A Quick RSS Overview

RSS can be crafted manually by editing an XML file, but it is more commonly generated by a backend script. Blog publishing systems are the most remarkable example of such kind of scripts. Besides generating feeds, scripts deliver automatic “pings,” which are remote calls to updating services that continuously scan the webs for updates on any topic.

RSS feeds contribute to generate traffic, but also to reach a target audience. For instance, if your website sells hats, posting short articles about the latest fashion trends on hats will generate a feed accordingly, broadcast by the updating services and driving to your website those visitors expressly interested in hats, which may turn eventually in potential buyers.

Any website on the Internet can deliver RSS feeds to both the news updating services and surfers seeking for relevant information on keywords, topic or niche your site belong in, but integrating syndication into a website may require special knowledge, proper software or the work of an expert web developer.

As a reader, you can also retrieve information from your favorite websites using RSS. Feeds can be retrieved by the so-called aggregators, which strip the XML format to render an easily readable text. RSS updates can be broadcast in either long format or short summary. If you are setting up your own feeds to keep informed your readers, it is advisable opt for summarized content.

An RSS summary preserves the nature of syndication; provide surfers with fast-reading content, which contains a link back to the website where full story resides. Summary feeds also prevents content stealing, since it is very easy display a feed into a website as if it were generated on it.

Adding styles and a copyright notice may prevent the non-authorized distribution of your content, along with clear rules stating if your RSS content can be reproduced in full, partially or it is void. Check news websites such as ABC News, Reuters, Yahoo News, BBC, The New York Times, or CNN to read their policies about syndication and use them as example to write down your own.

Syndication is the best way to reach potential customers, and there are many RSS directories that gather the latest feeds for almost any topic, so it is easier for surfers find the information they are seeking for, as for webmasters to get the results that they want. Try yourself the potential of RSS and you will never regret.