Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Search Engine Optimization With RSS News Feeds

RSS can be a powerful digital weapon in increasing your exposure, visibility and ranking inside major search engines.

If appropriately used, RSS can dramatically increase your ability to be indexed on a day to day basis by Google and other major search engines.

The strategic keywords in this RSS e-marketing approach are:

1) Freshness

2) Relevance

RSS newsfeeds can address both freshness and relevance on any Web site, when they are used as a content syndication opportunity, which can bring relevant and fresh content (you would not have otherwise) to your Web page(s).

In other words.

RSS feeds can be used to display a stream of headlines (and short excerpts if you want) relevant to your area of interest on your own home page. While this news-stream does not have to take center stage of your selected Web page, it is important that it is placed on those pages that are gateways to your most important content.

For most publishers without a technical background, the most difficult part maybe finding out how to do this, without having to learn a programming language.

The most difficult part maybe the appropriate conversion of RSS feeds into code that can be pasted into your Web pages and left to do its thing automatically thereafter. There is a great tool to do this, CaRP, which I have been personally using for quite some time now, and which, given an enabled PHP server, and your willingness to read Antone Roundy's detailed instructions, can put you in the driver's seat in a matter of minutes.

Three recommendations:

1) Do not use JavaScript to display RSS newsfeeds on your Web pages.

Why not?

The answer is simple. Major search engines do not index Javascript and therefore all of your effort to increase exposure and visibility through them would be wasted. To make search engines able to fully index the content of your Web pages, the content has to be there, fully embedded inside your pages.

2) Automatically mark the headlines in the imported RSS feed with H3 tags. This should signal the search engines indexing this page that those titles are important content and not just another piece of content on the page. Therefore, the more your imported feed sports relevant and "on-topic" titles to what you want to cover the better.

3) Do not to give away precious Google PageRank (a value expressed by Google for each Web each page according to the number and value of links pointing to it). In this case the use of Javascript may come in handy. By using Javascript code for the link in each news item pointing to its sources you can protect somehow your diluting your own PageRank across too many external sites. Search engines will not treat your newsfeed headlines as regular links, and therefore none of your PageRank will get lost.

Now: how do you find the right RSS newsfeed for your webpage?

There are indeed many sources out there, and one that I would strongly recommend is too look inside some of the major RSS directories and content aggregators such as Feedster, Technorati, Bloglines, DayPop, PubSub, Syndic8 and several other ones. If you want to be able to get to hard-to-find feeds you may want to check also the RSS Top55, which is my own up-to-date annotated listing of all the best RSS search engine and directories available online.

In conclusion:

It maybe hard, in my personal opinion to find authors/RSS feeds that will spit out ongoing good content on the topic you want and with relevant titles also. It maybe more likely that you will need to aggregate together multiple authors and filter out the posts that are not relevant.

You may also want to consider utilizing RSS search feeds that you have created yourself by using search engines like Yahoo, Daypop, GoogleAlert, PubSub and others. Through this approach you may be able, with due investment in time and experimentation, to extract very relevant feeds that cover your specific topic and that include a much broader number of news sources.

All n' all this is the path of the expert newsmaster.

This article was inspired and motivated by Antone Roundy's SEO: Using RSS to increase relevance and maximize freshness published on GeckoTribe. Find out from the guy who has developed the best available technology to do this more technical details and the tools to carry this out :
SEO: Using RSS to increase relevance and maximize freshness

Highly recommended.



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Readers' Comments    
2004-11-02 19:22:11


A very useful post - thanks. The one thing I don't agree with though is the part about not "giving away precious Google PageRank". Surely PageRank doesn't work like that? It depends on the number and quality of incoming links, not on how many and what quality outgoing links one has - so it won't "leak away" if you have lots of links. And if PageRank does work like that then I say to hell with PageRank - I will not get anally retentive and try to hold on to my little bit of it using javascript tricks or by any other means. The whole ethos of the web is to link freely and generously to what one considers important and to trust that others will do the same. Or am I missing something here?

posted by Robin Good on Tuesday, November 2 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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