SES Chicago: RSS Blogs and Search Marketing Panel

    December 7, 2005

The last session I attended on day two of the SES Chicago Search Engine Strategies conference was RSS Blogs and Search Marketing moderated by Danny Sullivan.

Speakers included: Dick Costolo – FeedBurner, Nan Dawkins – RedBoots Consulting, Greg Jarboe – SEO-PR, Stephan Spencer – Netconcepts, Amanda Watlington – Searching for Profit

First up was Amanda Watlington: Blogs Good and Evil Shows quotes from BusinessWeek: Blogs Can Change your Business Forbes: Attack of the Blogs

Good: Offer platform for businesses to provide a more personal method of communication. Can provide feedback through comments and trackbacks Advertising opportunity

Evil: Can put out negative information Blogs Continue Grow 70,000 per day as of Oct. 13% updated weekly 1.2m posts per day Blogs are a threat to mainstream media Blogs are changing roles of search marketers to be able to: Brand and reputation monitoring/management Content strategy and deveopment Link development and site publicity efforts that include consumer generated media RSS Total use: aware RSS user 4%, unaware RSS user 27%, 69% do not use Many users of RSS don’t know they’re using RSS.

Benefits of RSS:


  • Build stronger customer relationships
  • Avoids email spam
  • Easy to maintain
  • Proven traffic generator
  • Uses of RSS Feeds:

  • Affiliate
  • Syndicating your content
  • Product announcements, uses, tips, articles.
  • Customer communications
  • Press room
  • Career channel
  • Example of sites that offer content to syndicate on your web site. LifeTips – 1 tip per day RSS drives traffic – 6.8% CTR on RSS feeds to site (simple feed) Manage your RSS Feed: 1. Create the feed 2. Validate the feed 3. Disseminate 4. Eliminate old content

    Optimize your feeds:

  • Use kw in the title < 100 characters
  • Write description as if it were for a directory < 500 characters
  • Use full paths onlinks and unique URLs for each item
  • Each feed should have a keyword theme
  • Include images for branding
  • Submit your feeds
  • Claim your feed at Technorati and subscribe to your own feed
  • Make your feeds available for syndication – FeedRoll
  • Use media specific feeds for iTunes and Yahoo! Media
  • Measure Circulation, Viewership, Readership

    RSS Advertising Pheedo – RSS Ads outperformed email by over 26% Shortage of online ad inventory, creating an interest in new sources Rss advertising is complex (user driven) and compelling ==== Next up is Stephan Spencer, a self proclaimed "RSS Junkie". RSS is a Killer app. Example: Google search for "TrustRank". #1 result is from Slashdot RSS feed. Ranking due to the number of links to the feed.

    Take RSS to the Next Level Give it Away: News alerts, latest specials, clearance, upcoming events, arrivals, tools, search results, book revision history, top 10 best sellers, project management activities For blogs: latest posts, latest posts by category, latest comments per post – Full text, not just summaries – Watch out for SEOs using your feed content as search engine fodder and hoarding the link gain. Shows examples of ecommerce feeds. Make it easy to Subscribe:

  • 1-click add to your favorite aggregator
  • Add autodiscovery tags
  • Make your listings in the Yahoo SERPs display the Add to My Yahoo link – by adding your blog to your My Yahoo page. Then use Pingomatic after you post. Track Subscriber Behavior: Feedburner Capture Link Gain: Encourage links through RSS directories/engines Keep your RSS feed url uses your own domain Clicktrack your links and pass link gain by using 301 redirect to se friendly url
    Personalize the Content Best practices: Customize – through checkboxes on signup page Allow user to be anonymous Give them the option of subscribing via RSS or email Recommended Resource: Rok Hrastnik’s "Unleash the Marketing Power of RSS" –

    Next up was Greg Jarboe from SEO-PR. My battery is almost dead so I don’t know how much of this I’ll get. 18.5 m feeds (feedster), 22.2 m blogs (technorati) My PC battery died, ugh. Greg’s presentation was similar to what he did at Pubcon 3 weeks ago which I covered here: RSS Feeds and Podcasting.

    Also, I interviewed Greg recently on SEO and PR. Also on the panel was Nan Dawkins from Red Boots Consulting as well as Dick Costolo from FeedBurner, who promised to help me convert my feed url to use the domain.

    Note to self: buy another battery or a new laptop!

    Lee Odden is President and Founder of TopRank Online Marketing, specializing in organic SEO, blog marketing and online public relations. He’s been cited as a search marketing expert by publications including U.S. News & World Report and The Economist and has implemented successful search marketing programs with top BtoB companies of all sizes. Odden shares his marketing expertise at Online Marketing Blog offering daily news, interviews and best practices.