Are Your RSS Feeds Auto Discovery Friendly?

by RevMark

By Lynette Chandler

Just imagine. Everytime someone visits your website, their browser notifies them of your RSS feed. No, it’s not as interuptive and nowhere near as annoying as pop-up subscription boxes but still a good chance to get people to subscribe to something you have to offer. In a nutshell, that’s how auto discovery works. There ‘s usually a small flag somewhere in the browser telling people your feed is available for them and if the visitor is interested in subscribing, they will simply click subscribe – much like bookmarking a page.

Now you know how it works, why is it so important? For one, many feed readers and browsers already support auto discovery RSS feeds. But perhaps what’s more important, Microsoft is incorporating this starting with Internet Explorer 7. Internet Explorer still commands a good chunk of browser share out there, especially those who are new to the Internet or non technical Internet users. If your RSS feeds are not auto discovery enabled, it’s a good chance you’ll lose out on a bunch of subscribers.

As it is today, browsers like Firefox, Opera and Safari can auto discover feeds. Many use this to subscribe because it’s just so much easier. While this group may not be that large but why should you not take advantage? If just making your feeds auto discovery friendly you get an extra subscriber, even if it’s only one it would be worth it because it costs nothing but maybe 2 minutes of your time.

So how do you find out if your feeds are auto discovery friendly? The good news is, if you’re using a blog to manage your content, many have this feature built in. But it doesn’t hurt to just check it anyway. If you don’t use a blog, chances are, your feed is not auto discovery enabled. For step-by-step instructions how to check if your page has auto discovery, visit

Before I go, here are two little tips that would help your RSS distribution and subscription using auto discovery.

  1. Put the auto discovery tag in other web pages too. Just because it’s not a blog doesn’t mean you can’t have an RSS feed on it. Take advantage of that, put your feed in your main website’s template. Now you have two opportunities to get in touch with people. When you update your website and when you update your blog.
  2. If you use a service like FeedBurner to track your subscriptions, remember to update the feed URL in your blog or website template. This way, you’re capturing all your feed traffic statistics.

What’s next? Go make your RSS feeds auto discovery friendly right now. Because RSS is not always visible to us, don’t run the risk of forgetting this.

Lynette Chandler helps entrepreneurs leverage readily available technology for their marketing. Watch a 3 Minute Video Tutorial How Auto Discovery Works

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