Using RSS or a blog makes Google and Yahoo crawl your site frequently. It's been a hot topic among webmasters. But, do you really need to use them?
Search engines crawl RSS and blog frequently, because they want to provide up-to-the-minute content to their users. If you don't have frequently-updated content, there is no need for being crawled frequently. Don't confuse frequent crawling with good search result rankings. All the SEO professionals whom I trust say frequent crawling has nothing to do with search results.
However, there are beneficial ways to use blogs and RSS. A recent survey shows that the number of blog readers are increasing sharply. So, blog readers can be a good source of traffic. Create a blog that interests human beings (not search engine crawlers) and attract lots of blog readers. Then, lead them to your site.
Unlike blog, RSS hasn't become a hit, but publishing interesting RSS feeds will attract RSS subscribers (and hence more traffic to your site). Also, RSS can be used for sharing content between websites. Like exchanging links, you can look for other sites that will publish your RSS feeds.
Special Note about Using RSS
The most notable aspect of RSS is that it will become more popular than e-mailed newsletter. To subscribe to an e-mail newsletter, people have to give strangers their e-mail address. But they don't need to give anyone any personal information to subscribe to RSS feeds. I know you want visitors' e-mail addresses, but what you want isn't what Internet users want.
Currently, not too many people are reading RSS feeds, because people have to install RSS-aware programs to view RSS feeds. However, once Microsoft bundles RSS-aware program into Windows, the number of RSS subscribers will dramatically increase. So, be prepared.
© February, 2005