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A small yet noteworthy change to our item stats link serving

FeedBurner has been busy analyzing, publicizing, optimizing and monetizing your feeds since 2004, and in that time, we’ve seen our fair share of feed traffic. In fact, we see billions of hits from feed traffic per week, and we watch this data carefully for trends and opportunities to improve what we do in making sure your feed content is delivered as quickly as possible, as accurately as possible, no matter what its destination might be.
Today we are making an improvement that we think will serve our publishers better by making our service more compatible with search engines that crawl feeds.
When we started the service, one thing we were not sure of at the time was how the feed reading ecosystem would treat the links we rewrite in order to give you statistics on how many people click on your feed items.
For instance, on the previous post in this blog, we change the link in the feed item for “FeedBurner Terms of Service Update” from
http://adsenseforfeeds.blogspot.com/2009/08/feedburner-terms-of-service-update.html
to
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/MQiv/~3/Z8Es5QuvgEI/feedburner-terms-of-service-update.html

which sends the browser to that original URL, but allows us to first track the click.
As a technical detail, we rewrote these links with a code of “302 Temporary Redirect” which tells the browser or consuming service that the redirect is not permanent, and thus it would need to be read every time.
As of today we are changing this to be a “301 Permanent Redirect” because we’ve looked at the traffic enough to tell that there some benefit to changing this to a “301 Permanent Redirect” – in that some search engines that index the feeds themselves will consider these to be additional links that should be used in determining the popularity of your site. This is the same way that “URL shortener” services send traffic and get treated by search engines, so we feel that this is consistent with the way that content is distributed today. This update should not change the number of clicks that come to your site from your feed nor should it significantly affect the number of clicks FeedBurner tracks for you.
What do you need to do? Nothin’. Nada. Just keep burning your feeds from FeedBurner or your AdSense account in AdSense for feeds, and we will keep working hard to ensure your content is as accessible as possible – now, hopefully even more so.


Posted by Steve Olechowski – Product Manager, AdSense for feeds and FeedBurner

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