The RSS feed: what is it?

Le flux RSS, on en parle ?

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A text file essentially made up of your site’s tags, the RSS feed is automatically produced content.

But what is the RSS feed? How to use it? Can it help you optimize your site? Today we are going to explore this important part of your site.

What is RSS feed?

The RSS feed is a set of free content on any website. This feed includes the titles, tags and links that make up the various sites on the web. Used on other web spaces, they offer a greater influx of traffic and thus develop online visibility.

To use the RSS feed of a third-party site on your personal space, you must use aggregator software. The latter checks every day the new content on the targeted site. If a new article has appeared, the software downloads the new RSS feed and converts it to HTML format to make it easier to read. There are several types of aggregators. Among these, we find:

  • Online readers
  • Dedicated software
  • Email and web browser clients

The advantage of the RSS feed is that it facilitates access to information without having to go to the site in question. It is then faster to read the news that make up the original site. A great time saver, especially if you want to follow several at the same time.

How to use it ?

Using an RSS feed reader is really simple. To follow the news of the sites you visit, you can download software or use an online reader accessible from a personal account. To access your RSS feeds from anywhere, mobile applications also exist. Once you’ve found your aggregator, just paste the URL of the feed you’re interested in in the space provided. Another way is to go to the desired website and click on the logo of the RSS feed. You will then need to find the correct aggregator from the drop-down list and select it.

Which aggregator to choose?

You have the choice of a large number of software offering direct access to RSS feeds. Lots of free software are available and very easy to use. We can find:

  • Google Reader, a reader entirely in French requiring only a Google account
  • Most internet browsers like Mozilla, Google Chrome or Explorer
  • Netvibe, which offers a personalized management panel
  • RSSOwl, installed on your machine, this aggregator offers several classification options
  • FeedDemon which filters certain specific keywords and gives you access to the information that interests you

Of course, we present here a non-exhaustive list, there are dozens of other RSS feed aggregators. You can then choose the software that suits you best. All work relatively the same, you just have to copy the HTML address of the feed on the original site and paste it in the space provided in the software so that it follows the news of the chosen site.

RSS feeds and SEO, a perfect combination

The XML file will contain the various links pointing to the latest articles published on your site. In this file, the entire text of the article will be present. Being present on directories or RSS aggregators is always a plus for your site. Indeed, to improve your positioning on search engines, you will need to multiply links. Large numbers of quality inbound links pointing to your site will only benefit your SEO.

If a limited number of links are offered to Internet users, there are simple ways to optimize your RSS feed for SEO. Ideally, you should:

  • Vary the anchors of your feed
  • Build feeds by topic to reach the greatest number of profiles
  • Keep your links in the feed for an indefinite time
  • Create multiple feeds to offer diversity to your readership

The pros and cons

There are many advantages to RSS feeds. As we have seen in this article, thanks to this device you:

  • Make it easy for your readers to follow you
  • Increase the number of inbound links
  • Gives direct access to your latest articles

However, there are also some drawbacks to using RSS feeds. For example, you cannot give access only to the last published articles. In addition, the SEO of the RSS feed is done on the same anchors and the same pages for everyone. No random post settings can be programmed.

The RSS feed is an important part of your site that should not be overlooked. Used with good software, it offers a quick visual on the latest news on your website. Your readers will also be able to benefit from your updates directly via internet browsers. Thanks to the flow, you improve the optimization of your site and offer him an additional advantage in terms of his SEO.

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