Google Showing Feedburner Redirect URLs in Search Results
Google is showing Feedburner redirect URLs in their search results.
They’re using the link:
which is a Feedburner redirect URL which they use in RSS feeds to help in tracking.
Google owns Feedburner so it’s a bit embarrassing that they’re making such an obvious mistake.
This might be distorting the stats for the LA Times. Feedburner may in fact be ignoring these when they see that the HTTP referrer is in fact from Google (and not empty or from a web based reader).
The biggest problem with the implementation that Feedburner is using is that it’s impossible to reconstruct the original URL from the redirect URL once it’s in the wild.
A few years ago (when they were just a newly hatched startup and I was working on Rojo) I proposed that they use a URL that encodes the target URL and only adds about 30 additional characters.
The template would be:
A search engine like Google or Spinn3r could use the URL found in the wild, decode the correct target URL, and then update their index (and rank) to reflect the actual URL.