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Chasing The Spider -
Simple RSS Tactics that can Give your Site the Edge

Posted on April 13, 2005

By Titus Hoskins

(Why it's Strategically Important for any online concern to keep your eye on the RSS Wildcard in the coming months. Don't underestimate the potential of this new way of moving content around the web. This one could deliver big returns. Is your site ready for RSS?)

Moving Closer To The Spider

A little while back, the Internet changed. The change was very subtle. Most people missed it.

There was a slight shift in the way information is exchanged on the web. No great momentous event, just a little sideways flex.

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It all had to do with RSS -- Really Simple Syndication.

RSS allows you to directly deliver your content to all interested parties... don't come to us; we will deliver the information to you or your website.

It syndicates your content. In a nutshell; it's simply a more efficient way to get your content 'out there'.

RSS has been around for awhile but it really didn't catch on when users had to use RSS readers or aggregators but with the increasing popularity of MyYahoo, the Firefox Browser and Blogging...RSS is becoming: more popular, more accessible and more mainstream.

Recent developments such as the introduction of an RSS (live bookmark) feature in the Firefox Browser is just one application of RSS you should be using. Make sure you use Benefit Laden Headlines and an eye catching favicon to attact your subscriber's attention. You can extend your site's reach by taking advantage of Firefox's RSS live bookmarks.

MyYahoo also has an RSS feature where members can access different RSS feeds that interest them. Make sure you have the 'AddToMyYahoo' or 'XML' button on your site. Each time a subscriber opens their MyYahoo site - your RSS Feed will be updated.

You can also add 'MyMsn' and 'Bloglines' buttons on your site. Plus others -- give your visitors every opportunity to subscribe to your RSS Feed or Blog.

It goes without mentioning, your site must have a blog(s) and an RSS Feed(s) to take full advantage of these new applications.

For these are just a few applications of RSS; many more are coming. Especially now with the increased popularity in Blogs and Blogging; some major players are making their moves.

Have you wondered why Google has been sniffing around Firefox recently...hiring Ben Goodger, FireFox's lead engineer... could it have to do with this RSS feature???

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Recent moves by MSN must have Google concerned if not worried! Especially now that MSN has come out with their Beta Program using RSS in their search.

You can now place RSS search results directly on your website. It can enrich your site with daily updated content.

And it's quite simple to use; just add "&format=rss" at the end of the URL in your MSN search engine query. For example, to get an RSS Feed for 'tsunami relief' you would use this url:

http://beta.search.msn.com/results.aspx?q=tsunami+relief&format=rss

In Yahoo the URL would be slightly different:

http://news.search.yahoo.com/news/rss?p=tsunami+relief&ei=UTF-8&fl=0&x=wrt

Of course, you can change 'tsunami+relief' with the keyword or phrase of your choice to suit your website's content.

That's MSN and Yahoo, but what about Google? The real big Question: What will Google do with RSS? How will they use it?

The key may lie in Tags!

Tags is another application of RSS/Blog you should be preparing your site for. Tags have hit the radar lately because Technorati, which indexes 4.5 million blogs, started sorting blog posts by using tags.

They have created a folksonomy, drawing tags from different sources, mainly Flickr.com which sorts or groups pictures and from del.icio.us -- where you create a tag when you bookmark a page.

Or if your blogging software supports categories -- this will be recognized by Technorati as a tag.

If you want to create a 'tag' it's very simple; just place this code in your blog:

<a href="http://technorati.com/tag/Computers" rel="tag">
Computers</a>

and you will have created a tag for computers.

These are really keywords for blogs and you should take advantage of them to bring targeted traffic to your site or blog.

Webpages can even be designed around these tags and RSS Feeds. Directly deliver or pull all this content onto an RSS Supersite. Say you have a website on 'notebook computers'! You could pull RSS Feeds on all the different brands, all the product review materials, all the company information or updates, etc. and build a content rich RSS Supersite.

You could even compile this Supersite into an RSS Feed and deliver it to all your interested prospects. Might make a very effective marketing system!

Information runs the net, RSS Feeds is now the most efficient way to deliver that information. It's the nature of the beast; blogs and RSS Feeds are more 'on topic' than webpages. They deliver highly concentrated 100 proof content.

They're closer to the spider!

You get your content without the graphics, add-ons, website follies...it's closer to the heart of the matter. RSS delivers pure content. It's original acronym stood for rich site summary. Give me what the spider sees and leave the frills behind!

Right now, webmasters can, for lack of a better word -- 'turbo-charge' their sites with these RSS Feeds. You can add daily updated targeted content for your site. Should make any decent SEO smile.

Right now, webmasters should be positioning their sites for RSS. Those who jump first will get a leg up on their competition to say the least. For any online business, a strategic tactic or move should be considering or planning their RSS strategies at this moment. Get your site into position.

For the MSN example is just one application of RSS that's coming into view.

But watch out ... this gorilla is just hitting the fan... on the horizon there are endless streams of applications for RSS. Keep your eye on the cursor... don't let RSS get too far from your radar.

The one who figures out the real potential of RSS will be 'King of the Hill' for a little while until something else comes along.



About the Author

Copyright 2005 Titus Hoskins of bizwaremagic.com. This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached. Visit www.bizwaremagic.com for more simple solutions to your online marketing tasks.


 

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