Pros and Cons of RSS Feeds
If you are struggling with the decision of whether
to implement RSS feeds or not, consider the following
pros and cons for webmasters who use RSS feeds
as part of their content and communication plan...
Benefits (Pros Of Using RSS)
The benefits for a webmaster who opts to implement
RSS feeds on their website are numerous:
1. Saves Time
RSS feeds save time. RSS subscribers can quickly
scan RSS feeds, without having to visit each and
every website. Subscribers can then click on any
items they are interested in, to get additional
RSS feeds are timely. RSS feeds will automatically
update themselves any time new information is
posted, so the information your subscribers receive
via their RSS reader or news aggregator is timely.
3. Spam Free
RSS is free of spam. Subscribers don't have to
worry about wading through huge amounts of spam
in an attempt to get to the information they are
actually interested in.
The RSS subscriber chooses what they want to see,
and what information they wish to receive. Knowing
they have full control, and that they do not have
to provide any personal information to subscribe,
they will be more likely to opt-in.
5. Unsubscribing Is Easy
It is also easy to unsubscribe from an RSS feed.
If they do not like information contained in an
RSS feed, they can simply remove the RSS feed
from their RSS reader or news aggregator in order
6. Alternate Communication Channel
RSS provides you with an alternate communication
channel for your business. And the more channels
you provide, the more opportunities you have to
connect with your customers and potential customers.
7. Expands Audience Through Syndication
The very nature of RSS is that it is designed
specifically for syndication (i.e. publication
by others). And wide-spread syndication can expand
a company's reach and strengthen the company brand.
8. Can Increase Backlinks
When an RSS feed is syndicated, it can increase
the number of links back to the original website.
And additional incoming links will often help
a website rank better in organic search rankings.
9. Increases Productivity
RSS increases productivity, allowing people to
quickly scan new posts and headlines, and only
clicking through and spending time on the items
Whether you decide to implement RSS feeds or not,
your competitors likely will. So one way to remain
competitive is to implement RSS feeds and other
web 2.0 technology, and not allow your competition
to get ahead of you.
Negatives (Cons Against Using
1. Not Widely Adopted Yet
Outside of technical circles, RSS has not yet
been widely adopted. While it is becoming more
and more popular, it is still far from being a
2. Content Can Easily Be Copied
Content contained in an RSS feed can easily be
copied and replicated, regardless of whether you
want it to be or not. Few aggregators respect
the copyrights of content contained in an RSS
3. Tracking Subscribers Is Difficult
It is very difficult to accurately track the number
of subscribers who read an RSS feed or the items
contained in an RSS feed. This is due in part
to the fact that at its heart, RSS is all about
achieving the widest syndication possible.
4. Source Origination Difficult
It is sometimes difficult to discern the origin
of an RSS feed item. When an item is syndicated,
the source is not always indicated. The metrics
available are not always reflective of the traffic
Weigh the pros and cons of implementing an RSS
feed as a communication channel, and determine
whether the benefits outweigh the risks in your
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing, publishing RSS
feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages
marketing for RecordForAll http://www.recordforall.com
audio recording and editing software.