Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Publish Your RSS to Yahoo Free

Would you like a free and easy way to help your site reach new readers? Or let current readers know when your site's been updated? Sounds like it's feeding time. A "feed" is what everyone from bloggers to big-league website publishers use to syndicate a summary of their latest content. Syndicated content comes in many shapes and sizes: headlines, photos, video, podcasts, sports scores, stock prices, weather -- almost anything that gets updated regularly. Users subscribe to feeds via news aggregators such as My Yahoo!, which gather the user-selected feeds and display all the content in one convenient location. Subscribers can even access feeds via their mobile devices or email.

Autodiscover Your Feed
If you're unable to locate your feed through your blog host, another method you can use to discover the presence of a feed on your website or blog is Autodiscovery. To see if your website currently supports Autodiscovery, visit your site using the Yahoo! Toolbar, Internet Explorer 7, or Firefox. If the Yahoo! Toolbar has a blue "plus" sign next to the My Yahoo! button on the toolbar, or the feed icon is illuminated in the IE7 navigation bar, or Firefox has an orange box highlighted in the lower right corner, then your feed has already been detected. For more details, visit YPN Guide to Syndication FAQ: Autodiscovery.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Feed

Select a meaningful title and description for your blog: Feeds that are automatically generated by blog-hosting services typically are given a title based on the name of the blog itself. However, if you have direct access to your website's feed, pay close attention to the title and description you select. A good title can markedly increase the likelihood that your feed will attract new readers. Because you can never predict how users will search for your feed, you should also provide a thoughtful, accurate, and descriptive summary. We recommend the following naming convention: "Provider: Sub-Topic." For example, a digital photography feed from Gizmodo might be titled, "Gizmodo: Digital Cameras." And for the description, try to include key topics as well as commonly known names for your site/publication (for example, both "San Francisco Chronicle" and "SFGATE").

Validate your feed:
Test to make sure your feed is properly formatted by running it through the Feed Validator.

Submit Your Feed
Once you've located your feed and made sure it's valid, you're ready to start spreading the good news. Yahoo! is one of the most heavily trafficked sites on the Web, and My Yahoo! is one of world's most popular feed readers. Why not tap into that wealth of opportunity and get your feed some new subscribers?
When users click the Add Content button on My Yahoo!, they're presented with two options: Find Content (which lets them search for syndicated content in the Yahoo! Feed Database), or Browse by Topic (which lets them explore the Browse-by-Topic Directory of feeds). Any time someone subscribes to your feed via My Yahoo!, the feed is automatically added to the Yahoo! Feed Database so if you already have a number of My Yahoo! subscribers you will not have to manually submit it for inclusion. If you have a new site, make sure your content gets the visibility it deserves and submit your feed to both options.
The Yahoo! Feed Database
To have your feed included in the Database, simply enter the URL of your feed below. Please note: Before you can add your feed to the Yahoo! Feed Database, you must sign in to My Yahoo! using your Yahoo! ID. Sign in or sign up now.

Enter the URL of your feed and add it to your My Yahoo! page and the Yahoo! Feed Database:
Be sure to click the "add" button on the following screen.

The Yahoo! Browse-by-Topic Directory
Once your feed is in the Yahoo! Feed Database, you can also apply to have it included in the Yahoo! Browse-by-Topic Directory, which features a selection of feeds that are handpicked and categorized by Yahoo! editors. Please note: Admission to the Browse-by-Topic Directory is subject to approval by the Yahoo! editorial staff, who also reserve the right to edit all feed titles and descriptions.
Submit your feed to the Browse-by-Topic Directory.