How I Lost 4,993 RSS Subscribers Overnight

Many have noticed that my RSS counter took a nose dive to 8,701 from 13,694 the night before. How did that happen? Did I really lose 4,993 subscribers in one day? The answer is no. I’m justing using it in the title because it sounds good. So, how did it happen?

You Can Blame It On Google

It’s bad enough that Google is trying to play God on the Internet by dictating how we link to other sites, they had to go and turn off their Feedfetcher that report the number of Google Reader users. This was the make up of my RSS subscribers last night.


And this is how the stats looks today.


Noticed that the Google Feedfetcher information is missing. I should note that this is not the first time Google had a problem with Feedfetcher not reporting. The last time it happen, the problem was fixed the next day. I expect the RSS count to return to normal tomorrow.

62 thoughts on “How I Lost 4,993 RSS Subscribers Overnight”

  1. Chad says:

    Thanks for posting this. The same thing happened to my subscriber numbers. Glad to know it wasn’t just me!

    1. Yeah everyone got done!

      1. Lost abuot 30% RSS Subscribers πŸ˜•

        1. And I was almost worried that I lost the few readers (had close to 50 now down to close 30), than when I saw the title of on my feed reader I was like whaaa…I should shush the guy lost 4k

          Evil title…

    2. Mike says:

      Yeah, me too! I mean yesterday I had 19 readers, today I have 18… oh never mind… πŸ˜•

  2. you should try to take over the internet like google! Google hates you very much mr chow! you need to do an evil john chow attack on them … lol

    1. rahul says:

      something like ” RSS feed numbers resurrection: fight back of John chow ” 😈 or “Playing with you :curse of Google ” πŸ˜›

  3. Jamie Harrop says:

    I almost had a heart attach this morning when my RSS numbers dropped by almost 50%. Then I caught up with all the posts around the blogosphere from overnight and saw several people were reporting the problem. Phew! πŸ™‚

    1. Jamie Harrop says:

      Heart attach? I meant heart attack, of course. 😳

      1. Hey having a reserve heart attached is not a problem πŸ˜› (maybe you were attaching something to your mail when you commented? :P)

      2. Heart attach sounds quite cute too! Actually quite relevant in a twisted way!

  4. wow, i saw your rss numbers before the post! glad you spotted the issue πŸ™‚

  5. Sebbi says:

    Same thing here … amazing how a Google owned service can fail to report correct numbers for its own Feedreader πŸ˜‰

  6. Domtan says:

    It’s happening all over, many blogs experiencing this. ProBlogger had the same problem too.

  7. bob cobb says:

    its just a short term thing, not a big deal at all

    1. Stas K says:

      You right, it’s not big deal, but still Google suck.

  8. Thanks for posting this info. Mine did the same, but I didn’t think much of it. lol. Now I know

  9. James says:

    I noticed a big change today and my RSS is not big enough to bother showing yet. Now I know I am not the only one.
    I think Feedcatcher may be one of those unreliable and hence bad sites. They should get their PR knocked down. πŸ™‚

  10. I was wondering how this happend

  11. Gdog says:

    I was affected too, let’s hope they remedy this situation…a few PR bitchslaps outta do it! πŸ˜›

  12. They were fake numbers anyways, multiple subscriptions to the same person. How many were new subscribes John? If I am wrong with my thinking I am very sorry. It still was awesome to see that kinda of growth anyways.

    1. John Chow says:

      You need to read the post again.

  13. ckacey says:

    Finally! Someone is standing up to the big guys. Got this link from Daniel’s Daily Blog. I like it. Count me in.
    Those of you who are tired of being “hamstrung” by the big guys might want to check it out. πŸ˜› πŸ‘Ώ Google

  14. I think this also makes it tough for directory blogs who considers RSS subscribers as one criteria to rank them.

  15. Seopher says:

    I blogged this earlier in my “RSS meltdown” post:

    Darren Rowse lost like 15,000 subscribers – although things should be back to normal tomorrow.

  16. Harshad says:

    [email protected] “How Google is trying to play GOD on the Internet”!!!!! πŸ˜†

  17. simon says:

    I lost 51% about 800 RSS Subscribers

  18. You win some, and you loose some.

    The best part is: there are always NEW and much more interested, vibrant, energetic people out there who will discover our blogs and websites as long as we target the good niches out there.

    Good luck everyone. πŸ™‚

  19. Slaptijack says:

    For some reason, I never noticed the ‘FeedBurner Email Subscriptions’ until today. Is this a recent addition to the graph, or just my own tom-foolery?

    1. Neil Duckett says:

      No it`s not new … maybe you just missed it.

      1. John Chow says:

        Or he never offered a RSS by Email option.

  20. Nick says:

    Seems like this happens to my blog often, I lost half my RSS in one day?
    Click for Nick..How to keep a Business Running… 😳

  21. Bloggerites says:

    I love the title because I”m sure it is what everyone was thinking for the last while. I noticed it earlier and was curious when I saw this post. Just a SLIGHT difference.

  22. The Foo says:

    thanks for posting this — i was wondering why my subscribers suddenly dropped by almost half. glad to know it is not just happening to me.

  23. Tim Draayer says:

    John – Thanks for posting this. I noticed this as well but I wasn’t as quick to figure out the source for the drop in my subscriber count. I don’t have the subscriber base that you do so my numbers aren’t as dramatic as yours but any time you loose about 30% of your subscribers overnight its bound to raise some eyebrows. Especially your own.

  24. jhay says:

    If this is what could happen when one component of Google’s services goes down, imagine if the entire Google system/network/universe goes down? 😯

    1. Michael says:

      And this also shows how powerful Google is! 😈

    2. TJ says:

      I would have launched my own search engine :mrgreen: 😈

  25. I also noticed this on my blog – lost about 50 RSS subscribers overnight. I didn’t panic because I figured it was just a temporary glitch – looks like I was right.

    But now I know what the problem was – thank John! πŸ™‚

  26. With all the heat generated by the downgrading of PRs, this would have resulted in a lot more of heat except for this clarification. Thank God that it is just a mechanical problem and not something permanent!

  27. Great post, I lost 50% of my readers in one day and was wondering if it was from my latest DoS script but this clears things up a bit. Thanks!

  28. Jirel says:

    This happened to me as well. I lost my 30% subscriber which never happened before. I was surprised to see the feed subscriber stat. in feedburner yesterday.

  29. Did everyone hear about the Google pagerank victim’s buttons? I thought that was really funny, sort of pagerank victim’s anonymous πŸ˜†

  30. Yeah, my feed count was cut in half this weekend. I was wondering what was going on. Thanks for the info.

  31. Starboykb says:

    😎 same here, i have been monitoring my feed for quite a while. they change all the time. it is a bot? I wonder. πŸ˜€

  32. homemom3 says:

    This explains the white flag, I had wondered what google was doing to ya. Hope it all gets worked out.

  33. Raymond says:

    Well, It’s back to normal now.

  34. Well. it is fine and how do you keep it new always. πŸ˜†

  35. Looks like the stats are back to normal. I actually got a nice little jump in my feedburner stats today.

  36. Online Poker says:

    Thanks for these interesting fact, this means i don’t have to look for my losses myself :)!

  37. charles says:

    Not again. Google’s FeedBurner is experiencing a glitch as of the moment. I wonder what are they doing with their system. πŸ‘Ώ fyi

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