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9 Tips for Maximizing Inbound Links Using RSS and Atom Feeds

Publishing an RSS or Atom feed for your blog or other website and allowing others to syndicate it (ie. post its content on their websites in HTML format) can boost your search engine position by getting inbound links from related websites. Here are 9 tips to help you maximize the number and quality of the links you get.

Publishing an RSS or Atom feed for your blog or other website and allowing others to syndicate it (ie. post its content on their websites in HTML format) can boost your search engine position by getting inbound links from related websites.

If you've studied search engine optimization, you know that there's only so much you can accomplish by optimizing the content of your webpages. That's because, while on-page optimization can tell the search engines what your site is about, only inbound links tell them how important your site is. Unless you have the only site in the world covering your particular topic, it needs to be both relevant to the topic and important (as evidenced by many inbound links) to rank high in search results.

Inbound links are SEO silver, and inbound links from related sites are pure SEO gold.

How do you maximize the number and value of inbound links generated by your feeds? Here are nine key tips:

Tip #1: Keep your feed focused on one topic.

If someone is looking for a feed use to add content to their site and your feed covers exactly the topic they're interested in, you'll have a better chance of getting syndicated than if your feed contains information irrelevant to their site. If you publish information on a variety of topics, publish multiple feeds, each covering one topic area, either instead of or in addition to a monolithic feed containing everything.

Tip #2: Publish only interesting information.

You might think that goes without saying, but the temptation may arise to go for volume over quality. If someone syndicating your feed decides that the signal to noise ratio is too high, they may go looking for a better source.

Tip #3: Publish often.

You'll have to figure out for yourself the optimal balance between this and the previous tip. But keep in mind that if someone is syndicating your feed in order to get regularly updated content, they'll be less likely to look for a different feed if you provide new content regularly. If you can't always publish regularly, publish anyway, but if you can publish regularly, by all means, do.

Tip #4: Write well.

"Well" is, of course, defined in relation to your subject matter and target audience. If your target audience uses lots of slang, write with lots of slang. Just don't let your writing style stand between you and your target audience. Webmasters want content that speaks to their target audience.

Tip #5: Publish summary feeds instead of full content feeds.

There are two reasons for doing this. First, most people who syndicate only want to display a summary of each item, and some webmasters won't know how to make their RSS to HTML converter truncate the content. Second, there are those who want to rip off the full content of your site and use it as the sole content of their site. A summary-only feed won't help them do that.

Tip #6: Tell people how to syndicate your feed.

Provide a link from your website or feed to an RSS to HTML converter like CaRP with a brief note about what it's for.

Tip #7: Give explicit permission to syndicate your feed.

Even among those who know that it can be done, not everyone will be comfortable syndicating feeds without the express permission of the publisher. Don't wait for them to ask -- post a note in the feed or on your website giving permission to syndicate your feed. You may wish to include a condition requiring that they preserve links back to your site in a search-engine-visible fashion (eg. no use of JavaScript links or 'rel="nofollow"').

Tip #8: Don't put ads in your feed.

Advertisements, especially banners, are likely to mess up the formatting of sites on which they're syndicated. And obviously, other webmasters don't want to display advertisements on their site if you're going to be the one making money from them. Most webmasters won't know how to filter the ads out of your feed when syndicating it, so if you include ads, they'll probably look for another feed instead.

Tip #9: Consider not offering a JavaScript version of your feed.

A JavaScript feed has no SEO value, because it's not visible to search engines. The tradeoff is that JavaScript feeds are easier for many webmasters to use, so by not offering a JavaScript feed, your feed might get syndicated on less sites, and thus bring in direct traffic from less sites. You'll need to decide which is more important to you: the SEO value of being syndicated, or the clicks from sites that syndicate you.

If you'll follow these 9 tips, you'll increase the number of people who syndicate your feed on their sites, increasing the number of inbound links you receive from sites related to yours. This will boost your search engine position and bring you more trafficArticle Search, both from the search engines and from the sites that syndicate your content.

Article Tags: Inbound Links, Search Engine, Search Engines, Target Audience

Source: Free Articles from


Antone Roundy is the creator of CaRP, an RSS to HTML converter that webmasters can use to integrate auto-updating content into their website. This article is an excerpt from his free mini-course, "7 Ways to Turn RSS into R$$".

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