If you have visited one of the popular blogs recently, you might have noticed that they use Feedburner whenever they need to burn their RSS feeds. There are lots of benefits that make the blogs use Feedburner, but there are a lot more disadvantages too of using the same system.
There are lots of controversies on the use of Feedburner where some bloggers recommend it and others critique it. In this post, we are going to introduce what is Feedburner, as well as the bad sides and its good sides.
What is FeedBurner?
FeedBurner is a Google product and a free service that allows you to send emails directly from your blog. You can send your updates through RSS feed or through email. The system comes with tools that enable you to customize your feeds in a bid to promote them.
Some of the features include a subscription widget which can easily be added to the sidebar of your blog. It also gives statistics on how many people are following your blog.
When Should You Use FeedBurner?
FeedBurner comes handy when you anticipate changing hosts. With FeedBurner, it is possible to submit the Feeds to podcast directories like iTunes. When you change hosts and website URL, you only need to change the URL on Feedburner and FeedBurner will handle the rest.
Advantages of Using FeedBurner
It is important to get statistics about your subscribers including how often they visit your site, how they read the posts on your site and other details like where they come from. With FeedBurner, you get all this information readily.
Other details include how the subscribers subscribe on your blog, the browsers they use, items they view and their locations. The statistics can be downloaded anytime as CSV or Excel.
This is viewed as a great feature by many bloggers. The daily subscription that you can offer to your readers for free comes handy as most of them may not know about RSS feeds but have an email account.
Better yet, you can customize the emails that you send to the readers. Subscription comes in a number of languages including English, German, Spanish, French, Russian, Portuguese and Chinese. You can have a subscription form into your page or have it as a widget and can also customize the form as you wish.
The best part, you can see the subscribers emails and even download them if you ever need to move to a different service like Aweber.
It may be easy to lose your subscribers when you move to a different domain or just switch to a subfolder or sub-domain that is not your root domain. With FeedBurner, you just need to change the settings. Click Edit Feed Details and change the URL of your Feed and then click Save.
Publish on Social Media without Plugin
This is a great feature that allows you to connect to your Twitter account and send updates. The updates you send can be customized such that you send only the title, title and body, omit link, use hashtags and any additional text, send many items, filter updates per keyword and many more. You can then connect Twitter to Facebook and promote your content more.
Latest Post HTML Output
An HTML post for your latest post may come handy. This is made possible by the BuzzBoost feature on FeedBurner which can embed the list on any place you need the HTML list.
Disadvantages of Using FeedBurner
Once you have known what FeedBurner is and its benefits, you need to know its black side.
FeedBurner Hurts SEO
This is one of the main reasons why people have started looking for other options and sidelining FeedBurner. Those who are not shy with marketing and SEO knows about the link wheel. A link wheel is a the perception that every time you post something online, it is distributed to other online sources for the sake of generating backlinks for your site to the original post. This is advantageous for your site as many backlinks point back to your site.
There are many factors that you may consider while creating link wheels including the keywords to use, anchor text, destination site ranks, duration between updates, level of unique content posted and many others.
However, all the above do not matter when you are using FeedBurner. The link wheel you create will have no effect on your blog in term of SEO. The feed links added to pages, Squidoo and even in other popular blogs will not help at all.
The whole problem is caused by the name after FeedBurner burning (altering) the RSS feed. After burning, the RSS feed is channeled through Google Enhanced URL. If your RSS feed originally looks like this:
The link on the RSS should definitely direct readers to a post you have published and should look like:
However, when you use FeedBurner, the primary URL changes to:
The single post URL will also change to something like:
Though this may increase your RSS subscription to some extent, you never get backlinks as required for your SEO.