RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) is an online notification system which will send an alert to subscribers when any updates are made to sites. Receiving these notices will require that a person subscribes to the feed on a blog, website or any other type of media content. Even though blogs were instrumental in subscriptions being started in the first place, feeds are not limited to them. Feeds can be from sites which contain more than just articles; it may be music, videos or any other type of digital media. When a person subscribes to an RSS feed, this means that they no longer have to go to the site to read the most recent content. The updates will all be sent to one place which allows for much easier use. The purpose of an RSS feed is to uncomplicated the process so that internet users can easily consume their favorite types of content.

How Does an RSS Feed Work?

The RSS feed is a free service and all that is required is an internet connection and a program which is called an aggregator. Basically, this is a feed reader which will run in the background just waiting for the subscribed to sites to update their content. As soon as they do, the aggregator will immediately send a notice and the user can read the updated content immediately.

It is not just content such as music, videos or news that an RSS feed can be used for. Some sites such as eBay and Craigslist use them to provide information to subscribers about specific items or categories. While on these sites, a visitor can enter the items they are interested in receiving information about such as refrigerators, an apartment or a certain make of vehicle. Then they can subscribe to the feed and receive alerts when new classified with these items are published.

RSS and SEO

RSS is a great way to organize web content and be able to do so easily. But for the SEO specialist who is constantly on the creating side of content how can an RSS feed be beneficial? We are all trying to deal with Google and try to get on that coveted first page of search results. To achieve this, SEO specialists will optimize sites and pages, create videos, tag images and write more news. Some companies spend large amounts of money trying to increase their own brand recognition. This is just part of a good SEO strategy. This is all an important part of building a brand as well as being the expert source within any specific industry.

In the broad scheme of things the RSS feed can be greatly overlooked. But if website owners or business owners can get users to subscribe to their own RSS feed from the Google Reader they will have a very good chance of being displayed on the first page of search engine results, especially for their chosen keywords.

The key of course, is getting users and visitors to subscribe to the RSS feed. It is back to basics, and content is king! It is essential that web content be interesting and of high enough quality that readers will want to subscribe. They can subscribe to feeds for newsletters, twitter, LinkedIn… These can all add a huge boost to your Google Reader subscriptions and bring your site and your content out of obscurity. Businesses or web masters can put an icon on the page to encourage subscriptions and they can also announce it in various types of correspondence such as newsletters or eDM. An RSS feed can be a valuable resource and help build a sense of community.