Google FeedBurner Review

Learn the pros and cons of this feed management tool

Female food blogger using laptop and working from home

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FeedBurner launched in 2004 and was purchased by Google in 2007. It is a web feed management provider that enables users to create RSS feeds for their blogs, websites, and podcasts.

Google deprecated the Feedburner APIs in 2012. The service remains available, but no development is ongoing.

FeedBurner Features

In addition to delivering feeds, Feedburner includes useful features and settings that bloggers can personalize to promote their feeds.

Here are just a few of the features found in FeedBurner:

  • Track feed subscriptions inside FeedBurner.
  • Customize email subscription messages for followers.
  • Add a greeting or subscription request personalized for blog visitors with the Personal Message option.
  • Share collected links on a blog by enabling the Link Splicer feature.
  • Deliver feed content to blog subscribers through email similar to an e-newsletter with the optional FeedBurner Email service.
Screenshot of FeedBurner Google's settings to see if it is safe
FeedBurner.com

FeedBurner Pros

Although some of the features that originally made FeedBurner popular are no longer available, there are still reasons to use the service.

Here are the reasons why bloggers still use FeedBurner:

  • Ease of Use: FeedBurner is free, and it's easy to create a blog's feed using FeedBurner. Just follow a few simple steps and it's done. The FeedBurner dashboard is simple to navigate, and Google offers a help center to answer any questions users have.
  • Promotion: The widgets and buttons in the FeedBurner dashboard are a handy way to invite people to subscribe to a blog and require no coding knowledge to add to a blog.
  • Universal Code: FeedBurner burns feeds using what it refers to as its SmartFeed service, which makes feeds created with FeedBurner readable through any device used to subscribe to that feed.

FeedBurner Cons

In the early days before Google purchased FeedBurner, subscriber numbers were considered an essential indicator of a blogger's success and popularity. Those subscriber numbers affected advertising rates and meant something to bloggers and blog readers. As users lost confidence in FeedBurner's analytics, many bloggers turned to alternatives and were willing to pay to use another tool that provided accurate data.

Here are a few other reasons why bloggers have turned away from FeedBurner:

  • Unreliable analytics: The most common complaint about FeedBurner focuses on its unreliable analytics data. For example, users might see 1,000 subscribers one day and 100 subscribers the next day. While the FeedBurner stats seem like a gold mine of information about subscriber trends, click-throughs, breakdowns of feed readers and email services, and much more, that data changes so significantly and so frequently that many bloggers who rely on feed statistics are dissatisfied with FeedBurner.
  • No subscriber widget: Bloggers still use FeedBurner to create and manage their blog feeds, but Google removed the widget that shows the number of blog subscribers.
  • Surrender domain name branding: Feedburner uses feedburner.com URLs. Users with established domain names can't use them.
  • Minimal customer support: Google maintains almost no information on FeedBurner on its website.
  • Not popular with blog subscribers: Getting blog visitors to use this outdated technology is an uphill journey.

FeedBurner can no longer be used to make money with a blog's feed by monetizing it through Google AdSense.

Bottom Line: Is Google FeedBurner Safe?

FeedBurner is used by large and small web publishers to make their content more accessible to a larger audience. Feeds make it easy to syndicate blog content on other websites or through other syndication providers.

If you rely on accurate tracking data to make money or grow your blog's audience and traffic, you're likely to be disappointed in the data that FeedBurner stats provide. On the other hand, if accurate data isn't important to you, then FeedBurner is a suitable tool to create and manage your blog's feed.

The choice of whether you should use FeedBurner depends on your blogging goals.