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RSS Feeds by Search Sciences

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RSS Feeds by Search Sciences

RSS Feeds

  • Often under-valued content distribution channel
  • Assistance with site-wide content strategy
  • Full technical assistance with RSS publishing
  • Adaptation of existing content, if available
  • RSS Content creation as required
  • Identification of relevant sector or industry RSS aggregators
"Search Sciences has helped us in reviewing our content strategy. .and has also produced a wide range of in-depth content pieces for us on a variety of subjects.

They have also helped us to more fully utilise some content we had commissioned a while ago but which we hadn't really used to full effect."

Online Marketing Manager, Finance

RSS Feeds - a brief introduction and key benefits
Few regular web users can fail to have noticed the RSS logo in its various forms. RSS standards for "Really Simple Syndication" and uses a clearly defined set of formats to publish and syndicate regularly updated website content including, blog entries, news, special offers, articles and even pod casts. RSS documents are sometimes referred to as "feeds" or "channels". They may contain either the entire text or, in some cases, a summary of the content and links to pages or to other feeds which contain the detailed content.

Content distribution via RSS
The content of RSS feeds can be viewed in most web browsers such as Internet Explorer or Firefox but can also be retrieved, organised and read using a specially designed software application variously referred to as an "RSS reader", "RSS aggregator" or simply a "feed reader". RSS readers allow users to simply subscribe to feeds of interest by clicking on an RSS icon on a website or by manually entering the link to the feed into the software's user interface. RSS readers can be configured to regularly check subscribed feeds for new content and to download any updates found. There are also a growing number of content aggregation sites which use RSS feeds to collate and re-distribute content (again, usually via RSS) to their user communities. RSS feeds are thus ideal for:-
  • New product arrivals or releases
  • Calendar and diary events
  • Company and product news
  • Price alerting
  • Sales and specific promotions
Key benefits of RSS
Web users are becoming increasingly familiar with the use of RSS and are more inclined than they were perhaps even a year ago to subscribe to relevant feeds. The number of content aggregation sites also continues to grow. RSS is particularly well suited to updates that occur at irregular intervals, product, promotional and pricing information being classic examples. Principal RSS benefits therefore include:-
  • Self regulating opt-in user base
  • Thriving distribution channel through aggregation sites
  • Avoidance of spam blocking issues associated with mass emailing
  • Dissemination of irregularly updated information in real time
However you look at it, RSS represents a significant opportunity for many online businesses and yet remains surprisingly undervalued or entirely unimplemented on many sites.

RSS - the challenges
Even assuming that you are able to create high quality content, no small challenge in itself, RSS requires a degree of technical knowledge to implement. There are also a number of issues with web browser and RSS reader compatibility which need to be accommodated during the initial implementation. To be truly effective, RSS also requires that the content be of sufficient value to the user to motivate them to subscribe. Too many firms fail to get the balance between an acceptable level of advertising versus genuinely valuable content with the result that subscription numbers fail to meet expectations. RSS must thus be an intrinsic part of a site-wide content strategy.

Our solution and approach
Search Sciences works with clients to agree a site-wide content strategy and within that to identify information streams and target audiences that may be valid candidates for RSS channels. This can include the replacement or augmentation of current mass-emailing approaches where appropriate. We implement the client site RSS components of our content management system if required and can adapt and re-work existing content or indeed write content as and when required. We can also identify valuable RSS aggregators relevant to your industry or sector.

Please contact us if you would like further information on any of the solutions described above.

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