Use RSS Feeds to Build Links

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One strategy for building quality inbound links is to publish your RSS feeds in a different website where you can have control over the information that is distributed.

Internal link flow can also be improved by publishing your RSS feeds in different sections of the same website.

For example purposes, let say you have two blogs with related topics. The latest posts of one of them can be shown in the other one and vice versa. Or if you have an eCommerce site with a blog located in a sub-domain, and you would like to show the latest posts in the homepage of the eCommerce site, you can achieve that by using the following methods.

Method 1: RSS Link Building with a PHP Script

This script has two parts. The first part should only be inserted in a PHP file, preferably at the very top. If you are using Wordpress for blogging, insert this code in home.php before <?php get_header(); ?>

<?php
// read_rss(display_n_items,feed_url)
function read_rss($display=0,$url='') {
$doc = new DOMDocument();
$doc->load($url);
$itemArr = array();
foreach ($doc->getElementsByTagName('item') as $node) {
if ($display == 0) {
break;
}

$itemRSS = array (
'title' => $node->getElementsByTagName('title')->item(0)->nodeValue,
'description' => $node->getElementsByTagName('description')->item(0)->nodeValue,
'link' => $node->getElementsByTagName('link')->item(0)->nodeValue,
'pubdate' => $node->getElementsByTagName('pubDate')->item(0)->nodeValue
);
array_push($itemArr, $itemRSS);
$display--;
}
return $itemArr;
}
?>

The second part should be placed anywhere you want the feeds to appear.

<ul id="postfeeder">  
<?php  
$items = read_rss(5,'http://www.yoursite.org/feed');  
foreach ( $items as $item ) {  
echo '<li><a href="' . $item['link'] . '" title="' . $item['title'] . '">' .
$item['title'] . '</a></li>';  
}  
?>  
</ul>

Number 5 represents the number of posts to show. This can be changed according to your needs.

Make sure to change the URL in the code above for the RSS URL source.

Use CSS to format the nested lists under id="postfeeder". The title attribute has the default page title and can be changed by reformating title="' . $item['title'] . '". You can also change the variables 'description' and 'pubdate' if needed.

Method 2: FeedBurner’s BuzzBoost

BuzzBoost uses RSS feeds to promote content anywhere where HTML can be placed. This can be done in the homepage of a website, a category page, social networks, affiliate sites, blogs in sub-domains or folders, and even in your email signature.

The code can be easily inserted in php, html, shtm and other files. No major skills required.

You can customize the way your feed are going to be displayed. This means that you choose what to show and have control over the distribution of your information.

The major set back about using an external RSS source like FeedBurner is that the script does not pass link juice, meaning that it’s only good for traffic purposes, but link building.

Moreover, FeedBurner slows down the rendering of the page, which can be detrimental for slow connections.

There is also an unwanted link back to FeedBurner.com with no option to turn it on or off.

The FeedBurner logo shows up wherever the results are displayed. However, there is a solution to hide the logo that I will explain later on.

And if you are using a blog, any plugin can get on the way of the RSS validation. That’s not good news considering that feeds must validate for proper display. Otherwise there will be errors popping up all the time, feeds will not displayed, and/or the service will stop working.

In spite of what was mentioned above, follow these steps if you would to install Feedburner’s BuzzBoost:

  1. Open an account with www.FeedBurner.com and make sure your RSS feeds works well by validating them.
  2. Activate BuzzBoost under the Publicize section in the tab menu. Then, get the script that will be installed anywhere you want to show the information.
  3. If you would like to customize the way your feeds look via CSS, copy and paste the URL provided in the script and enter it in the address bar of your preferred browser. This will show you the tags, elements, attributes and more. For example purposes, copy and paste the following URL in your favorite browser:
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/LAFD?format=sigpro
  4. That will show you the following code:

    FeedBurner CSS Code

    Some examples of CSS tags and attributes are underlined in red. If you would like further details on the CSS customization of your feeds visit this page.

    As mentioned before, FeedBurner shows its little logo by default when you use BuzzBoost. This can really get in the way of the design if you are using either one single feed or multiple ones in the same page.

    The solution is to hide the logo using CSS by adding this hack to your main CSS file:

    #creditfooter img{
    display:none;
    }
    #creditfooter embed{
    display:none;
    }

    This method works well for showing information in different languages in multilingual sites without affecting the main theme.

    If you know of a better method or a way to improve this strategy for link building, please share your thoughts.

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4 comments

Hi

I tried this code which works when reading off another site but I’m trying to get the posts on another page on the same site and it’s not reading the Wordpress 2.6.1 feeds. Any thoughts on that?

Augusto Ellacuriaga

Augusto Ellacuriaga's picture

Hi Chris,

Thanks for stopping by. I haven’t really tested the code on a WP 2.6.1 blog, but will do soon. Are you using it on a folder to homepage or sub-domain to homepage like in my case? Can you elaborate a bit more about the error messages/problems you’re getting into?

Hi Augusto,

Nice tips there…

Just to let you know, that you can change settings in feedburner to make the RSS links 301 redirects.

I have an article about how to do this on my site.

Link building with RSS

Jason

Jason's picture

Thanks!!! This works great with my wordpress install. Fix alot of problems I was previously having with my feed being pulled via feedburner and SimplePie plugin.

I just used my previously set-up feedburner link and copy-pasted the link into method #1 above! Perfect!