View Full Version : Tracking RSS Subscriptions/Click Thrus
12-07-2007, 04:37 PM
We have just launched RSS feeds on our site and are using page tagging to track general web usage. My question is how can you track RSS subscriptions or even who has click on a particular headline within a feed? Is this even a possibility?
12-07-2007, 06:01 PM
Have you tried Feedburner (http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/home)?
Do you use PHP? Then, you should be able to track it fairly well by writing a script.
PHP Predefined variables: PHP: Predefined variables - Manual (http://www.php.net/variables.predefined)
Especially $_SERVER (http://no.php.net/manual/en/reserved.variables.php#reserved.variables.server)
Related link: PEAR :: Package :: HTTP_Request (http://pear.php.net/package/HTTP_Request/)
12-10-2007, 08:37 AM
Our site is ASP.NET. Is there something similar for .NET sites?
Incredible...I will take a look at Feedburner. Perhaps we can incorporate their service.
Thanks to both.
I don't know ASP.NET. There should be.
I do not know how much can be done with the PHP .NET functions PHP: .NET - Manual (http://www.php.net/manual/en/ref.dotnet.php)
Unfortunately, there are a couple problems I have encountered on my own site when trying to track the same things. The first issue I found was that the syndication of the feed hides the true number of subscribers. If the subscriber is subscribed through a web site feed reader (yahoo 360, MSN Live, iGoogle, etc) the web site generally downloads the file or checks for updates daily, instead of each time someone accesses the content. So in your logs you would only see one hit from Yahoo, one from MSN per day, rather than one hit for each user. This can get further skewed if the feed is embedded in a web page. For instance if your feed is added to a public Yahoo 360 profile, you would only see the daily update hits, not the constant views from users.
Tracking the clicks presents its own problems. One of the strengths of having a feed syndicated on other sites is that it gives you instant incoming deep links directly to your updated content for search engines to discover. The only way to track clicks through syndicated feeds would be to use a redirector or add a query string to the end of the URL. The redirector has the potential of reducing the value of the incoming links, and the query string will absolutely reduce or eliminate the value of the incoming links and possibly case duplicate content issues. The referrer string becomes unreliable because you typically have no way of knowing if the click came from a link in your feed, a link in the text or some embedded search capability.
Sorry I don't really have any solutions to recommend, but hopefully this list will give someone smarter than me some ideas of the problems that need to be overcome and they will be able to propose a solution of some sort.
12-19-2007, 05:44 AM
Burn it with feedburner and use their feed tracker free.