Use Feed Autodiscovery to Increase Subscribers

Do you have a blog? Do you own a website and offer a feed? Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) has made it even easier to promote your RSS and Atom feeds.

Once you install IE7, you will see a Command Bar (near the top of the menu bar) that looks something like this:

Feed Audodiscovery Icon

If IE7 can auto detect your feed, the feed autodiscovery icon will light up like so:

Feed Audodiscovery Icon

Using this feed autodiscovery icon, users can see items inside your feed and easily determine if they want subscribe. What can be easier than that?

If your blog is powered by popular platforms such as Wordpress or Blogger, the feed autodiscovery will automatically detect your feed. If for some reason your blog has not been setup to take advantage of IE7’s feed autodiscovery or if you manually offer an RSS or Atom feed on your website, simply insert the line of code from below within the <head></head> portion of your web pages to make the feed autodiscovery icon light up. Basically, you are adding a link element inside the header of your web pages and telling IE7 (& possibly other web browsers) that your page has an associated feed. Be sure to update your title attribute and the URL to the feed itself in the href attribute to fully take advantage of IE7’s feed autodiscovery system.

Atom Autodiscovery
<link rel=”alternatetype=”application/atom+xmltitle=”feed title here” href= “”>

RSS Autodiscovery
<link rel=”alternatetype=”application/rss+xmltitle=”feed title here” href=””>

That’s it. Implement this site wide and your users will now be able to easily subscribe to your feed!

Just in case, here is a link to a more detailed look at feed autodiscovery.

Note that there are some subscriber reporting discrepancies associated with implementing the above tags if you use a feedburning service like feedburner. For more info, read how Google Desktop Sidebar Skew Feedburner Stats.

Ian Lee
Work from home dad, marketer and photographer. Fallen in love with basketball all over again as I coach my daughter's team.

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