Easily Fake Feedburner RSS Reader Counts

By Posted 2008 Updated   Blogging

Is it easy to fake Feedburner RSS counts? Is it possible to gain 2000 readers in a day? Have you seen those rising Feedburner RSS counts on your competitor blogs while you struggle to get a few subscribers. It turns out that people are cheating away to actively create huge Feedburner chicklet counts and its all too easy.

Easy Hack: Increase Feedburner RSS Counts

Techcrunch provides an insight into how the guys at Next Web demonstrated an increased Feedburner feedcount from 43 subscribers to 2500 overnight simply by creating an OPML file with the same feed copied 2,500 times and pasting it into their Netvibes page, and FeedBurner counted them as separate subscribers! See this video on how they did it…


Feedburner hacked! from Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten on Vimeo.

With Feedcount becoming a benchmark of a blog’s popularity, the common way people used to fake Feedburner count was by copying the code from a popular site and pasting it as theirs. But it was easy to catch. This method is really something Netvibes and Feedburner will need to fix soon so that people stop gaming and cheating the feedcount system.

Suddenly my trust in those 100K feedcounts has diminished. Its obvious that Feedburner or Netvibes would fix this bug ASAP, and then it would be interesting to see which blogs had a huge fall in feed subscriber count…


25 comments on “Easily Fake Feedburner RSS Reader Counts

  1. Michael says:

    Let’s hope so, if FeedBurner doesn’t figure out a way to stop this they’re going to be in big trouble. It frustrates me personally because I’m trying to build subscribers legitimately and I have to compete against others who may or may not be doing this little “hack.”

    I just don’t really know how FeedBurner would be able to stop this though, unless they work directly with NetVibes.

  2. Simon SC says:

    Feedburner’s a great service. I agree with Michael that it’s really annoying to compete against these “fakers”. It looks inconceivably difficult to solve this problem, as it requires direct co-ordination between NetVibes and FeedBurner. Maybe they can implement a system which counts subscribers by their unique netvibes ID?

  3. Ultimate Blogging Experiment says:

    I have begun to see the same type of post all in times of blogs. I will say the same thing I’ve been saying to everyone, they will be fixing this problem within a day or so and if they are able to track who was doing this your account may even be suspended. Just a thought.

  4. Tony says:

    Some blogs parse their subscriber counts out of the chicklet, and display them as text (with their own style). So why not just display an arbitrary large number, in text, and bypass the chicklet completely?

    I think that if the post quality and readers (and thus comments, backlinks, etc) are not actually there, then a (faked) large number of subscribers certainly wouldn’t help with retaining any real readers.

  5. Blogs DNA says:

    well i would definitely want Feedburner to suspend those accounts as penalty for cheating the system.But this could be havoc for a blogger.
    lets hope they fix is asap.

  6. Kevin says:

    I keep my feedburner stats private, as they are a source of shame for me and my family. Well, maybe not my family.

  7. WebTrafficROI says:

    Hmm , now a one min blog can also boast of 10000 RSS feed count….there goes the ad money

  8. Ibrahim Rabbani says:

    @ Kevin, lol .. :P i agree .. same here..
    @ Blogs DNA, i think they will start suspending accounts.. and the problem is that GOOGLE owns FEEDBURNER and ADSENSE.. so bubye adsense :\

  9. Kabatology says:

    I’ve always been damn sure there are a couple of ways to bug the system, you can’t just explain how certain blogs with little or no traffic get so many rss reader counts.

  10. Ibrahim Rabbani says:

    still no responses from google? that IS slow :/

  11. Hillel says:

    I like feedburner – this is fustrating

  12. Tom At The Home Business Archive says:

    Feedburner is an excellent service.I had no idea that the stats can be modified like that.I have seen a significant increase in subscribers on some blogs just over a few days.

  13. Ibrahim Rabbani says:

    Any updates on the news? has google done something to protect its stats etc?

  14. John Hoff - eVentureBiz says:

    If it’s software, it can be hacked . . . unfortunately.

  15. SeoUgolok says:

    everything can be hacked.. (

  16. Video says:

    SeoUgolok, if you don’t protect yourself… you will be hacked!

  17. Aron says:

    Yeah, the faking number of subscribers seems kinda dumb to me. If you want that to be a measure of how successful you are, it just seems counter productive to pay to fake that, imo. Really instructive post, I like how you handled the subject. Cheers.

  18. Nate says:

    Google/Feedburner will find out about this and you may end up going from 2500 fake readers back to 40 real readers overnight. That would be crushing. Instead we should all trade ways to increase real readership. I know, I know but stuff like this gives hacking a bad name.

  19. info bisnis says:

    yeah,hope so.

  20. ProMagz says:

    This has been fixed by feedburner, doesnot work any more.

  21. Piyush Shekhar says:

    Haha, cool.

  22. Goldpreis says:

    I had no idea that the stats can be modified like that

  23. Kepler says:

    This actually goes against those who legitimately try to increase the number of readers.

  24. Elvis says:

    This is so cool. I want to try, but feedburner count seems fixed. I’m a little too late. With thousands of subscriber, I wish I’m that popular.

  25. Hyder says:

    lol nice trick to impress readers =D

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