Search Engine Optimization for RSS Feeds
Welcome to the tutorial and explanation
on how to optimize your feed for search
In some ways RSS is very similar to HTML,
the language commonly used to create websites.
Just as with HTML, webmasters using traditional
search engine optimization tactics when
creating an RSS feed will find that their
RSS feed receives additional exposure and
These 12 simple steps to optimize an RSS
feed for search engines can make a world
1.) The title should contain important search
To state the obvious, the title should be
relevant and not misleading, while still
emphasizing keywords. Ultimately, the title
should entice the reader to read on, not
2.) Display RSS feeds.
Most webmasters display their feeds as content
on their website. When displaying a feed
be sure to use PHP, ASP or HTML so that
search engines will spider the contents
of the feed displayed. If using a template
to display feeds, use header tags to define
the appearance of the Channel Title and
Item Titles. Many search engines weight
header tags with more importance. See Displaying
RSS Feeds for additional information - http://www.small-business-software.net/display-rss.htm
3.) Internal & External Links.
Within a feed you should always use the
full path of any links, keeping in mind
that other sites may syndicate the contents
of the RSS feed. Links that are not local
to the site should launch a new browser.
While this is not specific to search engines
it will help keep visitors on your site.
4.) Link text should emphasize keywords.
It is no longer a deep, dark secret that
the text used for incoming links will help
a site contextually define the keywords
that the site appears for in the search
engines. Keeping that in mind, be sure to
use keywords in any link text that points
back to your website.
5.) My.Yahoo and My.MSN.
This is surprisingly simple to do but often
overlooked by publishers and webmasters.
The fastest way to have an RSS feed spidered
by Yahoo or MSN is to include the feed on
a personal my.yahoo or my.msn home page.
Simply create an account on the respective
search engines and customize the home page
to include your RSS feed. This is done by
adding content and listing the URL to the
RSS feed. Typically, within 24-48 hours
the feed's contents will be spidered and
indexed by Yahoo and MSN.
6.) Theme feeds.
Feeds should be themed. This will help with
themed links back to a publisher's website
from anyone syndicating the feed's content.
7. ) Link popularity.
Increase link popularity by submitting the
RSS feed, blog or podcast to the appropriate
directories. The following directories allow
submissions of specific kinds of RSS feeds.
Be sure to follow the guidelines of each
site and choose categories wisely.
Submit Podcasts - http://www.podcasting-tools.com/submit-podcasts.htm
Submit RSS feeds - http://www.rss-specifications.com/rss-submission.htm
Submit Blogs -
8.) RSS feed descriptions.
RSS feed descriptions are generally summaries
or introductions to other content. Often,
feed creators will provide additional information
on an HTML site, enticing the reader to
click through for the full information if
it is a topic that is of interest to them.
Provide enough teaser copy that the reader
can easily discern if the contents are something
that is important to them.
9.) Subscribe to feeds.
This might seem obvious, but a surprisingly
large number of publishers do not subscribe
to their own feed. This is a great way to
visualize what your customers see, and experiment
with formatting and integrating HTML into
10.) Image ads.
Add your corporate logo to your RSS feed.
Create a brand and enforce that brand by
including the image in the RSS feed. The
image will enhance your corporate identity
and dress up the look of your feed by adding
your corporate logo.
11.) Alphabetical rank.
Many feed readers list feeds alphabetically
in the reader. Feed channels that begin
with A will naturally appear in the top
of the feed list in most feed readers. If
you wish to appear in the top of list of
feeds that a reader has subscribed to, keep
this tip in mind.
12.) Meaningful Links.
Each item in your feed should contain a
unique URL associated with it. This will
direct users to associated information.
Many find using target URLs with the "#"
symbol in the link to identify specific
Most marketers have a love-hate relationship
with search engines. Search engines have
the ability to make even the most confident
webmaster feel powerless . Let's face it
- all of us have felt the wrath of the search
engine powers-that-be at one time or another,
and while it may be difficult to know what
line was crossed or how we fell out of favor,
following some basic guidelines will be
helpful in optimizing feeds for search engines.
Please visit our website, www.feedforall.com
, for more tutorials, including how to configure
the program to create and post RSS Feeds.