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RSS is basically an abbreviation for Really Simple Syndication or alternatively, Rich Site Summary. RSS Feeds - What Are They? It is a technology whereby the contents of your site/blog e.g. blog posts can be made available to interested parties through online rss feed readers or aggregators such that they do not have to visit your site before knowing you have updated. All they have to do is subscribe to your site's rss feed and whenever you update your site content, a list of such updates automatically appears in their rss feed reader. What Are RSS Feed Readers? These are programs which make it possible for an interested party to access the contents of many websites without having to visit those individual websites. This access is all in a spot, which is the feed reader or alternatively called aggregator. Examples of RSS Feed Readers or Content Aggregators Popular readers or aggregators include Sage, Thunderbird, Radio Userland, My Yahoo, Newsgator, Google, Bloglines, Pageflakes, Netvibes etc. Some are web-based while others are stand-alone. Ordinarily most browsers cannot read rss feeds and show the contents as source codes, hence the need for content aggregators or readers. Exceptions however are browsers such as Firefox. Must The Webmaster Create His RSS Feed? Most top blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogger already have RSS feed embedded within the platform and so you do not have to go through the trouble of creating one. All you have to do is identify your rss feed url which in WordPress is indicated at the bottom left, both for posts and comments. There is also usually a symbol of rss feeds which is usually shown at the right hand side of your browser window. When you see this sign on any site, it can be clicked and it then prompts you to subscribe for that site's rss feed. Benefits of RSS feed to the webmaster 1. It enables a website to get indexed very fast, sometimes within 3 days. 2. Improves the SEO of a website such that a web page/site can get optimized and rank very fast and quite highly. 3. Enhances considerably, the traffic to any site. This becomes clear when it is realized that for most rss directories and rss search engines, you may have no more than about (1/2)half a million listed/indexed websites for your category or search term as applicable, while in the traditional search engines such as Google Web, you can have up to 8(eight) billion competing websites. Obviously, as a result of this, it does not need a mathematician to project that it is easier to rank higher and thereby get more traffic than in the traditional web directories and engines. 4. It creates another source of advertisement revenue for the webmaster. For example, Google has Adsense for feeds as one of its Adsense types whereby Adwords advertisers' adverts are featured on Adsense publishers' websites. 5. The webmaster can display others' rss feeds on his website. This helps him by providing him with fresh content which if properly displayed, is taken as part of his website content with all the accompanying SEO benefits of regular content update. The downside of this however is the "duplicate content issue" vis-a-vis "original content" advocacy with its attendant pros and cons. RSS Feed Syndication RSS feed syndication is about marketing rss feeds. You can submit its URL to many rss submission services for wider publicity such that interested parties can now subscribe. It is similar to the way you distribute your articles and interested parties now pick them up for republishing or use on their sites. In conclusion, on reading this article, the common question in the lips of new internet marketers i.e. "RSS Feeds - What Are They?" should gradually pale into insignificance.
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