Programming SEO – RSS

ka_vol1_056 When I started this series on SEO, I mentioned that one of the main factors that will influence the ranking of your pages in the search engines is the number of links that are coming in and where they are coming from.

In fact, having links coming into your site is the only way your site will get indexed by the search engines.  Yeah, I know the search engines have “submit your site” pages, but those are largely black holes.  Many of us believe the only reason those pages exist is so that people would stop asking where they were, and that they do nothing.  At any rate, you’ll get indexed faster if you get another site to link to your site.

One of the fastest ways of getting those incoming links is by providing an RSS feed of your site.

Rather than outright stealing someone else’s code, here’s a link that will show you how to create an RSS feed.

There are other articles you can search for, but I believe that this is the one I used when I added an RSS feed to one of my projects.  Don’t forget to make the CDATA modification he has at the bottom of the article.

I personally put a week’s worth of articles in my RSS feed at a time.

What these sites don’t do is tell you what to do with the RSS feed. 

The first thing you want to do with the link to your RSS feed is that you want to burn it at FeedBurner, now owned by Google.  You can go here to burn it:

You want to link to the FeedBurner version of your link, not the ASPX version.

Using the FeedBurner link not only tells Google that you have new content, but it also tells Google roughly how popular your site is.  No one knows if the number of people you have subscribing to your site impacts your rankings or not, but we’re programmers.  Wouldn’t you use this metric if it was available to you?

Next, you need a link to it in your site and you need it in two places.

First, you need to put a visible link to it on your site so your visitors can see it.  You should do this with the standard orange “rainbow” icon.

Second, you want to place the following LINK tag in the HEAD section of all of your pages.  Hopefully you are using master pages so that this is an easy change to your web application.

    <link rel="alternate"
    title="The title of your RSS feed"
    href="" />

Now subscribe to the RSS feed with one of your readers.  You should also subscribe to it using Google reader.  Again, this tells the big G that it is there.

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