As I mentioned in my last post, search engines tend to give a site more credit when that site has more links pointing to it from other sites. Elementary, I know.
While I don’t advocate that anyone try to get backlinks for the sake of backlinks only, it doesn’t seem to hurt to get credit where credit is due.
What I mean is that, if another site chooses to link to you, that should count for something, correct? That should still be an actual “backlink” in the eyes of a search engine.
What you might not realize (and what I didn’t realize until recently) is that you could be losing some valid backlinks if you use a service such as Feedburner to manage your RSS feeds. But that’s easy to fix.
Another site can link to you through your RSS feed. For example, perhaps another blog finds your posts valuable to its readers and decides to display your recent posts in its sidebar. In order to do this, it uses your RSS feed. In theory, this should give you backlinks and deep links (links to your internal pages). Which shows the search engines that your content is valuable enough for that blogger to recommend you to its readers.
However, if you have Feedburner set to track your stats, the backlinks from your Feed do not lead directly to your site. Instead, they go via Feedburner. In essence, Feedburner is getting the backlinks, you aren’t.
Needless to say, Google owns Feedburner and it would not be surprising if the staff of Google have thought of this as well. The algorithms might or might not have a way to still give you credit for this. I don’t know.
But as far as I am concerned, I would rather not risk losing perfectly valid backlinks (I don’t even use the Feedburner stat tracking to be honest).
How to Handle It
Simple take the following steps to fix this.
- Log into your Feedburner Account
- Click on the Feed you wish to fix
- Click on “Configure Stats.”
- Where it says “For my feed, track:” uncheck every option that is checked.
- Save changes.
That’s it. Your RSS feeds should now link directly to your site and its pages, not to Feedburner.
This is also relevant to plugins such as CommentLuv, which use RSS feeds to link your comments back to your latest blog post.
Speaking of Giving Credit Where Credit is Due …
This post was inspired by Don’t Let Feedburner Steal Your Backlinks at Ducedo. On that post, Stephan Nilsson specifically addresses the issue as it relates to CommentLuv, however after reading his post I realized that numerous other ramifications could be involved.
There are several way in which RSS feeds result in backlinks to your site. I’ve given a couple examples above.
What other uses have you found for RSS feeds? Would these uses be influenced by the circumstances I describe in this post? Please feel free to leave a comment with any other feedback you have on this. I always love to hear your thoughts.