How RSS Feeds Help Your Search Engine Rankings

 by: Kim Proulx

RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. RSS is an XML-based format for content distribution. Webmasters create an RSS feed containing headlines and descriptions of specific information. The majority of RSS feeds currently contain news headlines, current articles, breaking information but you can find a feed on just about any subject.

Webmasters can use these RSS feeds to help add relevant content to their webpages and move their site up the search engine ladder. The key to using these feeds is to have it show up in your websites page code so when search engine spiders your site, it will see all kinds of new content and thinks that your site is currently maintained and being updated frequently. Search engines really like to see this and rank these sites highest. Optimum rankings will likely not hold up if the site stays static. RSS feeds are an excellent way to continually freshen website content without having to make periodic content updates manually.

Buried within U.S. Patent Application # 20050071741 (aka The Google Patent) is the following paragraph:

"Documents for which there is an increase in the rate of change might be scored higher than those documents for which there is a steady rate of change, even if that rate of change is relatively high. The amount of change may also be a factor in this scoring. For example, documents for which there is an increase in the rate of change when that amount of change is greater than some threshold might be scored higher than those documents for which there is a steady rate of change or an amount of change is less than the threshold."

Easy-to-implement RSS feeds are available for almost any imaginable topic and having one or more feeds on your website will certainly enhance your visitor experience. Your visitors will most likely appreciate this added content with up-to-date information. They will be more likely to revisit and stay longer while reading these RSS feeds.

If you are adding RSS to your website for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there is one important rule that must be followed: DON’T USE JAVASCRIPT! Why not? Because search engines don't look at JavaScript, so JavaScript feeds are useless for SEO. To make news feeds visible to search engines, their text has to be embedded into your page. If you view the source of your page and you don't see the actual text of the news feed, then search engines aren't going to see it either.

RSS is one of the hottest phenomenons in the webmaster community today. RSS that benefits SEO is a topic that’s been very much overlooked. Implementing RSS into websites has become much easier so that even non-programmer types can do it. RSS should be viewed as a must for any website that would normally remain very static and should be strongly considered as a part of all SEO projects.

Once you find the right newsfeed for your webpage you will need a program to parse out the content and display it on your site in plain HTML. makes this as easy as putting your RSS feed link in a form. You can customize the size, look and feel of the output. They send you a couple lines of code in PHP, ASP, JSP, ColdFusion and HTML. You just add it in your webpage and presto, you have an RSS feed on your site, all for free.

About The Author

Kim Proulx



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