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Why RSS Still Matters

Find out how SEOs can utilize RSS feeds for their education, clients, and career.

Since news broke out that Google was retiring Google Reader, it sparked a huge online debate about the potential death of RSS itself. Nothing, however, could be further from the truth. With a RSS reader, SEOs can create a powerful resource. In this post, we’re going to look at the ways SEOs can use RSS to help with their education, exposure, client work, and career.

Using RSS to Learn

Everything in the world of online marketing – search engines, social media, technology, etc. – changes on a continual basis. If you want to be one of the top search marketers and provide great service for your clients, you need to stay as up to date as possible. This means that you will need to subscribe to the top online marketing blogs. And there are a lot of them.

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While you could subscribe to most via email, that is only going to turn your inbox into a disaster zone. Thanks to RSS feeds, you can put all of your favorite blogs in one place. Subscribing to a lot of blogs via RSS is much easier to manage, and you can scan your favorite blog’s latest posts daily by title. This will allow you to quickly spot any news you need to know about that could impact your business or your marketing practices.

Using RSS to Reach Your Audience

If you haven’t already, you need to educate your readers on the top Google Reader alternatives today through your other channels such as social networks and your website. Whether your blog has a couple of hundred readers or tens of thousands subscribed via RSS, a percentage of them might be missing your newest post today.

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If that’s the case with your blog, then create a post about RSS reader alternatives, include a link to your RSS feed, and publicize it like crazy so you can reclaim your subscribers!

For example, if you went with Feedly as your Google Reader alternative, you can subscribe to iAcquire’s RSS feed using the following link:

http://cloud.feedly.com/#subscription/feed/http://iacquire.com/blog/feed/

You can modify this link by adding your blog’s RSS feed URL in place of http://iacquire.com/blog/feed/.

Using RSS for Your Clients

When you’re ready to dig into a new industry for a client, the best way to do it is by subscribing to blogs in their industry. Since most RSS readers allow you to organize your subscriptions by folders, you can keep the top blogs in a variety of industries organized neatly and ready for use when you need topic ideas, guest post opportunities, and other content-related needs for your clients.

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RSS, however, isn’t just for blog monitoring. Did you know you can search for something on Google News, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and subscribe to an RSS feed of the latest news results? This can help you get media links for your clients by watching what networks are writing about their competitors.

You can also use RSS to monitor links back to your blog, or your client’s, or their competitors. Just modify the following URL, and swap http://iacquire.com/ with your website.

http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch_feeds?hl=en&scoring=d&ie=utf-8&num=10&output=rss&partner=wordpress&q=link:http://iacquire.com/

Note that if there are not recent links to your blog or the blog you want to monitor, it may come back with a message that there are no entries to this feed. Subscribe anyway as future entries will be discovered. Monitoring backlinks for a competitor’s blog could help you discover new link opportunities for your client.

Another loss thanks to Google Reader’s retirement is the ability to have Google Alerts sent via RSS. Now, you have to convert your alerts to email, and depending on the number of alerts you have for clients, that could be a real pain. Fortunately, You can use Social Mention instead. Just search for your keywords, and subscribe to the RSS feed via the link at the top right of search results.

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There are plenty of other RSS feeds that can help with your client work as well. You can subscribe to many topics on forums and Q&A networks like Quora via RSS. If industry blogs aren’t giving you enough content ideas, you can subscribe to RSS feeds for categories on article networks to scan even more titles in a specific industry. The possibilities are endless!

Using RSS for Your Career

If you ever find yourself looking for work, RSS can help make the search a little simpler. Most job sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, etc. allow you to subscribe to new job postings via RSS.

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By subscribing to the RSS feeds, you can bypass creating an account on a lot of job networks until you actually see a job you are interested in. The same goes for many freelance job networks if you are looking for other types of work.

How do you use RSS feeds for yourself or your clients? Please share in the comments!