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How To Use RSS Correctly


There is no doubt in my mind that RSS is here to stay. RSS is a simple and effective means of communicating your message to your visitors without invading their privacy or spamming them. It has many benefits over email and there have been many reports of the death of email due to the continual rise of mass spamming and non delivery due to spam filters. By no means is email dead, it is still the best personal communication method besides picking up the phone. It's just that RSS does some things much better than email.

I have been informing and educating webmasters about RSS since I first discovered the potential of this medium. A whole industry has now grown up around RSS and now there are directories that specialise in listing RSS feeds and tools to help you create RSS feeds. Everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon and everybody seems to have their own opinions about how RSS should be used. Even Google has joined in to offer adsense in RSS feeds.

The problem I see is that improper use of RSS may well send RSS the way of email. Currently it seems that if you publish an RSS feed the contents of that feed seem to be considered public domain. The reasons for this is, I believe, to do with the way content is packaged in RSS, this makes the content easy to syndicate. It is not that difficult to create a script or desktop application to strip out the content of RSS feeds and publish them on someone else's website. There is even a few applications being sold for just this purpose.

This has lead to what I consider improper use of RSS feeds to spam the search engines, this seems to be aimed particularly at Google. Although not yet widespread yet many webmasters are cottoning on to the fact that they can get easy content for their websites without putting in much effort. Although off hand this may not seem detrimental to you, consider the long term consequences. Your feed copied hundreds if not thousands of times and no back links to your site as the links have been stripped. What if Google decides to penalise due to duplicate content, the consequences could be that your site is dropped from Googles listings.

After considering such a scenario I have come up with a few suggestions. Firstly only publish a teaser paragraph in your feed that links back to the main article. Although some may disagree with me as they prefer the full article in the feed, I truly believe RSS is better suited to notification type messages. Secondly you can publish some terms in your feed which states that the contents are personal use only and you should be contacted for syndication rights. While this will not stop those determined to copy the content of your RSS feed it will help raise awareness of the issue.

Allan is the webmaster at NewsNiche an RSS resource for webmasters. Learn how to use RSS to attract and retain visitors to your site.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE RESOURCES updated Mon. July / 22 / 2024

What Is an RSS Feed? - Lifewire
What Is an RSS Feed?  Lifewire

The Iconfactory Launches Project Tapestry, a Kickstarter Campaign to Create a Universal Inbox for RSS, Social Media, and More - MacStories
The Iconfactory Launches Project Tapestry, a Kickstarter Campaign to Create a Universal Inbox for RSS, Social Media, and More  MacStories

The Best RSS Feed Readers (Because the Internet Is a Mess) - WIRED
The Best RSS Feed Readers (Because the Internet Is a Mess)  WIRED

Heads Up – AWS News Blog RSS Feed Change - AWS Blog
Heads Up – AWS News Blog RSS Feed Change  AWS Blog

RSS Feeds - Conservation International
RSS Feeds  Conservation International

David Winer - Guy Kawasaki
David Winer  Guy Kawasaki

Refined.blog: A Curated List of RSS Feeds for Software Engineering Blogs - WP Tavern
Refined.blog: A Curated List of RSS Feeds for Software Engineering Blogs  WP Tavern

Question to those reading this blog on an RSS reader (such as Google Reader) - World Bank
Question to those reading this blog on an RSS reader (such as Google Reader)  World Bank

Subscribe to Updates from CISA - CISA
Subscribe to Updates from CISA  CISA

A guide to using RSS feeds, the files that contain real-time updates from websites - Business Insider
A guide to using RSS feeds, the files that contain real-time updates from websites  Business Insider

Science Speaks Blog - IDSA
Science Speaks Blog  IDSA

Return of the RSS reader - Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard
Return of the RSS reader  Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

The top five RSS readers for keeping up with your news feeds - The Verge
The top five RSS readers for keeping up with your news feeds  The Verge

RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them - Business 2 Community
RSS Feeds and How To Burn Them  Business 2 Community

Blog Feed - Enverus
Blog Feed  Enverus

The Story of the First Podcast Feed - Podnews
The Story of the First Podcast Feed  Podnews

3 simple ways to embed a Twitter Feed on your website - Sprout Social
3 simple ways to embed a Twitter Feed on your website  Sprout Social

New Ways to Customize Your Facebook Feed - Meta Store
New Ways to Customize Your Facebook Feed  Meta Store

Social Media - UC Davis Health
Social Media  UC Davis Health

Who killed Google Reader? - The Verge
Who killed Google Reader?  The Verge

What is an RSS feed? Here’s why you should still use one - Digital Trends
What is an RSS feed? Here’s why you should still use one  Digital Trends

