While RSS feeds are no secret in terms of their traffic power, and many SEO consultants will talk about having an RSS feed and how it will help with SEO, I have found a way to use RSS feeds to take a step further in SEO.
One look at this RSS Submission list and you can easily see that there are hundred’s of sites out there that catalog and display content derived from nothing other than RSS feeds.
With the structure of rss feeds you have two opportunities to have a link. The feed itself should point to the site that hosts it, and content is derived from; and each item should have a link back to the content added.
These RSS feed directories display not only the title, the item, and the content – they also often use the title and item title as anchor text to point back to your site.
The result if you create your RSS feeds with titles that are on topic, they will be listed in these RSS directories and you will pick up some backlinks with keyword rich anchor text.
Most of the submission pages are quick and easy. Creating an RSS feed is also extremely simple now-days, there are tons of freeware software available such as RSS Builder. If you are actually submitting quality content, (or the links are symbolic of quality content ie: a link to your blog post) then the directories will most likely list your feed and provide those backlinks.
Some of the RSS feed directories put a rel=”nofollow” tag on the links. This means that the site is not going to give you any PR boost from the link. This is not the case with all of them, but 2-3 that I have come across this far do add said tag. However, even lacking the PR boost it is still a link back to your site with quality content that can be found on search engines.
Further, if the items are not filled with a lot of content, the feed pages actually end up having a very high keyword density themselves. The result of this is a feed listing ranking higher than your pages themselves – even to the point where they push your site onto the next page of SERPs.
While again, it still provides users with a method of reading your content and finding your site to obtain more content – it is definitely less than optimal.
The best method to prevent this is make sure that your items contain ACTUAL content. If you try and spam the search engines/directory listings with 2-3 sentence items and keyword rich titles… the keyword density of these listing pages is going to be extremely high.
RSS submission can provide users with another method of finding your content, and provide quality keyword rich backlinks. However – if abused it will most likely hurt you in the long run. Chances are the directories won’t host your listing, the rss listings will rank higher than you, and Google will no doubt catch on and then it is only a matter of time before you are blacklisted.