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Does having an RSS feed really help?

MSNBot is crawling

     
9:04 am on May 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I have recently installed some RSS feeds on my blue and red widget site:

1) A feed for the latest widgets (site-wide)
2) A feed for the latest blue widgets
3) A feed for the latest red widgets
4) A feed for the latest blue widgets in each country
5) A feed for the latest red widgets in each country

Because of 4) and 5), that comes to a lot of feeds.

Good news is that MSNBot has started to crawl each feed, and I have submitted the feeds to newsisfree etc.

I am particularly excited by the MSNBot activity! Does it actually mean anything in terms of ranking or traffic, though...?

3:08 am on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well has it?
9:25 am on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Nope, not as far as I can tell.

I can confirm that MSNbot still pounds the site on a daily basis and greadily gobbles up each and every RSS feed I throw at him.

But he is not putting on any weight despite all this feeding :(

Possibly there may be some benefit in terms of making the site look "fresh", and there may be a marginal ranking benefit from this. There may be any number of other benefits from having the feeds, and for this reason, I will keep them. Who knows, maybe tomorrow there may be a ranking benefit for sites who have had feeds running for a long time.

But there has not been any difference in the BOTTOM LINE i.e. referrals / revenue.

10:18 am on May 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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But there has not been any difference in the BOTTOM LINE i.e. referrals / revenue.

I would give it another few weeks yet. If there's no conceivable benefit after a while, you can always just ban MSNbot from the feed - it obeys robots.txt.

TJ

7:10 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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With RSS feeds on your website, you are also inviting Google tro inxed your website...

this will help you in the long run for getting Rankings.

7:44 am on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I would love for Google to spider the feeds, but whereas MSNbot visits every day and eats everything in sight, Googlebot appears to be on a diet - maybe spidering one or two feeds a couple of times a week. I don't know whether this makes any real difference though.

Time will tell, as TJ says.

9:32 pm on May 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Here is the question --
is it an exact duplicate of a feed - or are you mixing and matching

if its an exact duplicate Google will see this as "duplicate content" right away - and will they ignore it?

8:28 am on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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All the feeds are different, i.e.

1) Latest blue widgets in USA
2) Latest red widgets in USA
3) Latest blue widgets in Canada
4) Latest red widgets in Canada
5) Latest blue widgets in Australia
6) Latest red widgets in Australia
7) Latest blue widgets in France
8) Latest red widgets in France
9) Etc.

The XML file is generated dynamically by PHP pulling results from the MySQL database.

Now you mention it, I have only one script file, and link to it with different variables, i.e. script.php?colour=blue&country=usa etc.

OMG. Maybe Google sees this as only one script.php file and all the?colour=blue&country=usa links are duplicate links?

9:06 am on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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But then, if Google did/could not recognise that script.php?colour=blue&country=usa is a different page from script.php?colour=blue&country=canada, then equally it would not be able to differentiate between different posts on forums, as the majority are like post.cgi?number=13243&thread=3425 etc. So probably this is not such a big worry.
11:53 am on May 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Well, I have created a ModRewrite to the feed script, and linked as follows:

/feed/blue/usa.xml
/feed/red/usa.xml
/feed/blue/canada.xml
/feed/red/canada.xml
etc.

Will see if GoogleBot is any more impressed with this... ;)

Thanks howiejs for the idea.

 

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