RSS is short for Really Simple Syndication. It is part of the XML family that is used for syndicating information. Put simply RSS allows one web site to share information with another web site.
As a web site publisher, RSS offers a way for them to publish their information on many web sites, which in turns increases their reach on the Internet and the amount of traffic they receive to their web site. They also receive more one way links back to their web site. These benefits result in an increase in their search engine ranking.
As a web site owner, RSS allows them to receive up to date links to information on a regular basis that runs on auto pilot. When the publishing site is updated, their web site is also updated.
The result of this is that their web site is updated more regularly which also increases their search engine ranking.
The other benefit the web site owner receives from using RSS is that their information remains "fresh" which encourages their visitors to return on a regular basis.
However, the web site owner does not receive the complete articles, instead, they receive a feed that contains a title, a brief description and a link to the article that resides on the publishers web site.
The main disadvantage to the web site owner is that they trade off traffic for content, as their visitors need to visit the publishers web site to read the complete article.
But, this is a minor disadvantage considering all the benefits that RSS offers the web site owner.
The web site owner will need to install some software in order for them to receive RSS Feeds.
This software ranges from commercial packages the web site owner can purchase all the way down to freeware. Before purchasing any software you should research the different software packages that are available to ensure you get the software that is most suited to your requirements.
Fortunately, setting up an RSS feed is relatively straightforward and should only take a couple of hours at the most, and, once RSS is set up their is very little maintenance (if any) required.
If you are a web site owner, you should consider the power of RSS and what it can offer you and your web site.