RSS is the new search, but it is still a ways off from the GoldRush status of today’s SEO. Everybody and his brother is an SEO these days, but while anybody can have Wordpress and an RSS reader, not everybody knows enough about RSS to optimize it. RSS optimization for marketing is exciting and very, very dynamic. Call it RSSEO if you like. Sing it like B-I-N-G-O if you know that cultural reference (!)
RSSEO is an endeavor for the hungry and aggressive. Simply using regular good old RSS is like “doing SEO” today… you can get a good portion of the benefits without doing any optimization. Optimizing is very effective, but probably not cost effective for most people. Those who do it know what I mean.
Probably the hardest conceptual barrier to understanding RSS as an online marketing opportunity is that syndicated content is not just another web property to be injected into search engines and “mentioned” in an RSS feed. It is a whole new animal. Yes, Wordpress and other modern web publishing platforms give us content management, SEO-friendlier web publishing, and RSS all at once, but that secondary use of RSS as a compliment to web page publishing does not define RSS. RSS is much more than that. Just as every web design firm out there offers “SEO Services”, Wordpress offers “RSS syndication”. And just as that “SEO Friendly” design firm needs a professional SEO behind the scenes whenever there is actual competitive work to be done, your RSS efforts need a good deal more to be fully effective.
And remember that RSS is a tool for both publishers and readers (consumers). The consumer sets up her RSS reader and points it at your feed, but you define your feeds and what goes into them, when, and how. I see plenty of publishers sub-optimally configured for RSS (this blog included), which doesn’t help the consumers to find what they seek, buy what you are selling, etc.
Is simply turning on RSS enough for you in your market? I don’t think so, but you can try and see for yourself. Pay attention to your traffic logs, as always. Who is reading, from where, in what context, and are they buying what you are selling?
Just like SEO, RSS optimization requires specialized attention be dedicated to the goal of attracting and serving targeted leads. I think it’s a bit early to justify that attention in most cases, but if you can do so cost effectively, there is no better time to start RSSEO.