FeedBurner URLs without querystrings

If you use FeedBurner to handle your RSS/Atom/whatever feed, make sure to subscribe to it so you can verify that your posts show up properly. Also follow the links to your posts to check the URLs – they may be a bit mangled by FeedBurner without you knowing it.

It’s probably been like that for a long, long time, but I only recently noticed that FeedBurner added a bunch of querystring parameters (utm_source, utm_medium, and utm_campaign) that I wasn’t aware of to the post URLs in my feed. So instead of http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/201011/bye_bye_flash/ URLs would look something like this:

http://www.456bereastreet.com/archive/201011/bye_bye_flash/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+456bereastreet+%28456+Berea+Street%29

Ouch.

Not only will that potentially cause problems for some spiders, but more seriously it makes it much harder for people to link to my posts by copy-pasting the URL. And it looks ugly.

Those querystring parameters are added by FeedBurner to enable tracking of link clicks in your posts, optionally tracking clicks as a traffic source in Google Analytics. Well, I don’t really care that much about how many people clicked a particular link in my posts, and I don’t use Google Analytics. In other words there is no reason for me to keep the parameters around since I’d much rather have cleaner URLs.

Here is how to get rid of the parameters:

  1. Log into your FeedBurner account and go to the feed you want to fix
  2. Click on the Analyze tab and then on Configure Stats under Services
  3. Uncheck the checkbox labeled “Item link clicks”
  4. Click Save

If you refresh your feed in your feed reader and follow a link to one of your posts, the URL should now be cruft-free.

Posted on January 6, 2011 in Search Engine Optimisation, Usability

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