I saw a blog post the other day by Bryn Youngblut where he was talking about how he dislikes blogs that use summaries for their rss feeds. I agree with Bryn that it is quite a bit more convenient (and user friendly) for your readers if you have full rss feeds instead of summaries, which is just an attempt to lure your readers into your site so you can hopefully get something out of the visitor. Well if your like me, and don’t really care about getting anything in return for the quality information that is disbursed, than maybe you should say why WOULDN’T I set my feed to use full articles. I can’t think of one GOOD reason not to…
One common excuse I hear as to why people don’t do this is the fear of getting their RSS feed scraped. It would be painfully easy for almost anyone to take YOUR content from your feed and build splogs (spam + blog = splog) or use that content however they want. Besides the fact that these people are stealing your content with no recognition, there are MANY other reasons as to why this would not be good for you or your site.
Here is where you can EASILY solve that problem. You can make your readers happy, and if someone DOES scrape that feed of yours, you will get multiple backlinks out of the ordeal! Hey, now THATS a win-win situation!
You have a few options when it comes to protecting that full article feed. To keep this article easy, I am going to pretend your using a wordpress blog since that is what 99% of people are using nowadays. Your first option is to simply install a plugin like feed footer which adds whatever you choose at the bottom of your rss feed. You could add something as simple as a copyright notice linking back to your site, or anchor text optimized links pointing back to wherever you want. If your worried about getting to many links with the same anchor text on each post, you don’t have to be. Feed footer will let you put in as many different entries as you want and rotate through them giving each post different additions to the bottom of the article.
Another option you have is to see if another plugin you use does this task even better. For instance, I use the wordpress related posts plugin and in the settings of the plugin, you can select a box that will automatically add links to related posts into the bottom of your full RSS article. Not only are you going to get great backlinks with perfect anchor text, but you’re going to get more than one of them! This will ALSO keep your readers on your blog more since they often run into another suggested article that interests them even more.
If you would like to check out what exactly these plugins do, I have them setup and running right now. Just subscribe to my rss feed and check out the bottom of each article.
Hopefully if you’re still using summary feeds this will encourage you to flip on over to full article feeds!
If you have any concerns with this information, or have a different solution to this problem, please comment and share your knowledge.