Last week I opened my Feedburner account to check the daily traffic statistics for my by Ron Miller blog. There was a link at the top of the page encouraging me to transfer my Feedburner account, which Google had purchased back in 2007, to my Google account. Seemed like a sensible thing to do since I have all my Google services under a single sign-on except Feedburner. It turned out it was a terrible idea.
Since last Tuesday when I made the transfer I have not had site stats and my subscriber stats have been erratic. Google completely botched the transfer and there doesn't seem to be any resolution to the problem any time soon.
What Is Feedburner?
Feedburner is a service for bloggers and podcasters that lets you manage subscribers and view details about your daily site traffic including how many visitors you had, the 10 most read posts, how they found you (e.g., link from another site or a search engine) and which outgoing links they clicked the most. There is some incredible data here including which countries visitors came from, what OS they used, in which browser they were viewing your blog and much more. It's a wealth of information and it gives you some insight into what readers like on your blog and what the readers themselves are like.
Google Gets Involved
Feedburner was a pretty neat service when I found it several years ago. Not many companies could offer the combination of site stats and subscriber management that Feedburner did, so I felt some trepidation when in May 2007 Google announced it was purchasing Feedburner for a cool $100M. Good for the founders, but not very good for the users.
Oh sure, Google dropped the subscription fee, but they basically ignored it from the purchase point forward. The Feedburner blog lay dormant. There was little if any additional development except perhaps to of course incorporate Google ads into your subscriber feed. But at least it still worked most of the time...until last week.
The Transfer Mess
Shortly after I clicked the link to transfer my account from Feedburner to Google I got an email stating the account had been transferred successfully. Great, except for the fact it wasn't true. I went back to Feedburner and my subscriber stats were down at least 25 percent (those have since been restored), and my site stats were gone, vanished into thin air, and they haven't returned.
I checked the user forums and I was not alone. I did an Internet search and found similar stories including this consulting firm which recommended you stay away from the transfer until the "bugs" are worked out. Good advice. The Feedburner Status blog lists some issues with the transfer, but there is nothing about missing site stats.
If you have a Feedburner account, do NOT, I repeat, do not click that transfer link until you hear they have worked out all of the issues. Google bought Feedburner 18 months ago. They have a lot of smart developers. Don't you think they could have made sure the transfer was working before they displayed the link? They have virtually ignored the service since they bought it, and now when they have paid it a little attention, they have screwed it up completely.