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.

39 thoughts on “No I Did Not Lose 1006 RSS Readers Overnight”

  1. another example of google controlling the internet

    1. i don’t think it’s google’s fault

    2. au8ust says:

      Absolutely right! 😈

    3. Marc says:

      It’s just a stats reporting problem… Hardly them controlling the planet…

    4. Alex says:

      another example of google controlling the internet

      Really, what does this have to do with Google’s internet domination?

  2. I experienced a similar drop. Since I’m no inspector gadget, I appreciate the info…puts things in better perspective πŸ˜€

    That’s why I visit this blog!!! And the free toys of course πŸ˜†

    1. Alex says:

      I had the same problem with feedburner about a month ago, when all of my email subscribers were dropped (I believe the same happened to you then).

    2. same here

      but over 1000 rsscribe, it seems a bit too much

    3. ya gotta give it to John….Mr. Sherlock …investigates everything an dthe writes about it and makes it look so simple..

  3. Mubin says:

    Yea, down from 123 to 74, It might be google, or it might be that someone has been ddosing my blog for the past 2 days.

    I know how you feel now John.

  4. I was just wondering about that. Feedburner has reported odd results like that for me before. Now I just let things lie for a few days. Usually it pops back up plus some.

  5. Kumiko says:

    It’s happened on quite a few occasions. It always seems to correct itself the next day though.

  6. Kevin says:

    I see lots of fluctuations in my stats, but I don’t really have a big enough base of users yet to tell what is normal and what isn’t. I just figured feedburner was a little wonky, guess it’s to be expected?

  7. I was wondering what happened!

    1. Jiang says:

      This problem happen to me yesterday! Maybe it’s Google’s problem!

  8. Jiang says:

    This problem happen to me yesterday. The feedburner number change from 185 to 124; but it is up to 185 now~

  9. GA says:

    John, do people who read your blog via RSS still come to your site?

    1. John Chow says:

      I am not sure. There is no way to truly measure that. But blog traffic has been trending up.

      1. GA says:

        Sometimes when i advertise I go on how big the RSS number is, but of course those people get an ad-free version don’t they?

        I still think its a good indicator
        however, for example I read your blog every single day but I have never signed up to any RSS feed.

    2. I am subscribed to the RSS feed and generally view every post on this site to comment. Also, subscribing also helps me view the headlines at about 20 sites and is MUCH easier to manage than physically going to each site. Like, I usually visit those sites as well (every to every other day) to comment.

  10. Matthew says:

    not really huge news to report or bother about, doesnt seem matter much

    1. it does matter!

      i think that’s why john is so successful now, cos he can dig things up and give a well-researched, well written post

  11. Chicago 2016 says:

    Man, it looks like you’re getting too many views for Google to handle. Don’t break it!

  12. I’ve always seen John’s feedburner in the 4,000’s. There have been several dips in the past though. One time I remember seeing it go down to around 2,000+. Well, anything more than 1,000 has always seemed a lot to me anyway. And regardless what the feedburner says, there’s been a constant surge of traffic coming in this one.

  13. ya it definitely seemed like a system glitch, 1000 people cannot dream of unsubscibing the same day no matter how dry the posts get:)

  14. I looks like your comments are back to normal and it also looks like because you blogged about your RSS feed you picked up a few hundred more subscribers.

  15. Yeah, seems everything is back to normal now, John. 4,695 and definitely rising — looking good.



  17. Rhys says:

    I experienced a similar drop, I went from 90 to 0!

  18. Amanda says:

    I didn’t really get hit infact my numbers went up!

  19. green says:

    Something is really wrong nowadays πŸ‘Ώ dunno why

  20. Andy says:

    That happend to me last week. I normally get 100 – 200 unique visitors a day, then it suddenly dropped to 50 a day for a few days, then sprouted back up again.


  21. Kenny says:

    Ahh, post explains everything. I knew it wasn’t a mass exodus from JC’s blog!

  22. Slaptijack says:

    Looks like the glitch was fixed. Plus, you’re 250 subs richer!

  23. James says:

    I’m sorry, it’s my fault. I forgot to login to a Google reader accounts. πŸ™‚

  24. You guys really care so much on the figure? For me, it is not reliable. I only believe on the Traffic Analytic tools for my .

  25. InvestorBlogger says:

    That’s nearly 5000 subscribers…

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