<< by on August 2nd, 2007
Since it’s Shark Week on the Discovery Channel (no… I’m not going to talk about how hot Mike Rowe is… ‘cuz we know he is and now you can vote on it…*sigh*) I figured it’d be a good time to discuss how RSS feeds can help get web surfers to circle like sharks around your website(s).
It’s not the same as a web surfer searching the web and finding your website for a product necessarily. This surfer has already found your site, likes it and decides they want more, they may even add your feed to their site if it’s relevant. That is, if you’re updating it regularly via a blog or online news. If you have a blog that you want to gain more visibility (and thereby in return giving the rest of your website visibility) you’ll want to submit your RSS feed to various feed directories also.
The only downfall for you is that you have to be on top of your content and that can be time consuming. You have to be actively writing (much as we do here at Search Mojo) proving your capabilities to the audience. If surfers like your content, they’ll keep coming back for more and God willing, they’ll pass it on to their friends.
So what exactly is an RSS feed? According to Wikipedia, the latest meaning for the RSS acronym is “Really Simple Syndication”. An RSS feed is a way to syndicate news across the web to many readers. A news aggregator gets it’s information from the RSS feed, keeping the reader updated on all the latest posted content from their favorite weblogs or news sites. It’s a time saver since feeds are updated often and it can help you improve the content on your own site if you feed in additional content.
If you add an RSS feed to your website and the content is relevant, that’s always a plus. The basic lesson given all across SEO is increase the amount of trusted and relevant sites pointing to your site and you’ll enjoy higher Page Rank-hopefully. In his article, 3 Easy Ways To Rock Page Rank Courtney Tuttle suggests that you add ‘nofollow’ attributes to your RSS feeds so you’re not wasting your outbound links:
Add ‘nofollows’ to as many out-bound links as possible. I did this today and added ‘nofollows’ to my RSS feed button, my ‘Add This Blog To My Technorati Favorites’ button, my SEOBOOK affiliate button, and to all of my social networking buttons. Since all of those buttons appear on every page of my site, I removed over 2,000 out-bound links that could have fatally wounded my PageRank. Why would I give link-love to Technorati, Feedburner, SEOBOOK, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Furl, etc.? I would rather save it for my readers and for myself.
Court goes on to say that he did not place ‘nofollow’ attributes on his comments area, noting that the readers who comment can use his ‘link love’ more than Technorati or Digg.
Wikipedia on the benefits of web syndication:
Syndication benefits both the websites providing information and the websites displaying it. For the receiving site, content syndication is an effective way of adding greater depth and immediacy of information to its pages, making it more attractive to users. For the transmitting site, syndication drives exposure across numerous online platforms. This generates new traffic for the transmitting site — making syndication a free and easy form of advertisement.
Awww… sharing and caring in a sea of feeding sharks!
So the lesson on a very basic level is find blogs and articles that are relevant and start the feeding frenzy. You’ll hopefully enjoy a lot of visibility. If you work hard on your content and find other sources with good and relevant content, you’ll open up a great social networking circle and the search engines will have no choice but to give you a reward of higher page rank. Right? Oh yeah, don’t forget those RSS feed directories either! They’re very easy to submit to and the benefits are worth it.