What’s a good way to kick off a new RSS feed?

What’s a good way to kick off a new RSS feed? - answered by Matt Cutts

Matt's answer:

Matt Cutts: Today’s question comes from Steven B in Belton, Missouri. Steven asks: “Is there a good way to kick off a feed in Google Reader by doing something like temporarily making the feed include a whole bunch of old content? Is it desirable to do something like that?” No. It’s not desirable to do something like that, and I’ll give you a couple of reasons. First off, Google tends not to index or really look at RSS or atom feeds all that much. So just because you’ve got a feed showing up in Google Reader, doesn’t mean it’s going to affect your search rankings, or really have that much of an impact. The sort of things that Googlebot looks for are good content, nice reputation in the form of links, those sorts of things. So, just having an RSS feed, especially stuffing it with old content, doesn’t make a lot of sense. The other reason not to do it is because it will annoy your users. I hate it whenever I’m subscribed to something in Google Reader, and then all of a sudden, 57 old blog posts show up and it’s stuff that you’ve already seen before, or that’s three years out of date. So what I would do is, I would say, if you are gonna kick off a feed, kick it off with two or three really top-notch, high quality stories that grab people’s attention, because that sets the initial impression. People are thinking, “Oh, this is a really high-quality feed, this is a really great blog. I’m gonna keep coming back here,” or “I’m gonna subscribe to this feed”. Whatever you do, I wouldn’t just load up old content and throw it in there trying to fill it up or hope that Googlebot likes it, or that users will find it. Instead I would, I would stick with brand new content, high quality stuff — things that really capture your attention. Not just “Well let’s make sure that we make the feed look busy by throwing in a bunch of recycled or old stuff instead.”

by Matt Cutts - Google's Head of Search Quality Team


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