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RSS, ATOM, and Related Technologies Forum

RSS News Feeds?
Good or bad?

 5:52 pm on Oct 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi All,

I have a general question on RSS News feeds. It seems that my web content development is going rather slowly. Been busy with other aspects of my web site. I was wondering if it is good to start obtaining news feeds (pertaining to what my site is about of course) from other web sites around the WWW just so that my site has some news content and if so, would this help with my search engine placement?

Thanks for any input.



 1:24 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi, Mechaworx. None of our RSS experts have chimed in yet, so I'll take a non-expert stab at it...

The SE impact of the news feeds will vary depending on how you display them. If you use a server-side script to display the news feed, then the content will be treated like the rest of the HTML & text on the page. To the extent that the headlines & anchor text are relevant to your site, this could help the page. Of course, you have no control over the exact wording, so the relevance will vary; you might even find occasional problem words, like "murder" used in a figurative sense.

News feeds introduced by javascript won't be read by the spiders. Depending on your objectives, that might be a good thing or a bad thing.

The best reason to use news feeds is for your visitors - it's a low-maintenance way to keep your page looking fresh and up to date.


 1:35 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

If you plan on making RSS feeds as your primary content, you also risk losing visitors because they will be taken to other sites to read the articles. Why would they come back to you, when they can just go straight to the other sources. IMO RSS feeds are great to supplement your content not to replace it.

If you opt to use server-side scripting, I recommend you cache the headlines on your server. If one of your feeds has network/server problems it will hang up your site pretty badly.


 2:28 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

thanks for the info guys. The news feeds are indeed in Javascript form and I understand how it would just head my visitors on over to other web sites, however my way of thinking is that my web site is becoming a sort of "portal site" in order to direct people to other web sites anyway.

While I do have a lot of my own content, ie; product info and reviews, the news part of my web site is taking so long to develop because I'm getting "bogged down" in other areas. I'm trying to create a site where people can come to either seek information on where to purchase products that I have in my content or go other places to seek more in-depth information on the same content. In my area, it seems that I only find either one or the other on the internet, not BOTH.

I hope this makes some sort of sense.



 6:39 pm on Oct 30, 2003 (gmt 0)

Your strategy sounds fine, Mechaworx. If the news feed complements a large amount of your own useful content, you shouldn't have a problem with excessive visitor departures. They'll bookmark your site and keep coming back if they find the total package useful.

Using javascript to display the feed will mean that the feed content won't be seen by spiders, at least for now.

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