Search Marketing

Promote Blogs to Boost Your Site Rank

RSS is an amazing thing. Many people don’t recognize the power of blogs and how they can assist your site statistics. Here’s a great example of how you can promote other blogs AND boost your own site rank with Search Engines using RSS.

On Payraise Calculator, I replaced a vertical advertisement on the right-hand side of the site with list of blog posts that are speaking about pay increases. As soon as I did this, Payraise Calculator went from a Pagerank of 3 to a Pagerank of 5 and my site traffic doubled. Here’s a graphic – notice the change around the first of January:

Payraise Calculator Hits

Here’s how I did it.

  1. I did an advanced search of Technorati and saved the feed URL.
  2. I utilized a nice little PHP script called Magpie RSS by copying the files to an include directory on my blog in the base directory.
  3. I wrote the following code, setting the number of posts ($num_items), the maximum number of characters ($max_char), and the feed URL.

<?php
require_once('includes/rss_fetch.inc');
$num_items = 5;
$max_char = 90;
$rss = fetch_rss("http://feedURL");
echo “<p class=\"label\”>Results:</p>”;
echo “<ul>”;
$items = array_slice($rss->items, 0, $num_items);
foreach ($items as $item) {
if (substr($item['title'], 0, 5)!="Links") {
$link = $item['link'];
$title = $item['title'];
$description = $item['description'];
$source = $item['source'];
if (strlen($description)>$max_char) {
$space = strpos($description, " ", $max_char);
$description = substr($description, 0, $space)."...";
echo “<li><a href=\"$link\" title=\"$source\" target=\"_blank\”>$title</a>: $description</li>”;
}
}
}
echo “</ul>”; ?>

I also make sure that I have a link and logo back to Technorati to ensure they get some credit for my use of their search feed. This could be used for some incredible cross-promotion between blogs as well… you could post your favorite feeds within your blogroll so folks can actually see the latest posts for their site on your blog.

I also just modified Address Fix today to use this approach as well.

8 Comments

  1. 1

    Thank you for a great post. I just discovered your blog recently. Thanks for all the great insights.

    Could you please post a blog glossary or a link to a blog glossary for all of us out there who would like to get up to speed. I’m still unclear about RSS, permalink, trackback, etc.

    I am hoping to increase visitors to my website and it would help.

    Thank you very much.

  2. 3
  3. 5

    Hi Doug,

    While it’s clear from your graph that you received more traffic I think you should be careful about attributing a change in PageRank to this effort. PageRank updates are few and far between and it is quite possible that one was underway just as you were adding the list of blogs.

    • 6

      Thanks, Marios!

      I definitely do not try to qualify myself as an SEO expert so this is something I would respect your opinion on. With all other variables static with the exception of the blog posts (there used to be an advertisement there from Google), I made an assumption that this had the impact.

      As well, I saw a similar jump in Address Fix.

  4. 7

    I’m going to try this out on my site and see what happens. I’ve got a few subjects areas I could choose so I’ll see what success I get 🙂

  5. 8

    Hello i also struggeling to get traffic to my blog and i saw your way on doing it and i must say it looks intresting to try it out. Im not sure about how to do this what you did, i dont have a clue i would be happy if you could help me a litle out here.

    Looing forward to hear from you.

    Sindre Brudevoll

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