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One of the sites, he says, has much higher rankings than the other two. And the main difference, from his point of view, is that this one site offers an RSS/XML news feed. He's convinced that offering this feed is giving this site more credit and helping it rank higher than the sites without the feed.
I suppose it could be nothing more than this site having more incoming links because of the feed. Or perhaps there's an "authority" trigger because this site offers news about the products/services.
Has anyone seen any evidence of an RSS feed directly helping a site's rankings? Any other theories for or against what this business owner believes to be true?
I imagine that the business owners site is heavily subscribed by people interested in his products, and they put it on their sites because it's relevant, no?
Sounds like the makings of an authority from more of an 'inbound link from relevant site' standpoint to me...
More and more sites are using news feed services just so that they have new content on their sites.... If the page is new and fresh and the content is RELEVANT to the rest of the meta data then you'll get a better listing.
We've seen this time and again.
The dmoz at least seems to be planning to add better support for rss: editors may now explicitely mark entries as "rss feeds".