Veteran of the Day - VA.gov Home | Veterans Affairs
Veteran of the Day  VA.gov Home | Veterans Affairs

Add your blog to Security Creators Network - Security Boulevard
Add your blog to Security Creators Network  Security Boulevard

Subscribe to Foreign Blogs in your Native Language with Google Scripts - Digital Inspiration
Subscribe to Foreign Blogs in your Native Language with Google Scripts  Digital Inspiration

The podcast revolution - Harvard Gazette
The podcast revolution  Harvard Gazette

What is a data feed? | Definition from TechTarget - TechTarget
What is a data feed? | Definition from TechTarget  TechTarget

Twitterfeed : Bringing RSS to Twitter for Every Blogger - Search Engine Journal
Twitterfeed : Bringing RSS to Twitter for Every Blogger  Search Engine Journal

The Rise and Demise of RSS - VICE
The Rise and Demise of RSS  VICE

15 Companies That Really Get Corporate Blogging - SitePoint
15 Companies That Really Get Corporate Blogging  SitePoint

A quick and dirty guide to making custom feeds on Bluesky - Southern Fried Science
A quick and dirty guide to making custom feeds on Bluesky  Southern Fried Science

How machine learning powers Facebook’s News Feed ranking algorithm - Facebook Engineering
How machine learning powers Facebook’s News Feed ranking algorithm  Facebook Engineering

Read Salon's blogs in your RSS reader - Salon
Read Salon's blogs in your RSS reader  Salon

Madan Das – the RSS Leader who could say No - The Times of India
Madan Das – the RSS Leader who could say No  The Times of India

RRS Sir David Attenborough - British Antarctic Survey
RRS Sir David Attenborough  British Antarctic Survey

Announcement: new RSS feed launched - World Bank
Announcement: new RSS feed launched  World Bank

Cybersecurity as a Service Delivered - Naked Security
Cybersecurity as a Service Delivered  Naked Security

How To Create a Google Shopping Feed (2023) - Shopify
How To Create a Google Shopping Feed (2023)  Shopify

BBC Blogs - Technology + Creativity at the BBC - Round up: BBC iPlayer RSS feeds and the Ethical Dilemma Cafe - BBC
BBC Blogs - Technology + Creativity at the BBC - Round up: BBC iPlayer RSS feeds and the Ethical Dilemma Cafe  BBC

FOXNews.com RSS Feeds - Fox News
FOXNews.com RSS Feeds  Fox News

20 years of Safari: A visual history - Cult of Mac
20 years of Safari: A visual history  Cult of Mac

RSS must discard its anti-democratic-secular India agenda - The Indian Express
RSS must discard its anti-democratic-secular India agenda  The Indian Express

CNN.com offers free RSS feeds to users, bloggers - Indiantelevision.com
CNN.com offers free RSS feeds to users, bloggers  Indiantelevision.com

NCSC RSS feeds - National Cyber Security Centre
NCSC RSS feeds  National Cyber Security Centre

10 best RSS reader apps for Android - Android Authority
10 best RSS reader apps for Android  Android Authority

Aeon | a world of ideas - Aeon
Aeon | a world of ideas  Aeon

ACLU News & Commentary - ACLU
ACLU News & Commentary  ACLU

Feed Me Featured - Film Threat
Feed Me Featured  Film Threat

Aggregators Attack Info Overload - WIRED
Aggregators Attack Info Overload  WIRED

Broadcasting the World Cup and Wimbledon in UHD - the full story - BBC
Broadcasting the World Cup and Wimbledon in UHD - the full story  BBC

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 4 - The Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 4  The Times of India

A number of freely available tools can help you improve your literature review routine and stay on top of published research - LSE Home
A number of freely available tools can help you improve your literature review routine and stay on top of published research  LSE Home

RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1 - The Times of India
RSS’s standardised Hinduism – Part 1  The Times of India

The Editors: RSS feeds for BBC News correspondent pages - BBC
The Editors: RSS feeds for BBC News correspondent pages  BBC

RSS is not just antithetical to Muslims, but to a democratic-secular India as well - The Indian Express
RSS is not just antithetical to Muslims, but to a democratic-secular India as well  The Indian Express

BBC Comedy Blog Feed - BBC
BBC Comedy Blog Feed  BBC

I Can Cook: Getting very young children to cook - BBC
I Can Cook: Getting very young children to cook  BBC

Narendra Modi behind anti-Gadkari campaign, blogs RSS ideologue - India Today
Narendra Modi behind anti-Gadkari campaign, blogs RSS ideologue  India Today

5 Inspirational Wedding Photographer Blogs to Follow - SLR Lounge
5 Inspirational Wedding Photographer Blogs to Follow  SLR Lounge

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