Top 10 RSS Tips
RSS is not quite a household word, but technically
astute individuals are adopting the use of RSS
feeds at an alarming rate. If you are interested
in jumping on the bandwagon, but not quite sure
of where to start, consider following these simple
RSS feed tips to maximize feed compatibility and
make your feed stand out from the crowd.
1. Titles and Descriptions.
Always include meaningful keywords in your RSS
feed's Channel title and description. Many readers
will view or search for topic specific RSS feeds
using keywords or keyword phrases. If you have
descriptive keywords in your RSS feed's title
and description the feed is more likely to be
located and subscribed to by interested parties.
2. GUID Format.
Always include a GUID with each feed item. The
GUID is a globally unique identifier. Each post
should use a different GUID. The GUID will in
some cases assist RSS news readers and aggregation
software in determining when new content has been
added to the RSS feed or when existing content
in an RSS feed has been modified. If you do not
use GUID's, the software used to aggregate the
feeds may have difficulty detecting changes to
feed items or the software may not always recognize
3. Publish Dates.
Always include a publish date on feed items. The
publish date should be used even if the content
is timeless. The Publish Date will help readers
determine that status of the content contained
in the feed item.
4. Polish Your Feed.
Consider including images within your RSS feed.
While the added images will not necessarily improve
ranking, they will add a polished look to your
RSS feed and help brand your feed.
5. Feed Hosting.
Either host your own feed, or set it up to forward
to a third party from your website. This will
allow you retain complete control over the RSS
feed. You will not need to rely on the stability
of another company. If you control the forwarding
and at any point you are dissatisfied with the
service provided by the third party, you can redirect
the feed to another location.
Do not plagiarize content in your RSS feed, there
is little more to be said. Written words are considered
protected in most countries. Posting someone else's
work and taking credit for their words is wrong
and will damage your reputation as a credible
Do not create splogs by automating feed creation.
Splogs just clutter the search engines and directories
and make it difficult to locate RSS feeds with
3. Violate Copyrights.
Do not violate copyrights by republishing an RSS
feeds contents. If you quote content from another
RSS feed, credit the source and provide and link
to the original source of the content. As a rule
of thumb, editorial content should exceed the
length of the quoted material in the post.
4. Violate TOS.
Do not republish RSS feeds without confirming
that feed syndication is allowed. The terms of
use are not always apparent, so it is important
that you check the terms of service on the publisher's
feed subscription page prior to syndicating the
contents of another publisher's RSS feed.
5. Provide Multiple Feed Formats.
Do not provide multiple feed formats for the same
content. As far as the subscriber is concerned,
the version of RSS that you are using is irrelevant.
Multiple versions of the same feed simply cause
confusion. Almost all RSS readers and news aggregators
support all versions of RSS, simply choose a version
and provide a single feed.
By adopting good feed practices,
you can reap the benefits of having an RSS feed.
Following these simple RSS do's and don'ts will
get you started on the path to RSS success.
About the Author:
Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll
software for creating, editing and publishing
RSS feeds and NotePage, Inc. http://www.notepage.net
a wireless messaging software company.