RSS, or really simple syndication, is a real money generator.
Mark writes about this very subject at a high level. But, if you’re standing in front of your boss, trying to explain why RSS is worth it, here’s the list:
- It helps with search engine rankings: Google and Yahoo! now accept RSS feeds as ‘sitemaps’, which help them more accurately crawl your site.
- It helps with search engine rankings, 2: When people subscribe to your RSS feed using, say, Google Reader, it (may) improve your ranking in their personalized search results.
- It helps spread the word: Your RSS feed is the doorway into the entire world of social marketing. Well, OK, that’s a bit much, but it does provide a hook for aggregators like Technorati, which then gives you entree into the blogging world.
- It encourages mashups: Got useful data? Got data you think is useless but some OCD developer like me might want to include in their own application or site? An RSS feed gives them me a chance to do just that.
- It’s just so damned easy. You can create an RSS feed by hand, or from the database that drives your site. You may already have one and not even know it.
Here’s why you might not want to use RSS:
- Acronyms hurt your brain.
- You don’t understand that your content is already out there, so it can’t hurt you to re-publish it in RSS format.
- Your IT department runs your site, is being difficult, and you’re not allowed to fill their cars with cheerios.
So, go ahead. Use RSS. You’ll like it.