The Smartest Way to Publish Your RSS Feed

subscribe to RSS feedFirst off, if you’re not burning your RSS feed using Google FeedBurner, then you might want to look into that now. That is, if you’re not already keeping track of you’re blog’s subscriber stats using some other means. But even then, Google FeedBurner is probably a better solution than what you’re using now.

For the longest time I wondered how a few of the most respected industry gurus were using their own domain names and still burning their RSS feed through Google FeedBurner. A few weeks ago I stopped admiring and decided to figure it out. Now I’m sharing it with you because I just think it’s the coolest thing ever!

Common ways to publish your RSS feed

You’ll commonly see feed URLs that look similar to http://www.seorankings.com/feed, http://feed.feedburner.com/seorankings, and a few others. With the former usually being left basic, and latter using the more sophisticated web feed management tool Google FeedBurner. If you don’t already know, Google FeedBurner allows you to track subscribers and subscribe via email, among various other important things. That’s why you’ll see most experienced bloggers using it. Which is great but, it can also look a little amateurish when you’re sending people to a third party website to subscribe to your RSS feed. So I’m going to show you how to take advantage of all the cool tools FeedBurner has to offer while keeping your brand at the forefront.

Instead of having a feed that looks like this:

feeds.feedburner.com/seorankings

You could be using a nice branded one with your own domain name similar to this:

feeds.seorankings.com/seorankings

While still taking advantage of all the same great features. Which one looks more established and professional to you?

How to Activate MyBrand

Obviously you’re going to need a FeedBurner account. Once you’ve burned your feed in your FeedBurner account you’re going to need to → login → click on the appropriate feed → then click on My Account in the top right corner → and last on MyBrand. Or you can just click on this link: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mybrand too. Now, this is where it can get a bit confusing if you don’t have a grasp on setting up DNS and redirects. Update: I just found this helpful RSS Feed to Feedburner redirect plugin to handle the redirects for me.

Google has already done a great job outlining the steps you need to take on that page, so I won’t go into detail here, but I will give you a summary and let you know of a few snags I had. Just be sure to read carefully, and follow the referenced links for help.

If you host your website with a third-party, then you’re probably not going to have enough privileges to create the required CNAME entry yourself, so be prepared to ask your hosting provider. Google offers this advice for creating a CNAME entry, with a step-by-step guide for some of the most popular web hosts. Of course none of mine were on their list. :)

Once you have your feed set up correctly you’ll need to change the active links on your website to point to the to point to the new URL and redirect to old URL to the new one so you can get an accurate count of the previous subscribers who still subscribe to the old URL. Just be sure to also read Google’s feed redirect advice to be sure you get everything working correctly.

Then, after you think everything is working properly, and your old posts are showing up at the new URL, be sure to test by creating a new blog post and making sure it shows up at the new feed URL too. My “new” posts weren’t getting published at the new URL because I didn’t have the redirects set up properly. However “old” posts (posts previous to this change) were showing up at the new URL, so it can be a bit deceiving.

My Offer to You

When I was looking to set this up for my sites I obviously hit a few snags. There were only a few sites offering advice on how to set this up, but none of them really did a good job explaining things. And Google doesn’t offer any support for this service either. So, if you dare, give it a try and feel free to leave me your comments or questions below, if you have any trouble. I’ll do my best to help you sort it out.

Good luck, and if you haven’t already, you should subscribe to our feed to get more great tips like this one!

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  • August 11th, 2010 at 11:48 pm Search Engine Marketing said:

    RSS feed is very important in seo for getting deep links. We can not ignore RSS feed . Thanks for sharing nice post.

  • August 18th, 2010 at 4:59 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    RSS feed is very important in seo for getting deep links.

    Absolutely. Even though my feed is burned through Feedburner, it is set up so all of the URLs are still direct links. That way whenever it is picked up by a news aggregation, I have the best chance of getting some link juice back to those pages. As I’m sure you already know.

  • September 13th, 2010 at 9:59 am SR said:

    Hi,

    Good info about the feedburner setup. I have a question on how do i setup my CNAME record for multiple feeds?

    e.g. on feedburner site i have 3 different feeds.
    feeds.feedburner.com/feed1
    feeds.feedburner.com/feed2
    feeds.feedburner.com/feed3

    now i have my feed domain called “feeds.mydomain.com”

    In my CNAME record how do i setup so that feeds.mydomain.com/feed1 redirects to feeds.feedburner.com/feed1 and feeds.mydomain.com/feed2 to feeds.feedburner.com/feed2 etc…

    In MyBrand section i see a note about feeds CNAME XXXXX.feedproxy.ghs.google.com… do i only need to point my domain’s feed section’s CNAME record to the ghs.google.com and the individual feeds be redirected automatically correctly as i need them above?

    Thanks.

  • September 13th, 2010 at 3:08 pm Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Hi SR,
    I’m guessing you would need to set up three separate CNAME records and point each feed URL to xxx.feedproxy.ghs.google.com. Although, I can’t be certain. This is one area I’m not the best at. I’ve always just used live chat at my web hosting companies and told them what I needed to do while also copying what Google says needs to be done, then they set up the CNAME records for me. As far as how they set it up exactly I can’t say for sure. Sorry I can’t be of more help regarding setting up cname records.

  • February 1st, 2011 at 10:20 am Ileane said:

    Hi Wesley, nice tutorial. I love learning anything to do with FeedBurner. It’s a shame that Google doesn’t have a dedicated YouTube channel for it like they do for most of their other products. If you have any more goodies about please tweet me @Ileane
    Thanks!

  • February 1st, 2011 at 10:25 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Thanks, Ileane!

  • November 21st, 2011 at 7:34 pm MichaelTunnell.com said:

    Hello Wesley, I have a question that I fear is impossible. I have many sites and I use FeedBurner for all but one because one of them has an insane amount of rss feeds…around 150-200. This is because the site automatically creates rss feeds for different sections of the site and when my staff creates new sections then it creates new feeds for those sections. So anyway is it possible to automatically burn feeds with feedburner or do they all have to be done manually. (if the latter, I’ll just have to forget it)

  • November 21st, 2011 at 9:44 pm Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Hi Michael,
    I’m not aware of a way, but have you tried the Google support forum?

  • December 3rd, 2011 at 4:05 pm Gerry said:

    Hi, do you know how to setup feeds via Feedburner so title links in RSS readers point directly to your post, rather than forwarding through feedproxy.google.com etc? Thanks!

  • December 4th, 2011 at 12:20 am Wesley LeFebvre said:

    Hi Gerry, I think you have to uncheck the ‘item link clicks’ checkbox on the “Configure Stats” page, but I’m not positive. I figured out how to do that along time aog, and have been pretty much just setting them up on autopilot ever since… :)

    Let me know if that works.

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