This morning I transferred my FeedBurner feeds from FeedBurner to Google. Recently, FeedBurner was purchased by Google and the team has been making many optimizations since then. Within the past week, FeedBurner account management pages have been prompting users to transfer (merge) their feeds over to a Google account. Since I already use Google Analytics and other Google webmaster tools, this was no big deal.
All right, how long will this take?
The whole process took about 5 minutes. Seriously. It was painless. I clicked the transfer link, it sensed that I was logged into Google, and prompted me to make a decision: merge FeedBurner with the currently logged in account, the Google account linked in my FeedBurner email account setting, or to create a new Google account to merge with. Then, it went grinding away for a minute or two. Finito!
That sounds easy. But seriously, there has to be some drawback.
I don’t see any drawbacks if you already have a Google account. I had a concern that I was going to lose subscribers in the process, because there is a new feed address (http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MyAccountName, where the old one started with http://feeds… – addition of the 2). However, the FAQ assures us that subscribers will not be lost, as Google instantiated a redirect of the old address to the new. And, this redirect supposedly lasts forever.
FeedBurner site visitor stats have been eliminated. However, Google Analytics is far more robust, and likely people with Google accounts already have Google Analytics in place. A reminder to those using FeedBurner site stats that your visitor tracking scripts should now be removed.
Another repercussion: users implementing email subscription forms must update the form code per instructions on the Email Subscriptions page. If you’re just using a link like in my sidebar, that link must also be updated.
Meh, this sounds lame. How do I get out?
If you don’t want to go with the Google/FeedBurner merger, you have until February 28, 2009 to enable a 30-day redirection option. You are to start using your own feed rather than FeedBurner. This option, for the first 15 days, serves as a redirect to your feed, and for the last 15 days shows users an empty feed that “reads ‘This feed is no longer active. A new feed is located at’ followed by the URL of your original feed.”
Okay, it’s not worth all that effort. I’ll just keep FeedBurner. What should I do again?
Well, after you do the transfer, update your feeds to point to http://feeds2.feedburner.com/MyAccountName. Remove your FeedBurner site analytics. Add Google analytics if you don’t already have it. Update email subscription forms and links. Pretty easy, right? Five minutes, ten tops.
Lost RSS Subscribers? What up?
This happened to me 3 days ago (January 17), and I just today (January 20) transferred my feeds to Google. The loss of subscribers were all Google Reader/Feedfetcher subscribers. Are the lost subscribers due to the transfer? I doubt it. I bet Google is doing something is in the pipes that is affecting their reporting of Google Reader subscribers. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have noticed the issue until today. Just a thought.
I hope this helps you and eases any trepidation you may have or have had before switching to Google feeds. I wrote this up in answer of some of the questions I had regarding the transfer, and hope you benefit. All of my data was regarding my two blogs, Neatly Sliced and the Yum blog, so mileage may vary on users with many many FeedBurner accounts to transfer.