Remove FeedBurner tracking queries when clicking website links in Google Reader

feedburner_logo

Another Google Reader topic today to follow on from my last post. This annoyance has been bugging me for a while and I’ve found a solution to it today.

More and more webmasters and bloggers are using FeedBurner to manage their RSS feeds. FeedBurner has introduced a feature which allows tracking of feed clicks in Google Analytics so as to track visitors from FeedBurner feeds. Problem is that when Google Analytics tracks FeedBurner visitors, it appends the feed item URL with Google Analytics tags, e.g. utm_source=feedburner, utm_medium=feed, etc. I’m sure you’ve all seen this. If you hover over the link to the feed URL in Google Reader before clicking it, it will start something like http://feedproxy.google.com…. Just as an example, here’s what appeared in the browser address bar after I clicked a link in Google Reader to a web page on Techie Buzz:

http://techie-buzz.com/google-chrome/google-chrome-now-supports-greasemonkey-scripts.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+techiebuzz+%28Techie+buzz%29&utm_content=Google+Reader

Pretty ugly. If you now bookmark that web page in Delicious or Diigo, all the tracking stuff is included in the link. I don’t know about you but I just want to bookmark the URL of the web page without all that tracking data. So from the above URL, I just want:

http://techie-buzz.com/google-chrome/google-chrome-now-supports-greasemonkey-scripts.html

You could of course delete all that stuff off the end before you bookmark it, but there’s a simpler way to remove this tracking data in Firefox and Google Chrome. In Firefox, it involves installing a Greasemonkey script, while in Chrome you just install an extension.

Firefox: Greasemonkey script to remove FeedBurner tracking data

First you have to install Greasemonkey. If you haven’t already done this, visit my last post for more info. Then install the FeedBurner Tracking Query Stripper from here. Once installed, when you click a link in Google Reader, the URL will load initially showing the tracking data then, after a second or two, it will magically disappear.

Chrome: Unburner extension to remove Feedburner tracking data

If Google Chrome is your browser, then install the Unburner extension from here. Again, once installed, when you click a link in Google Reader, the URL will load initially showing the tracking data then it will be stripped out.

Now when you follow a link in Google Reader in Firefox or Chrome, all the tracking analytics will be stripped out and the web page will load as it should.

16 Responses

  1. Jessica Deva Says:

    That was super helpful, thanks! I’m keeping an ear out for guest authors – any interest in doing a guest post? Drop me a line. :)

  2. techandlife Says:

    Jessica, Glad you found the post useful.

  3. Jessi Says:

    Oh, oh!! This is exactly what I need. I sure hope it works but this has been bugging me for a while and this post is the only thing that I’ve found showing me a fix so far….and I’ve been searching for a while.

  4. techandlife Says:

    Jessi, Hope it works for you – if not, let us know.

  5. Jessi Says:

    It worked perfectly for me. I was watching the address bar and was initially disappointed when it loaded the url, but a split second later, all the extra junk at the end was removed. So exciting!

    No, really. I deal with hundreds of links daily, and when it comes to copying/pasting links, it was getting really old having to remove it all myself.

  6. techandlife Says:

    Thanks for that. I’ve edited the post to indicate there’s a slight delay before the junk is removed.

  7. Travis Says:

    Sweet. That’s been driving me crazy for awhile now. Got the greasemonkey script working in Safari 4 with GreaseKit.

  8. 3rbsc.com Says:

    good topic

  9. Ryan Says:

    Thanks so much! Very helpful, it’s been annoying me for a long time and I was going to try writing a GreaseMonkey script for this if one didn’t exist, so I’m glad to not have to do that work.

    BTW, if you want some “analytics” of your own, I found your site from the following Google query (and it was the top hit): “remove feedburner url from links in google reader”

  10. Scott McLeod Says:

    This was extremely helpful. I was looking for a way to get rid of that junk at the end. Thanks so much!

  11. Ducky Says:

    Thanks man, this makes my life so much easier 😀

  12. Owen Says:

    That’s awesome! Thank you so much! I got really frustrated with that utm gibberish since I’ve started using GG reader. Again – THANK YOU!!!

  13. WC Says:

    I had actually written a bookmarklet to do this and was getting lazy, so I was considering writing an extension. I found yours, and thought it was my lucky day.

    Unfortunately, with your extension installed, it never loads the page, so it isn’t much good to me.

  14. techandlife Says:

    Sorry to hear that. It’s always worked fine for me in Firefox and Chrome and most other commenters are also happy with it. Perhaps there’s something specific in your system which is causing a conflict and preventing the page from loading. Have you tried a different browser?

  15. Ahriman Says:

    OMG! Thanks a lot! 😀

  16. Pumbaa Says:

    Thank you for the tip, it’s great :-)

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