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"Using RSS Help Increase Web
Site Traffic? Watch Out!"
Copyright 2004 - Jeff Smith
Millions of dollars are spent each day to increase web site
traffic. It's the modern day internet marketing obsession.
Wherever demand has reached the level of obsession, you get
far more harmful or useless techniques than tips that actually
I have to admit, as a constant tester, I have tried many ways
to increase web site traffic. After listening in on calls with
some very influential internet marketers, it was time to try
RSS to increase web site traffic.
Did it work?
In a word, definitely not - IN FACT, placing external RSS feeds did far more harm than
good for my trial sites. I'll get to why in just a minute.
What are RSS feeds and Why Might it Increase Web Site Traffic?
RSS stands for Really Simply Syndication - and simply put, it
is a standard format for sharing content real time with other
website owners. By offering you a very small snippet of code
to integrate within your website, I could give you access to
post all of my newsletters, articles, blog entries, etc...
While this is great for sites that focus on heavy content models
often combined with advertising, it can be extremely harmful to
sites that depend on selling your own products, Google Adsense or
marketing affiliate programs as the main source of revenue.
The story goes - RSS will increase web site traffic due to the
positive improvements in rankings search engines will give you
for having constant, changing, related content to "feed" the
My Experiement To Increase Website Traffic using RSS feeds
On two of my niche sites - both in the health and wellness area,
I decided to try RSS for 4 weeks and monitor the results.
In a word - YIKES! I couldn't get it off there soon enough as
I saw my revenue from these sites drop to less than half.
First thing I noticed, there was no visible change in search
engine placement (in one case, the site hasn't been picked up
yet - RSS did not help and may have hurt as the site was scanned
many times within that 4 week period but was never picked up)
Second, no sign of increased web site traffic. In fact, traffic
to various pages on both sites dropped by approximately 25% during
the period. I will not blame that on RSS, but curious just the
Third - and MOST IMPORTANT is that my clickthru conversion on
each page with RSS went WAY down - more than 1/2 of what it was
just the day before I added the RSS feeds.
Want to know why?
The RSS feeds were so interesting to my visitors they were
clicking off my page to visit the local news stories - and then
on to god knows where - but NOT clicking my revenue generating
Think that's bad for business?
Don't get me wrong - I believe the power of you publishing and
syndicating information with RSS (so you get your newsletter,
articles, ads, or blog entries on other people's sites) is very
However - use extreme caution when adding RSS feeds to your website
in hopes that the Search Engines will instantly rank you higher
and send you tons of traffic and sales.
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