Feedburner have just annonced that 2 of their professional features are now available free of charge.
I have been signed up for Feedburner Pro for a while
Feedburner Pro – I don’t use all the features
Here are the settings I currently use for my Feedburner Pro Total stats
You will notice that the setting I don’t use is click stats, and this is for 3 very specific reasons.
With total stats, the links that appear in feeds are converted to tracking links. They have a special SEO option, that passes link juice, but unfortunately (or fortunately in some situations) not all search engines count a 301 redirect as a valid link to your domains, notably Technorati which can be used to your advantage too.
This has an effect on links from the following
Syndicated Content (with or without permission)
Those permalinks to your article are a good way to detect where your content is being used. Some syndication sites are not very smart, and don’t pick up the permalink address within a Feedburner feed correctly, and would use the header link that is a Feedburner redirect.
You wouldn’t be able to do a search for links to your domain, and the link isn’t detected by Technorati.
Social Networds & Bookmarking
Some sites pick up your feeds and display a snippet. It takes additional programming to take into account Feedburner formatting.
Many of these sites the links qualify as links in Technorati to your domain.
Links from your Readers
Someone is reading your feed… great!
They see one of your articles, and decide to link through to you… even better!
They pick up your link from within the Feedburner feed showing in their feed reader… with the redirect – You will get search engine benefit, but no pingback / trackback, and it won’t show up in Technorati or help your authority.
I went into a lot more details about these kinds of problems in my recent linking mistakes article.
Feedburner have had a “Mybrand” service for a while, though I haven’t actually attempted to use it. It allows you to consolidate your feeds on a subdomain of your website.
Now it is a totally free service I am going to give it a try sometime soon to see if it will help prevent reporting errors of subscribers.
Whilst in theory this would also help you retain ownership of your content, I don’t know of another feed tracking service with a similar service, and none so far really compare to Feedburner anyway, although for email subscriptions Zookoda provide more features, but the stats as far as I am aware are not reported back to Feedburner for a consolidated number of subscribers.
Feedburner have a near monopoly of rss feed stats, and whilst I predicted that the pro features would become free soon, and we might also see more integration with other Google services such as Analytics, I am still not 100% it was a good idea.
If you do decide to switch on Total Stats, think carefully about whether complete click tracking is important to you, or whether you would prefer to have more links.