Web Site Promotion – RSS Feeds – Part II

Where did RSS come from and where is it going? What are the benefits of RSS to Web Site Promotion?These are the broad questions this article will attempt to answer in brief fashion.RSS developed to fill the need for a way to automate and simplify the delivery of information over the Internet, from web sites, blogs, and other sources that have relatively frequent updates. The original idea for RSS came from the old “tickertape” news services. If you have your own web site or blog, your web site promotion will benefit from using RSS. Simply put, the more frequently your blog or web site is updated, the more the benefit you will gain from RSS feeds to your site.There are 2 primary rules to follow for web site promotion on Google.1) Google loves original content, and especially fresh original content. Fresh means any content that is updated frequently. How fresh is fresh, you may ask ? The simple answer is; daily is nice, weekly is good, but not quite as nice. The more often your site is updated, the better chance you will have to achieve top search engine positions on Google.2) Google values what other people think of your information. A large number of subscribers to RSS feeds on your blog or web site is beneficial for your web site promotion. The number of RSS subscribers to your site is important, just as links to your site, or the number of visitors to your site. The more links to your web site, (RSS subscriptions included), the better you will do on the search engines.RSS feeds are simply articles on a web server that are written in XML, a language that is similar to the source code, (HTML) that is used on blogs and web sites. The beginning of RSS was somewhat confusing before it’s current interpretation as “really simple syndication”, or RSS 2.0. It started as Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91), changed to RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.90 and 1.0). Dave Winer, a developer at Userland introduced his own XML format, and Dan Libby of Netscape, both figure prominently in the history of RSS.Do you remember when Netscape was the most popular Internet browser,and you actually had to pay for it ? Perhaps you don’t, that’s OK. That’s the time of the beginning of RSS development in the 90′s.These were the confusing days of RSS, but finally in 2002, things got together with RSS 2.0, and Dave Winer’s definition of RSS 2.0. He released ownership over RSS, (one of the good guys – kudos Dave), and gave it to the Berkman Center .Now, it appears that a great number of blogs of all kinds, and web sites as well, have RSS feeds on them. At last estimates. there are in excess of 25 million RSS feeds in existence. Approximately 50% of them are active, that is, they are updated with regular content. There is an alternative feed method to RSS, called Atom but it is not as popular as RSS, perhaps because it is a little more complex to write.It has been reported that Microsoft’s new Windows 7 will have a built-in RSS reader, but it’s official release is 4th quarter of 2009, according to some industry sources, so we will all have to wait. If you would like to find a good program that can read RSS feeds, you can do some research on the Internet on RSS feed readers, and find one you like. There are plug-ins for Firefox that some people like, and of course there are many standalone RSS reader programs.One very good one I just recently started using, because I like the simplicity of the layout, is an open source RSS reader called, BlogBridge. I like it because of it’s simplicity. If a reader program has advanced features, but it is not easy to use, then it will probably not get used. This reader is different. It is feature-rich, but the design is a model of clarity.It is quite amazing that the days of tickertape were only a few decades ago. Now at no charge, anyone with an Internet connection, can have access to far superior news and information. RSS feeds can be sent right to your computer from an incredible variety of sources all over the world, 24 hours a day.

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