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June 27, 2011

RSS for SEO

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RSS for SEO iconRSS (really simple syndication) is prevalent all over the web and if you’ve got a blog or a website with regularly updated content you’ve probably already  implemented it – and to that we say, excellent, and here’s why.

Getting your website a presence on the first page of Google is pretty much a constant challenge. Many of us spend hours optimising pages, creating videos, tagging images, writing news and more just to be seen in that space. There are some companies that spend tens of thousands of dollars on paid search to increase their brand recognition in relation to their keywords, and there’s logic to that strategy. After all, you want to be the source of information that users go to for your industry, you want to build brand recognition, trust, authority – you want to be seen first.

A somewhat overlooked strategy to getting visibility in that space is RSS promotion. And it’s so simple – if you get a user to subscribe to your RSS feed from Google Reader you have a pretty nice chance of showing up on the first page for your keywords (if that user is signed into their Google account while searching), higher than where you might have been positioned before. That’s because for a while now Google has been altering search results based on what RSS feeds you subscribe to in Google Reader, check this out:

SEO Rankings for code quickly

Note the “From you Google Reader Subscriptions” line


SEO Rankings for Bruce Clay

Number 2 after Wikipedia? – Yes, please!

The simple truth is that we are all striving for increased SEO visibility and while this strategy is dependent on getting people to subscribe to your RSS feed in Google Reader, it’s something so effortless that you really should consider it. It can have a significant influence on your ranking position and brand recognition for users that you have already connected with, and remember, these can be newsletter subscribers, eDM recipients, LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers, etc, that previously have not visited your website and have not seen you in the search results. By getting this “From your Google Reader subscriptions” boost you can jump from obscurity right onto centre stage.

For the most part there’s nothing to do except make users aware you have an RSS feed – tell them about it in your newsletter or eDM, add an obvious icon to your pages and above all else provide a valuable resource to the community so that people will want to subscribe to your updates.

And by the way, you can subscribe to this blog by clicking either of these buttons, and I hear Google Reader is an excellent feed reader – you should totally use it:

Bruce Clay Australia Blog Feed - Excerpt

Excerpt feed

Bruce Clay Australia Blog Feed - Full Feed

Full Feed

 

 

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2 responses to “RSS for SEO”

  1. v writes:

    Is there any benefit to the RSS feed allowing for actual content to be more accessible for crawlers?

  2. Isriel Robinson writes:

    Hi V,

    Yes, there are. Direct and indirect.

    If you’re using a CMS or blogging platform that supports RPC, when you publish an item on your site it will ping search engines automatically and basically lets them know you have fresh content. This is good because you don’t have to wait for the bot to re-visit your home page in order to spider the new content.

    It also provides extra internal links to your new content. What’s awesome too is that atom feeds gather PageRank because they are usually linked to from all over the website. Fresh content gets added to the top of those feed pages, which means good PageRank will get passed to new content.

    There are indirect benefits too. You can syndicate your feed which might increase readership and result in your pages getting linked to from external sources. That will likely aid indexation (not to mention links).

    Cheers,

    Is



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