Google Feedfetcher and Distinct feed-id Values

Album Cover: No Line On The Horizon

"I'm running down the road like loose electricity while the band in my head plays a striptease."
U2 / Breathe

Posted on December 09, 2007 12:37 PM in Web Development
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

It's a little unfortunate that you can't really count on a single Google Feedfetcher ping of your feed in your referrer log to determine the total count of subscribers using Google properties.

I must say, though, that it is nice how they provide a concise explanation of a very deterministic approach to finding out what the total count is:

The "User-Agent:" header of our crawler includes the name of our crawler ("FeedFetcher-Google") along with its associated URL, the subscriber count, and a unique 64-bit feed identifier ("feed-id"). You might see multiple requests for the same feed with distinct "feed-id" values. This happens if the same feed is referenced through multiple URLs (for example, because of redirects). In that case, you'll need to sum up the subscribers to a feed that have distinct "feed-id" values to determine the total number of Google subscribers to the feed.

From my experience looking at pings from other crawlers like Bloglines', I don't believe they take the same approach, so from time-to-time you may see a very low subscriber count followed by a higher one, depending on whether a redirect occurred or a different URI was used to subscribe (the latter provides an excellent reason to use unambiguous URIs).

Comments

No one has added any comments.

Post Comments

If you feel like commenting on the above item, use the form below. Your email address will be used for personal contact reasons only, and will not be shown on this website.

Name:

Email Address:

Website:

Comments:

Check this box if you hate spam.