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Re: Value of fresh content posted via RSS?

__/ [Dune] on Wednesday 02 November 2005 06:33 \__

> Hi folks, I've tried a technique on my agency's site for getting fresh
> content posted onto the home page each time it's loaded via displaying
> RSS feeds.
> http://www.thephelpsgroup.com/
> For a while now I've had several areas of rotating content which
> utilized JavaScript to function, so are not useful for SEO purposes. Am
> going to re-write with ASP so the client receives HTML, if anybody
> thinks that would help in this case.
> But the RSS feeds are sent to the client computer as HTML, so the bots
> should see that as content, and credit me for haing a page with
> constantly updated fresh content, right?
> I'm curious because I've seen much talk of PageRank and other
> techniques used in SEO, yet none on this sort of technique. Any
> thoughts on it's value? Any other thoughts concerning the site's SEO?
> Thanks in advance, Greg

I  can  see  that your front page has some rotation of content,  which  is
fine. Search engines are more likely to re-crawl (thus more /often/ crawl)
pages  that differ from the copy in cache. Some would say that rotation of
links, however, entails a penalty, but I vehemently doubt it.

Overall,  whether this bring benefit, I don't know. If you pull a trick of
your  sleeves which changes the nature of your front page, that page might
be  crawled  more often (thus more unnecessary traffic is triggered),  but
will it improve your rankings? Is your aims to get hit as much as possible
by  /both/ humans and bots or are you gauging success only by humans? It's
similar  to  the observation that some people think of spam they get as  a
measure of popularity.

JavaScript  will  indeed be 'rewarded' with nothing but indifference  from
crawlers. Many of the uses of JavaScript do not involve navigation direct-
ly,  especially  if one designs with Web standards in mind. JavaScript  is
transparent and server-side programming is hidden.

I fail to understand what you mean by fresh content via RSS. Are you pars-
ing  some RSS feeds and diplaying their content in your front page? It  is
hard  for me to tell because I am only exposed to the facet of your  page,
not  the back end. I notice an RSS feed, which is good. It motivates users
to  return  to your site or even read the content at ease on  their  side,
without devouring your traffic.

> But the RSS feeds are sent to the client computer as HTML

That  is  not true. RSS is an object that happens to comply with  XML  (or
SGML  to be more precise) and the server delivers arbitrary objects, which
are  in turn interpreted by the browser. Having an RSS in your front  page
(as  a button) does not imply fresh content. RSS feeds, however, will  in-
deed  be  crawled.  They never seem to attract any SE  referrals  to  them
though. They are indexed for whatever reason, maybe to serve as link bases
a la Google Sitemaps.

I  think I wrote too much already, so somebody else will comment on  other
aspects of SEO in your site.

Best Regards,


Roy S. Schestowitz      |    "On the eighth day, God created UNIX"
http://Schestowitz.com  |    SuSE Linux     |     PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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