One of the very first articles I ever wrote on
Internet Marketing had to do with RSS and it was
entitled “10 Reasons To Put RSS On Your Site.”
That was in 2004 and RSS was somewhat new and
many webmasters were just beginning to place
blogs and RSS feeds on their sites. If you do
a search in Google, you can still find that
article on around 2,000 sites.
Most people now refer to RSS as “Really Simple
Syndication” – although it originally stood for
“Rich Site Summary” and was a very simple way
of summarizing and syndicating your content
in real-time to all interested parties.
RSS had its early beginnings with Netscape in
1991 which introduced the first version of RSS
(RDF Site Summary). Later versions would be
introduced and made popular by Dave Winer of
ScriptingNews and Userland fame who is considered
by many to be one of the major founding fathers
Most people today associate RSS with blogs and
blogging. You can read RSS content by using an RSS
feed reader or “aggregator” which can be desktop
or web-based. Some common feed readers include
FeedDemon, My Yahoo!, iGoogle and Firefox (Live
Bookmarks). You subscribe to your favorite RSS
feed by clicking the small icon on your favorite
blog or site and then when fresh content is
published via RSS your reader can immediately
retrieve and display it for you.
RSS is a very simple way of keeping up to date
and in contact with your favorite site or topic.
It makes staying informed easy to do and it provides
site/blog owners a simple way of distributing their
One can’t but wonder has RSS lived up to all that
Perhaps that question can only be answered by looking
at the popularity of blogging and the role it now plays
on the web. No one can deny blogs and their accompanying
RSS feeds carry tremendous weight, no matter which way
you measure it. Can anyone now imagine the World Wide
Web without blogs?
But the importance of RSS goes beyond just blogging,
we tend to forget how important it is for all the
new social media sites like Digg, Technorati, Reddit…
and not to forget fast growing applications like
People also forget RSS feeds play a major role in
online retail and affiliate programs. For example,
you can get an RSS feed of all the latest Amazon
products to place on your site. Many major online
companies now have these product feeds to help promote
and sell their wares.
XML and RSS have blended so seamlessly into many browsers
and operating systems most users are blissfully unaware
they’re even using RSS. Maybe that’s how things should
be; with RSS, the ever-present workhorse, quietly doing its
job behind the scenes.
RSS is just as important now as it was five years ago
– actually its influence and presence has only grown
stronger over the years. If you have not fully embraced
RSS and placed it on your site and in your online marketing
you’re missing out on one of the best opportunities to
spread your message on the web.
RSS is here to stay and even has its own advisory
board to help with the technical and programming side
of RSS. They also list a very handy “RSS Best Practices
Profile” for any webmaster wishing to create their own
XML-based RSS documents. http://www.rssboard.org/
Why should you use RSS?
Well, the list of reasons is quite long but RSS can help you:
syndicate your content in real-time, sell your products, build
your list, gather fresh content, promote your company and boost
that one vital element everyone needs more of on the web – traffic.
For those who have taken full advantage of RSS it has delivered
in more ways than one for it has truly turned into that Golden
Goose with the Midas complex. RSS has simply proven beneficial
to those users who have fully embraced it.
Now, you still don’t really need 10 reasons to put RSS on your
site, do you?