Natural Search Blog


Google Takes RSS & Atom Feeds out of Web Search Results

Google just announced this week that they have started reducing RSS & Atom feeds out of their search engine results pages (“SERPs”) – something that makes a lot of sense in terms of improving quality/usability in their results. (They also describe why they aren’t doing that for podcast feeds.)

This might confuse search marketers about the value of providing RSS feeds on one’s site for the purposes of natural search marketing. Here at Netconcepts, we’ve recommended using RSS for retail sites and blogs for quite some time, and we continue to do so. Webmasters often take syndicated feeds in order to provide helpful content and utilities on their sites, and so providing feeds can help you to gain external links pointing back to your site when webmasters display your feed content on their pages.

Google has removed RSS feed content from their regular SERPs, but they haven’t necessarily reduced any of the benefit of the links produced when those feeds are adopted and displayed on other sites. When RSS and Atom feeds are used by developers, they pull in the feed content and then typically redisplay it on their site pages in regular HTML formatting. When those pages link back to you as many feed-displayed pages do, the links transfer PageRank back to the site originating the feeds, and this results in building up ranking values.

So, don’t stop using RSS or Atom feeds!

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