In today’s article, we will learn an important Off-Page SEO Technique i.e. “RSS Feed”. We will cover the following important subheadings:
- What is RSS Feed
- Need and Benefits
- What is a Feed Reader
- Types of RSS reader
- Google Alerts
- Introduction to Feedly
- RSS Feed Vs. Email Subscription
Instant Notifications via RSS feed
RSS stands for Rich Site Summary or more commonly referred to as Really Simple Syndication.
RSS feeds helps us in getting notified about the latest updates on a website without even visiting it
- For example, News websites usually update on a half-hourly or hourly basis. It is hard for a user to keep track of all the updates happening in real time. To avoid this, a good solution is to subscribe to the RSS feeds
Another good example would be of educational websites which update their content weekly, We can use RSS feed to keep guardians and students updated on all the latest content.
Need of RSS Feed:
If we like a website, we usually bookmark it on our browser to visit later.
But what if we forget to visit that website for a specific day and miss an important update about an article?
In such scenarios, we can rely on RSS feeds and never miss an important update ever again.
If you follow only a single website (which is a very rare case), then there are slim chances you will miss any updates. However, the same can’t be said if you follow multiple websites.
Therefore, the easiest solution to keep track of all the updates is to subscribe to a website via RSS feed, it is secure and requires none of your personal information.
Benefits of using RSS Feed:
- Full control over what to receive and what to not to
- No Email subscription involved
- No spam, malware or spy attack.
- Get the summary of all the latest events on a single screen without even visiting the website
What is a Feed Reader or RSS Reader
RSS Reader is an agent (like Feedly) which grabs all the latest updated links from a website and present it on a single screen for your convenience
Types of RSS reader
Web-Based Feed Reader:
Using this, you will get live feeds on a website. Feedly a popular Web-based RSS reader enables its users to store the links from different webpages and sort them category wise.
Desktop Based Feed Reader:
To use this you need to install software on your system through which you shall be able to get the latest updates. For this purpose, you can use one of the popular software, Feed Reader
Browser Built-In Feed Reader:
Some of the browsers support live feed. Some good examples are Firefox live bookmarks, Opera etc.
Email based Feed-Reader:
Some feed-readers allow email alerts for the latest updates on a website. Agents like Thunderbird, Google alerts etc. are some good examples.
Just like desktop we have some feed readers for mobile like Feedly, Flipboard as well.
Now let’s learn how we can create website notification alert using Google Alerts and Feedly.
Notification update using Google Alerts
Google alerts is a free website through which you can get updates for all the latest events in a particular website.
Steps to check for latest website events using Google alerts:
- Type in Google “Google Alerts”
- Type the website name in the search bar as entered above.
- Hit create alert
- Click on the link displayed on your screen to read the latest post.
- You will also get an email alert for the same
Though this tool is totally free, it is limited in the features. Another great tool for RSS feed is Feedly, follow the description below to learn more about it.
Website update using Feedly
Feedly is available as both Free and Paid. For now, we will focus only on the free version. In this version, we can sort the websites based on various categories i.e. Technological Website, Education website, Sports website etc.
Follow the steps below to bookmark a website in Feedly:
- Login to Feedly using your Gmail, Facebook account.
- Alternatively, you can click on sign-up button and fill the form
- Create an account and log in.
After successful login will see the following screen:
You can enter any website URL, topic name, famous person’s name etc.
After clicking on the search result, it will ask you to categorize it, click on news.
As shown above, the Times of India is now listed on your Feedly screen. Just click on it to explore all the latest updates by Times of India on a single screen
Features of Feedly:
- Mark as read the entire explored article
- You can mark the article unread as well to segregate it from others
- It will present you with the Headline, image, text, and link to the source
- You can save the news for later read and can also share it with other people
- Time-saving and fast updates
Tip: You can search for a particular topic like, let’s say android in the search box of Feedly and can get all the news/latest update from various websites.
RSS Feed Vs Email Subscription
What is it?
Stands for Rich Side Syndication/ Really Simple Syndication. It provides subscribers with updates on their selected websites at a single place.
Different updates from different sites get sent to the recipient’s email.
To keep the person updated and aware
To keep the person updated and aware
Need for sharing email
No such need is there.
The updates will come on email.
Freedom to control what is being sent.
Present, but at a varying and generally lower degree.
Layout of information
Depends on the service you have taken.
Varies from site to site.
Instant updates as they are posted on the main website.
Scheduled by the owner website.
Ways to consume content
Becoming narrower with time, replaced by social media.
Still going strong, email-based notifications amount for a huge inflow of userbase and income.