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External Sites Using Your Rss Feed

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3 replies to this topic

#1 seobarry


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Posted 25 September 2009 - 05:18 AM

Sometimes I read very good stories about trying to get other websites to use your RSS feed. The advantages I can think of are:

- Obtaining backlinks since every article in the feed contains a link to the full article on your website
- Making sure that all your articles are indexed by Google since google will automatically find links to the article through the websites that use your feed

However, I can also think of negative influence:

- Google regarding the many links obtained from the use of your feed used on many pages (also bad pages in the eyes of Google) as spammy
- Google thinking that there is duplicate content because the feed contains lines literally copied from your website
- Google indexing the part of the article that is duplicated on other sites, and indexing it even before it indexes your own website resulting in Google thinking that your website has copied the content rather than the other way around

I consider adding our RSS feed to sites like these: www.yatoo.ch

Here you can choose your categorie and add your feed in the appropriate category, is this a good idea?

If so, can I add to as many websites as I want or do I need to be careful with this?

Can you recommend some websites to add our rss feed to?

Many thanks!

#2 Michael Martinez

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Posted 25 September 2009 - 01:07 PM

Google is probably not going to penalize most sites for obtaining links through RSS feed distributions because those sites cannot control how the RSS-fed links are handled.

For example, many RSS directories require review and acceptance before they'll publish your feed to a crawlable page.

And many RSS directories also use nofollow, so Google is depending on those sites to exercise editorial judgement.

Where an RSS directory may not be exercising editorial judgement, Google and other search engines of course reserve the right to ignore their links anyway.

As far as duplicate content goes, a lot of sites will only publish part of your content even if you publish a full feed. This is done as a courtesy, out of respect for intellectual property rights, and to avoid tripping duplicate content filters.

But you can also choose to publish only a partial feed. The ensures that all sites that republish your feeds are not duplicating your articles.

Now, you also ask an interesting question about how many sites you can use RSS feeds for. Frankly, that sounds like you're trying to do a lot of link building. That might in fact create a footprint that gets sites banned or penalized.

When you create a lot of artificial links, the search engines can usually figure out what is going on.

It's better to work with your sites' natural strengths and promote their content through channels that are likely to award those sites with natural links.

Since RSS feed channels can be so unreliable in terms of passing link value anyway, I would not recommend developing a link building methodology that specializes in RSS feeds.

#3 seobarry


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Posted 26 September 2009 - 07:28 AM

Thanks for the elaborate and interesting response. Are there more opinions on this matter?

#4 Randy


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Posted 26 September 2009 - 08:53 AM

My opinion would pretty much echo Michael's.

Namely that if you're using RSS as a link generation methodology you're really using it for something well outside the norm. And that getting links via an RSS feed probably isn't going to yield many, if any, high quality links. And that it'll be very easy for the search engines to spot in their back link profile the search engines maintain for every site.

RSS is a great way to distribute content, however once you make an RSS feed available you lose ultimate control over how people will use it. The search engines of course know this. After all both Google (via Google Reader) and Yahoo (via My Yahoo) allow users add RSS feeds directly to services provided by the search engines themselves.

Thus they know you don't really control how someone else may use your feed. Making how someone else uses and utilizes your content to assign a penalty would make no sense at all given these facts. However assigning a penalty doesn't necessarily mean they're going to give credit to links provided by the feeds. Some might, some won't. But you can bet that they'll know you're providing an RSS feed.

Bottom line, RSS feeds simply aren't a good strategy if the goal is to obtain high quality back links, so shouldn't be used to try to get them. Instead use it for its intended purpose, as a content distribution method.

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