How to Disable FeedBurner From Uglifying Your Clean URLs In Order to Track Clicks as a Traffic Source in Google Analytics



A few weeks ago I noticed FeedBurner was adding metadata to my permalinks. In Mint I could see that those of you coming from your feed reader (Google Reader especially) were landing on pages with extra code added to what is an otherwise clean and crafted URL:

?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20shawnblanc%20(Shawn%20Blanc)&utm_content=Google%20Reader

This excess metadata is added by FeedBurner when you click through their feedproxy, and is used in Google Analytics. This way, you can track your feed’s click-throughs right alongside your other statistics.

So far as I can tell, this tracking code was automatically turned on by FeedBurner for shawnblanc.net about a month ago.1 Since it’s been running for a few weeks, if I look in my Google Analytics account I can now tell that my top three traffic sources (and mediums) are:

  1. Direct (none)
  2. Google Search (organic)
  3. FeedBurner (Feed)

There are additional feed stats as well. Such as what feed reader people are using, the bounce rate and average time on your site for reader visits, and more. It’s fantastic feature if you’re into excess data and you don’t mind the URL invasion. But personally, I don’t care. I prefer the simple broad strokes: how many visits? how many subs?

And so today I finally got around to logging into FeedBurner and turning off the Feed Click Tracking option. And you can too if you want.

  • Go to: Analyze → Configure Stats
  • Uncheck: “Track Clicks as a traffic source in Google Analytics”
  • Save

  1. I’m not sure, but Google may have simply turned this on for everyone. (Or at least everyone with FeedBurner and Google Analytics on the same account for the same website.) And unfortunately for some folks it was resulting in 404s and server errors when their subscribers tried to click through the feed to read a post.