the need to use it.. I never minded making the rounds of my regular blogs, I dunno.

I think I have the whole post displayed. I think?

prolificus's avatar

There are two ways to find out:

1. Go to your RSS settings found in your blog settings. Check to see if you have full or snippet set.

2. Subscribe to your RSS feed and check out what your readers see.

Also, if you do check your feed, you’ll be able to see immediately if viewing and/or downloading a post affects your feed stats. The only thing is, if you’ve set your feed stat counter to exclude your ISP address, then you’d have to log in somewhere else to see how using your RSS feed affects your feed stats.

I’m writing this as stat and blog user, not as a tech expert. There might be other or better ways to check.

Vincentt's avatar

I believe it uses an image added to your posts, and tracks how many times that image is requested. Thus, it would signify the amount of looks at your posts. That would explain the fluctuation (which, on a scale as this, might very well be so extreme, percentually).

Not entirely sure how much of that is true, but you should be able to find that out on Feedburner’s website.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Thanks for the insight! :)

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