I saw a headline on the news about Google’s new AdSense for Feeds service finally being made available to the general public, something which I’ve been waiting on for some time now. So I read up on this new offering on Google’s AdSense blog and then headed into my long standing AdSense account figuring this should be easy enough to do since my feeds are already “burned” for both sites, Google now owns FeedBurner and everything should be right there to set up.
I guess not…
Okay, the “AdSense for Feeds" was listed under the AdSense Setup tab alright and the procedure was simple enough just as they said it would be but when I got down to the list of existing feeds, nothing was there. Wait now…there’s a link below where my existing feeds should have been that leads to a help page that tells me how to migrate my existing (“burned”) feeds from FeedBurner to my AdSense account. Okay, that makes sense, Google can’t do everything you know. But what do I find on that less than helpful help page?
Google will soon provide a self-service process to migrate from an account on the original FeedBurner website to a Google Account. We have temporarily paused processing of new manual migration requests; we are working doggedly through the initial queue of requests and will re-open account migration services as soon as the first batch is completed.
Wonderful! They announced that a new service was ready to go and it’s not. Now ask me if I’m sick and tired of seeing this kind of thing. Go ahead…ask me.
Seems they’re still working on all those requests from the old “FeedBurner Ad Network” (FAN)?!?? You’ve got to be kidding me! I applied for that over a year ago and completely forgot about it when nothing ever happened, not even an email telling me my site didn’t cut the mustard. I even reapplied last May when FeedBurner announced that AdSense ads were now available for your "burned" feed through FAN and still nothing ever came of it and now this. Talk about a complete FUBAR of an operation. So I bang into my old FeedBurner account for my original site and sure enough, I’m still marked as a member of FAN for that particular feed. Still no ads though amazingly enough.
Absolutely poor management on Google’s part and no excuse for it–none whatsoever. Tell the whole world about this new service by plastering it all over the news, write up a “Here Ya’ Go!” type AdSense blog post and when site owners head to their existing AdSense account–it’s not ready. Who did they think were going to be the first to pounce on this new service but site owners who had already had “burned” feeds and AdSense accounts? Not exactly what you might call an minority group of players here. But wait, there’s also a major problem for those who don’t pay attention to the last line on the AdSense for Feeds page:
You can also (link)burn a new feed (link) right now to display this ad unit.
You do this and according to the comments I’ve read, apparently the new “burned” feed replaces your current one hence losing some or all of their subscribers in the process. Now there’s a kick in the face for you.
The good news to all this is that site owners who haven’t “burned” their feeds yet through FeedBurner can do so using the AdSense for Feeds "link" I referred to in the quote above without fear of losing subscribers, via your AdSense account. The reason for this is if I already have an existing “burned” feed that readers have subscribed to using that “burned” URL then I would lose those subscribers when the “burned” URL was replaced with the new one. However, I would keep the ones that originally subscribed to my raw feed from my site (the “unburned” one).
For those whose feeds are not yet “burned” and decide to do so via “AdSense for Feeds”, your current subscribers will automatically be redirected to your new “burned” feed so no loss is experienced which is the way FeedBurner has always worked. Of course this doesn’t mean you’ll see any ads right away if you do this, I figure you won’t see any until they get through that batch of FAN requests which have been piling up over the last several months but that’s just a guess on my part.
To just set the record straight, I’ve always liked Google and their offerings both online and offline. There’s always a decent amount of quality in both function and form in the majority of services Google provides so this debacle (IMO) of the new “AdSense for Feeds” service stands out like a thousand sore thumbs. The bottom line here is that Google announced the launch of a new service that was only half ready and compounded the error by not pointing out that site owners who already had "burned" feeds but had not previously applied for the FeedBurner Ad Network could not yet make use of the new service and that makes for a whole lot of users left out in the cold who’ve waited for this particular AdSense service to finally arrive.
Bad form all around if you ask me.