February 22, 2011

Simple SEO: Using RSS for Backlinks

BY John Paul Narowski IN Sales and Marketing 3 Comments

rss link RSS (Real Simple Syndication) is a handy way for people to get updates from their favorite sites, but it’s also a powerful tool for increasing your search engine rankings.

What is RSS?

RSS has been around since 1999 but didn’t really get popular until 2005.  The RSS feed for your site is a XML formatted summary or full text of your posts plus key data the search engines need (title, description, keywords, date published, etc). This allows many different programs to read the feed so it can be easily distributed, too. The most common way people come into contact with RSS feeds is by signing up to receive updates from their favorite websites.  These can be viewed in your browser or through an RSS reader like Google Reader.

How it Works for SEO

A big part of search engine optimization (SEO) is getting backlinks to your site.  Google and other search engines consider backlinks votes for your site, so the more the merrier.  A simple and often overlooked way to get a large amount of back links is by spreading your RSS around the web. Your RSS feed is nothing more a set of backlinks pointing to your site.  As long as you update your content regularly (which you should be anyways), you will be creating new backlinks wherever your RSS feed is posted. So, let’s say you make the finest blue widgets in the world.  Of course, you have a website that talks all about the art and science of blue widget making.  You set up an RSS feed and encourage people to subscribe to it, so they can stay abreast of the latest blue widget news. Then Tom Smith comes along. Mr. Smith is the biggest blue widget fan in the world and has a blog about them.  He loves your blue widgets (naturally) and wants his readers to see your constant flow of information.  So, he places your RSS feed on his site. Not only does it entertain and inform his readers but it keeps his site fresh as well.  The bonus for you is that every time you make a new post, his RSS updates creating a new link back to your site.

Ramp it Up

You can easily scale up your RSS backlinking results by submitting your RSS to multiple sites.  Being proactive and finding new homes for your feed means exponentially more backlinks. Here’s a where you should be looking:

  • Other sites in your market that aren’t direct competitors
  • Your social media pages
  • Web 2.0 Sites like Squidoo and Hubpages that you create

Turbo Charged RSS Results

If you want to take things to the next level, then you need to tap into the RSS aggregators.  These are sites that gather massive amounts of RSS feed together, categorize and display them. This allows people who are interested in a certain subject to easily find tons of information quickly and pick the RSS feeds they like the most.  There are hundreds of these sites around but the largest and most popular are:

  • Feedage.com
  • RSSMountain.com
  • Feedboy.com
  • Feedbomb.com

Simply go to these sites and you can amplify the amount of RSS backlinks you get. But this can time consuming and no one likes to fill out hundreds of web forms.  That’s why there are handy RSS submitters like RSS Bot and RSS Submitter that allow you to blast your feed out to all of the sites possible and use one signup process. No matter how extensive you want to make your RSS backlinking, it should be a part of your SEO plan.   It’s too easy not to.  Compared to other methods of link building distributing your RSS feed is a walk in the park.

I’ve been hacking at various business ideas since I was 16. I’m a full stack developer and love crafting user experiences. I’ve been nose deep in code since I put the legos down, and built several successful businesses in the process. I’ve lost some hair, gained some experience and throughly enjoyed the journey.

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