Many of you have probably heard of the Google Feedfetcher before if you’re a FeedBurner publisher. It is what Google uses to go and crawl RSS feeds for people subscribed to them using Google IG, Google Reader, and any other place Google displays feeds. Each time Google goes to fetch a feed it supplies the number of subscribers so that publishers know how many of their feed readers are using Google’s services.
The Google Feedfetcher appears to be having some major problems over the last week and a half correctly reporting the feed subscriber stats. On November 3rd Google didn’t report any of the reader stats, which caused some sites to have an alarmingly low number of feed subscribers. The same thing happened again on November 9th.
What’s even more interesting is that since November 4th the Google Feedfetcher has been reporting the same number of subscribers everyday. That essentially says that over the last 10 days we have not lost or gained any readers on Google, even on the weekends where our reader count heavily fluctuates:
Why is this significant? I’m not quite sure what this could mean, but Google is obviously tinkering with something that is screwing up the reporting functionality. Maybe it means that updates are coming to Google Reader, or maybe some of the FeedBurner stats will finally get integrated into Google Analytics?
For all of the publishers out there don’t be worried if you haven’t been gaining new readers. I’m sure there will be some sudden jumps when Google gets the kinks worked out.
Thanks to the How-To Geek for tipping me off on this!