Use and Abuse of RSS

There are many benefits on implementing RSS technology on a website, but there are also several drawbacks, what we could define as the use and abuse of Really Simple syndication. The use is very obvious, the abuse not always noticeable at first glance, hence the need to be aware before it actually happens.

Among the many uses of RSS we can find blogging, e-commerce, Internet marketing, business syndication, email marketing, search engine optimization, branding, online advertising, content publishing, search engine marketing, and digital public relations.

For all those fields, and many others, RSS feed are a useful tool to broadcast real-time updates on newly added content. Feeds are automatically generated by a publishing system or core scripts with RSS capabilities, but can also be crafted using an RSS feed creation program, which generates the XML code to place on site if needed.

But publishing your web content may lead to abuse. Although the ultimate goal of syndication is getting other websites republishing your content, this is not always beneficial. If you are seeking uniqueness on the web, syndication produce duplicates, but do not panic. Search engines recognize the original source an will credit traffic and page rank to yours.

Nonetheless, many unscrupulous webmasters may take your content to spam other websites at a time, or as a filler for an already spam-flagged website. Because RSS feeds include links back to the original source, you may find your website linked to what search engines call a bad neighborhood.

On the other hand, the correct use of RSS consists of delivering valuable updates on relevant content that you want your visitors and potential clients read, but once again the abuse may be present, voluntary or involuntary, when you abuse of those updates adding irrelevant information in huge amounts and minimum timeframe in between.

Updating your website content is valid, as it is broadcast the news about it, but pinging the updating services and search engines to often and with no sense may lead your site to a ban in such services, or to get you flagged as spammer, although you would not need this tag when falling in abuse; your readers will notice it first and would probably decide to revoke their RSS subscription to your news.

With RSS your projects can reach easily your target audience, so use it wisely to promote your website and gain visibility in search engines. Do not let abuse stops you in your road to success.