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Keeping Your Websites Fresh Using RSS Feeds

Aug 22, 2007
One of the key ingredients to keeping your website listed high with the search engines today is fresh content. The internet is ever growing, and ever changing. The websites of yesterday that are static only HTML pages will start to fade away as more dynamic websites take their place.

What is the difference between static HTML web sites, and dynamic web sites? Static HTML web pages will always look the same. If you hit the refresh button nothing changes on the page. A dynamic web page will automatically change every time you hit the refresh button. A dynamic web page can also change its content based on what the user does, like clicking on some text or an image.

Adding Javascript to your site to make it look like the pages are ever changing will work for your human visitors, but not for the search engines. Currently all the major search engines can not read Javascript. They see the Java code but are unable to read any of the text that the Javascript generates.

There are a few ways that you can automate the process of adding search engine friendly content to your web pages. The quickest and easiest way to add pertinent content to any web page is to use RSS Feeds.

What is an RSS Feed? RSS is an acronym for "Really Simple Syndication". RSS feeds come in many different forms, such as news feeds that give you the latest breaking news and popular headlines on any topic directly related to your webpage.

Articles can also come in the form of RSS feeds. Thousands of industry experts are writing articles today related to just about any topic imaginable, and you can use these free of charge on all your web pages, and have them updated daily for you without you ever having to do a thing.

Blog posts are another form of RSS feeds that you can also work with. There is literally a million blogs online today, and they all put out their own unique RSS feed. Whenever someone posts to their blog the RSS feed page is created. While you may not want other people's blog content on your web pages, if you have your own blog you can easily have your posts show up on your pages.

Press release companies are also sending out RSS feeds of all the press releases submitted through their system. Almost all RSS publishers want other websites to syndicate (republish) their feed content. That's what RSS was invented for.

There are a few programs out today that will help you master the power of RSS feeds. At the same time they can automate the whole process for you. These are called RSS to HTML converters. They take an RSS feed and convert it into HTML code. Most of the ones out there are PHP based programs that install on your web server. The Installation of these programs is very easy, and takes only a couple of minutes. Upload the files to your server, enter in your user name and password, and you are done.

Once installed, you have a login page that walks you through the whole process. It will ask you what feeds you want to work with, and how much of the feed do you want displayed on your page. It will ask you for the title, author, date, and amount of text. You can even change the background colors or border around the feeds. You can even tell it how often you want the feeds updated, such as hourly or daily. There are many more options that are available to you when working with these programs. Most of them are nothing more then selecting a check box. No programming skills are needed.

Are RSS feeds worth the effort? Just remember that search engines love fresh content. Using RSS feeds on your website is a great way to keep new content on them automatically forever. So, let us get started !!!
About the Author
Bob Carper is a veteran information systems consultant with an MBA from Pitt. For additional information go to All About Webconferencing or Effective Web Design. You may also e-mail Bob at robertcarper06@comcast.net
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