A web feed is a way to provide users with content. The most common websites to make use of this technology are news websites, pod casters and school websites. More often than not a web feed serves as a link, providing the bare minimum of information while directing you to a full story for example. Why would anyone want to integrate and display web feeds? The answer is simple as a professional website owner you want visitors to come your way, the more visitors you get the more potential money in your business.
Aside from providing your website with fresh content there are actually a few benefits to displaying feeds on your site. Instead of signing up for a constant stream of emails, in which you would have to give up your email address, you may simply subscribe to the content that the feed provides. Besides whenever you have to give out your email address you run the risk of being spammed or worse such as viruses or identity theft. Another user benefit pertains to when the user does not wish to see the content anymore they don’t have to send an email to unsubscribe, they can simply remove the feed. Another good feature for the user is that the feeds are automatically sorted and doesn’t rely on the user specifications. This simply means that you are in control of how they receive the content and its sorting. A downside however is the fact that it is most of the time an outbound link. Now these links can and will increase your search engine ranking but remember beware. Anytime you allow outbound links on your page you run the risk of certain types of spam, you could potentially have users redirected to malicious sites or scams.
Web feeds are considered a type of pull technology (basically the user must initiate contact to activate its usefulness) meant to draw in the customer ultimately giving them more to do on your website. When done right integrating web feeds can improve your search engine ranking. If the feed your displaying has the proper keywords in it you will increase both the ranking for your website and the feed provider. So there are risks but if business teaches anything its that there is know reward without risks. Take the time to think about what sort of web feed integration is right for your website.