There has been a lot of buzz recently about Google Reader Stats are Bullshit (With Proof) from Mashable calls these statistics downright incorrect. Why?
A default feed, in case you don’t know, is a feed which is presented to users on signup. Google Reader, for instance, pushes new users to these feed bundles: instead of searching for feeds you like, just grab a bundle on a certain topic. This is a great boost for those sites that can get themselves listed in these bundles, often by striking a deal with the feedreader company or being friends with the owner.
As Danny explained, Search Engine Land has several feeds, as do most sites and blogs. By getting FeedBurner to bundle your feeds, your subscriber stats can jump up. Most blogs can’t get FeedBurner to do that, so maybe, just maybe, FeedBurner can add that feature to their console?
In any event, there has been a ton of doubt and questions on where FeedBurner gets their stats. I wanted to remind people that I covered this in detail back in February with my post, The Numbers Behind Your Feeds. FeedBurner actually wrote a post explaining exactly how they calculate subscriber counts, how it differs from Bloglines to My Yahoo to Google Reader to desktop clients, and more.