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It even surprised me.
Yes, even though I have been pointing out the possibility since July, and was forced by demand to release my study findings before my book was even half finished, I was shocked when I heard the news as well.
You see, I was sure we were at least a year off from this glorious day.
Yahoo has had a little facelift, which you've probably read about by now. The real news is more important for your site - the "My Yahoo!" page looks different too.
On September 28, 2004, surfers who logged in to their personalized Yahoo area saw an announcement explaining the RSS and Atom files that show updated information to a website as content feeds, effectively pushing news feeds into the mainstream.
The new look to this section of Yahoo was presented as a full page ad to every single account holder upon first log in that day, and even now, there remains a notice posted.
When I logged into my page in the "My Yahoo!" section, I saw a big difference in the number of feeds left to choose from, as well as in the way they were presented.
Currently, the RSS module boasts "150,000 sources". If your site isn't one of them, its crucial that you act now. If you have one and you're not getting the results you'd like from your set-up, there are small changes you can implement that will make a huge difference in your listing.
Best results aren't as easy as submitting your feed now, but you're still within the window of opportunity - if you do it properly.
What the News Could Mean For Your Site If You Act Now
One of my clients recently called this "the back door into Yahoo". Whether that statement is accurate as far as getting included, or receiving an increase in rankings within Yahoo's search engine via your feed, depends on your site, and whether you create your feed correctly.
If you could use a daily stream of traffic from even a small portion of Yahoo's estimated 20 million users, this could be your final wake-up call. You'll want to learn how to create a feed that gets well listed immediately.
Currently, the RSS module boasts "150,000 sources". Yahoo will still need hundreds, perhaps thousands more, even if it only intends to list the "creme de la creme" of the submissions it gets. Being in that group is as easy as submitting your feed.
Being at the top of the list isn't. However, you're still within the window of opportunity if you take the time to learn how to do this properly. You can get free details on how to do that at helpmerss.com .
"My Yahoo!" RSS Headline module Coming Out of Beta?
If I had to guess, I'd say all signs point to yes. When that happens, Yahoo's RSS/Atom directory will likely contain only those who added their feeds early. New feeds seeking to be included will probably face stricter standards.
If you don't have one yet don't worry, because it's never been easier to make one. If you can cut and paste, there are tools all over the Net that will show you how- some will even generate the file for you.
However, there are still certain guidelines you need to follow with your feed to get a good result out of Yahoo - it's not as simple as adding your feed now that there are more competing listings.
Yahoo is still accepting new sources for RSS feeds. Readers of my last book state that they are getting excellent results following my instructions, though initial inclusion no longer occurs at the same rate. Plenty of markets have few feeds available, or none at all. Your site could fill that void.
That means you still have a chance at a first page ranking. The traffic I get on a daily basis from My Yahoo readers alone sounds like I just like to brag.
And I do, but that's hardly the point.
The point is, there's no place you can even go to buy the caliber of exposure to the quality of audience that reads feeds. The typical audience that accesses information by feed are also blog readers. A study this summer estimated that the 69.3% of blog readers are aged 29-50, and that 40% of this audience are people who have household incomes greater than $90,000.
The type of surfer that would subscribe to your feed has pre-qualified themselves as a lead, with a certain level of understanding and interest in your topic, often on a professional level. And if you don't spend every post hitting them over the head with your sales pitch, they can be both loyal and interactive.
(If you do, they'll unsubscribe from your feed faster than you can spell s-p-a-m.)
And if you're in the business of providing information you can use, in a way that shows how you can solve their problem, it's like preaching to the converted. If your product solves their problem, and you show that you deserve the trust of this subscriber, you'll also find the route to a sale an increasingly downward slope.
The bottom line - this is the power surfer's favorite toy. And if your content appeals to them, you need to learn how to play.
Learn how Tinu saw a 75% increase in both traffic and sales from feeds at http://freetraffictip.com/rssbook . For free reprint rights to her articles (and a potential $500 bribe) send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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