Feedburner Analytics

How to stop FeedBurner from uglifying your clean URLs

I’ve had to do this a few times in the past, so found myself googling it again this morning when I was updating some feeds…

If you use a Feedburner feed to allow others to receive posts from your blog or site, you may see URLs like this come through:

[box color=”gray”]http://mysite.com/post-title/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+myfeed

So what causes the nasty and very additions to the URL (the bit that starts with ?utm_source)?

Answer? Google Analytics within FeedBurner (remember that Feedburner is owned by Google)…

There is a positive, in that if you use Google Analytics, then this will allow you to customise your Feed to give you additional information on specific campaigns or traffic sources.  However for most content creators, even if they use Google Analytics, they won’t be making changes in this area.  For me as a Woopra Analytics and WordPress user, it just makes my site configuration look ugly.  For those with Domino Blogs, the extra information on the URL tends to cause nasty 404 errors.

Do how to fix?

Go to your Feedburner account, select the feed you wish to change, then Configure Stats (under the Optimize tab).  Finally, disable the checkbox marked ‘Track clicks as a traffic source in Google Analytics’.  You can leave ‘Item views’ and ‘Item link clicks’ checked if you wish:

Feedburner Analytics

Your feed URLs will now look like the much more elegant:

[box color=”gray”]http://mysite.com/post-title/[/box]

Much better!

Image:Domino-based blogs and Feedburner - the fix!

Domino-based blogs and Feedburner – the fix!

Like many others in the Lotus community, I’m a big user of of both Domino-based blogs (DominoBlog in my case, but I believe Blogsphere is also affected) and Feedburner.  

I send all my blog content, comment and aggregated feeds through Feedburner in order to have some freedom to move the blogs around, to change settings and above all, to be able to track subscriptions and manage podcast content.  It’s a good service, though like others that Google has acquired over the years seems to have fallen into something of a lull in terms of new features.

However, they clearly have not stopped making changes altogether as this last week I’d started to see a number of complaints from folks on Twitter that were getting 404 errors when trying to access the blog posts linked from Twitterfeed tweets, e.g:

Image:Domino-based blogs and Feedburner - the fix!

When I checked out a few of the posts in question, and expanded the shortened links, I was seeing URLs like these:


The first portion of these links resolved just fine, i.e. http://foundationsblog.com/blog/foundations.nsf/dx/ibm-to-host-lotus-foundations-servers-in-uk-forum-locations, but the second half (after ?utm_source=) was causing the Domino server to reject the request (HTTP Web Server: Unknown Command Exception).  After a bit of an investigation it turned out that this is a new feature that Feedburner has introduced as a default on all its feeds:

Image:Domino-based blogs and Feedburner - the fix!
The ability to “Track clicks as a traffic source in Google Analytics” causes this ‘corruption’ to the URLs provided in the feed, and thus to the browser errors users have seen.  To fix the issue, just go into each of your Feedburner feeds and disable this option.  This is somewhat of a shame because I have always wanted to be able to track RSS feeds better than I can today, but I’m sure that can wait!

Hope this helps somebody else – if you use Feedburner for your feeds, it’s worth checking them ASAP.