Understanding feed count fluctuations


The Feedburner users out there will probably have already noticed the fluctuations that their feed count suffer over the time. Moreover, if you pay attention you will notice that during week days when you pump many posts the feed count will peak, while on weekends and on days that you do not post that number will decline (sometimes heavily, for the despair of the blogger).


There is simple explanation for this fact, though. Feedburner delivers your feed to a myriad of RSS readers. There are basically two types of RSS readers: web-based readers like Bloglines or MyYahoo and on-demand readers like FireFox Live Bookmarks. The web-based readers will pull your feed whether the subscriber opens his reader page or not, hence why the feed count for web-based readers is stable over the time. On-demand readers, however, will only be counted if the user actually accesses the feed on a particular day.

Here is a quote from Eric Olson, responsible of the Publisher Services for Feedburner:

We can only track the subscriber we see in a given day. If someone doesn’t open their feedreader or live bookmarks than we can’t count them that day and won’t count them on your stats.

Browse all articles on the Blogosphere category

20 Responses to “Understanding feed count fluctuations”

  • Jack Yan

    My fluctuations are sometimes plus or minus six people, which is fine. However, they are regularly 300 (75 per cent) of my readership. I’m not sure this can be explained by the above. The 300 drops do not happen on set days of the week, either, but appear to be totally random.

  • Daily Good Tips

    my new blog has only 60 subscribers

  • Bang Kritikus

    Thanks for your information. I give great interesting for this blog. Good.

  • Bas – Istanbul Expat

    It can really annoy me sometimes. They should offer a way to exclude the on-demand reader count from the Feedburner count.

    Or to just split the two up.

  • SEO Genius

    Great post, i have been wondering this for sometime now 🙂

  • Tom Johnson

    Thanks for the post. I’ve been wondering about the reasons for Feedburner’s fluctuations for months!

  • listikal

    Excellent post on the fluctuation. It seems like I’ve read this before, but this really nails it on the head.

  • Aaron Bobrink

    Nice to know this about feedburner. My blog is too new to have fluctuations in its count, but I have noticed it in other blogs.

    Keep up the good work Daniel!

  • sujan patel

    I’ve always wondered why my feed count is lower on weekends. Thanks for clearing it up.

  • Jim

    Thanks for the simple–yet previously unknown to me–explanation!

  • Daniel

    no problems Ian, I agree 100% with what you guys said.

  • Ian Delaney

    sorry – I see you’ve already addressed this…

  • Ian Delaney

    It’s rarely much more than a quarter of that normally. That’s not a fluctuation: it’s a weird spike.

    By providing external validation, you’re reassuring potential sponsors.

  • Daniel


    I had not considered a case where there is a sharp readership drop, and you are right.

    I guess, as Engtech said, that the day to day fluctuations do not bother anyone after all, hence why I removed the last part of the post.

    Thanks for correcting me on this one guys, those are the benefits of writing a blog as opposed to a book.

  • Allen.H

    My blog’s biggest peek was at 1300 subscribers, today it averages 550-800,


  • Daniel

    engtech, you have a valid point.

    the main idea of my post was to explain the why the fluctiations happen in the first place

  • engtech

    I wouldn’t worry about it. Realistically I only see a less than 15% swing on the weekends versus weekdays. I honestly don’t think anyone but me would be paying enough attention to even notice it.

Comments are closed.