How to Use RSS Feeds

You may have seen the words RSS Feed many times on websites and blogs that you frequent, but exactly what is an RSS Feed? RSS refers to Really Simple Syndication which is actually a format that allows a publisher to get updated content on their website or blog with little effort.

Sometimes, RSS is also known as Rich Site Summary. Feed formats used in updating web content include news headlines, blog posts, audio clips and videos. RSS formats have been in existence since 1999 but its popularity soared during 2005 and 2006. Currently, there are many sites that offer a feed of their content through the RSS format.

Why use RSS?

No longer do you need to search for fresh content every day to provide information on your site.  RSS is a lot more convenient because it allows you to utilise other people’s information and feed it directly onto your website or blog.  You no longer need to rush writing articles or hire article writers. Just search for relevant articles from directories on the internet and RSS allows you to feed them directly to your website.

How to use RSS

Using RSS feeds is easy. You just have to add several lines of code on your web page or blog and your content will automatically be updated.

Usually you need a feed reader or news aggregator software to gain RSS feeds from different websites and display them on your own web pages. Feed readers come in a variety of platforms but there are also the web-based feed readers such as My Yahoo, Bloglines and Google Reader.

After obtaining your feed reader, the next step is to find sites that syndicate content and add the RSS feed to the list of feeds your reader keep tracks of. This is done through subscription and usually by entering the feed’s URL into the feed reader.

Another option is to simply click an RSS icon in a browser which automatically starts the subscription process. The main function of an RSS reader is to monitor the user’s subscribed feeds for new content, downloads them and then provides a user interface to read the feeds.

Any publisher or author will greatly appreciate the benefits they can gain with using RSS feeds. By providing fresh and relevant content on a consistent basis, there’s an increased possibility of attracting more visitors to your site. Additionally, search engine spiders will be prompted to index your web pages and will do so regularly especially as your site gets updated with fresh information.