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Why Summary RSS Feeds Are Better

Posted on 11.29.2006
More pageviews and more ad impressions.

It wasn't long ago that advertising through Real Simple Syndication (RSS) was all the rage with industry insiders who figured that you could access precious eyeballs even when they were away from your site. This spurred a huge cottage industry in feed readers, RSS directories and, of course, advertising networks of all ilks catering exclusively to bloggers and their RSS feeds. If people weren't going to visit your site every day (said the popular logic of the moment) then you could still show them some ads while giving them your content - and everybody swooned and jumped right on board. But in our haste, we failed to remember that Web users are becoming more and more immune to ads in general - and ads in blog feeds?

Forget about it. The click-through ratio on RSS advertisements is abyssmal, which is one of the many reasons you see sites like PayPerPost, ReviewMe and others springing up. Website owners still need funds to operate and promote their sites. If no one is clicking on the ads, then, well you can see the problem. You have to get paid somehow.

So what's the solution? Summary feeds, for one. If you can write a teaser on you blog and link it to a full version of the article then you (if you utilize RSS advertising) rack up two ad impressions - when you would only have one using a full text feed. Whether or not bloggers will opt for short and sweet blog posts, which encourage a click-through, is anyones guess.

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