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When do I want a search engine's spider to run across my RSS feed link?

  • Before the heading (not saying header tag..)
  • During the heading
  • During the main content
  • During the footer
  • After the footer
    • Completely irrelevant
    • Other

And why?

As I understand it, it wont really matter much where the link/button displays but where on the page it is written in the code.

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It depends what you are trying to achieve. Do you want Google to read your RSS feed to spider all your articles, or do you want your RSS feed to feature highly in search engines? –  Ciaran May 16 '11 at 7:21
    
I'm hoping more for the first situation where articles are indexed. –  Garet Claborn May 16 '11 at 15:08
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If you're going to direct users to an application/rss+xml file from your site's navigation, be nice and include an XSLT stylesheet to apply your site's template to the feed... –  danlefree May 16 '11 at 18:18
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You should have a link to your RSS feed in your <head> so browsers and other user agents can offer users a chance to subscribe to it through the RSS icon in their address bar (or however it chooses to show them there is an RSS feed available). Because this is the default way to offer an RSS feed it is safe to assume search engines also know what to do with it. So I would say where you place it on your page is irrelevant as long as you place it in your <head> properly.

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I assume you are talking about the <link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS" href="domain.com/RSS_Feed_URL">. Are you saying there's no effect after that based on when the div containing a UI RSS link is loaded? –  Garet Claborn May 16 '11 at 15:12
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To help Google find your feed faster, you can submit it as an RSS sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools.

Google Webmaster Tools: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/

Go to Site Configuration > Sitemaps > Submit a Sitemap

This method has the advantage of telling you how many URLs have been added to Google's index.

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