Archive for the ‘Adsense’ Category

Adsense for Feeds

January 31, 2009

As many of you know, since becoming a part of Google in June of 2007, the FeedBurner team has been hard at work transforming FeedBurner into a service that uses the same underlying architecture as many other Google applications, running in the same high-volume datacenters. As a team, we chose this path for one reason: our highest priority is making sure your feed is served as fast as possible after you update your content, and is as close as technically possible to being available 100% of the time.

As many of you also know, a month ago we opened up ability for all AdSense publishers to move to this new platform, and just a few days ago made this move available to all FeedBurner publishers. What many of you do not know is that we have been carefully moving publishers for about six months now, looking hard at traffic patterns, debugging issues with these account transfers with publishers and their hosting and service providers, and working with many of our partners (including many other teams at Google) who run feed aggregation platforms to ensure feeds from this new platform are polled and distributed as fast and reliably as possible. (One example: we moved over 100 external Google blogs and their respective FeedBurner feeds over to the new platform as soon as we could; charity (and bug-fixing) begins at home!)

We are very aware of our responsibility to the RSS ecosystem. We are aware we host and provide service to not only some of the largest publishers, but also the feed for your site, the feeds that you rely on for mission-critical news and information, and even some feeds government provides to distribute information on a timely basis to their citizens. We know that many of you run businesses that critically depend on your feed being delivered quickly and reliably, and thus have been working with many of you to ensure that these feeds are delivered in tandem with a monetization solution that allows you to continue business as we go through this transition. FeedBurner has the privilege of serving millions of feeds globally that represent an incredibly wide spectrum of content.

It is this scale however, that makes our transition to Google’s platform technically complex, and as we have started to open up account transfers to all users, it has also amplified the permutations of publisher web server configs, service providers, feed readers, search engines, and so on, and so on. We want to ensure that the time we spend tackling this technical complexity is not mistaken for lack of urgency, concern, or priority.

Just as an example, we are aware and have been working on a known issue of returning a “502 Error” or “503 Error” when checking for updates after certain feeds are migrated. This is a very general error message, representing a number of underlying issues, but in many cases it is a service provider throttling or disallowing traffic from Google. Although we came across many of these issues during our testing phase, in reality we knew a lot of these challenges would not fully surface until we released at scale, which we now have and are dealing with as high priority issues within Google.

To help communicate these issues and resolutions much more effectively, we have created a new blog and feed that you can subscribe to during this transition period. We plan to keep these around as long as necessary. We may also add features to the site that allow you to report your own feed issue details.

The extended team — including both original team members of FeedBurner, newer team members that joined us since we’ve been at Google, and the rest of Google — is excited about our future on this new integrated-with-Google platform that all publishers will be on at the conclusion of this account transfer process. We are excited because we see the potential for scale and innovation on this platform that will make for a true next generation feed management solution. Most of all, however, we are excited about getting publishers excited for these possibilities as we reveal what we have in store.

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