Linking Strategy – Link to Feeds

Mike Sansone in a recent comment over on his blog, after I gave a tagging example of [a href=”” rel=”tag”]Blog Coach[/a] in his comments, replied

Can I start using “generous genius” when I point to your site?

Mike:- only if you think this idea is genius ;)

Purpose of Linking

Linking in blogging is quite often conversational, so you would link using a permalink, and sometimes it is just mentioning someone’s name in passing, so you would link to their root domain name. Obviously people are looking for traffic, and quite probably defensible traffic such as… subscribers.

The Feedburner Squeeze page

Feedburner Squeeze Page

It isn’t actually that bad for a squeeze page. There is content mainly below the fold depending on screen resolution and number of toolbars

Feedburner Firefox Bug

Feedburner Firefox

There seems to be a bug in displaying Clear Feed with Firefox 2.0 – I noticed I had it a while ago, with the feeds not displaying full content on the subscription page, and a quite horrible default subscription option. I did think I was stuck with it until I went to subscribe to DoshDosh (some great content btw)
It hit me, what is Dosh Dosh doing that I am not to have feeds display nicely in Firefox? So I played around.

It seems to be something to do with Smartfeed. By deactivating Smartfeed, and then reactivating it, my feed started displaying how it should do.
Most likely it is because I haven’t played around with my feed settings for quite some time, and removing and then adding the feature reset the variables to the new default.

So What New Linking Tactic?

First of all let me state that this is untested. In fact this is the first post I am testing this with.

If you check the links above, for Mike and DoshDosh I have linked to their feed page rather than to their site. I know that Mikes page has got this broken Feedburner page, but knowing Mike he will read this post and fix his feed quicker than it took me to write this post.

It is my belief that the Feedburner landing page might be strong enough, with enough quality content to achieve the number one goal, a new subscriber and defensible traffic.
It isn’t a page that can be extensively customised, but then most blogs don’t optimise the subscription process very well anyway.

This is a very common problem, so I hope a few people see this and take action to fix it.

What is annoying is that it is almost impossible to test these things in isolation, even if you owned both of the blogs. Those are the tracking statistics I would like from Feedburner, and a thank you page among other things.

Does this Detract from SEO

Partially without a doubt.

Everything on the web is swings and round-a-bouts, but you never break new ground unless you test things. The Feedburner page is not a closed loop, in fact most of the pagerank you pass to the page will flow back.

The aim of the exercise is to have multiple chances of gaining defensible traffic… subscribers.

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  1. says

    Good post, you make an excellent point. This idea occurred to me a couple days ago. In certain situations it makes more sense to link to a feed, and I think bloggers would appreciate the subscribers. Also, love the snow.

  2. says

    Hey Andy,

    What you saw with Firefox was their stylesheet. With the new release of Firefox they created their own stylesheet which is placed over the xml code and their stylesheet superceded ours. However, one of the options in BrowserFriendly which you may have chosen during the reset you did was to allow our stylesheet to override the firefox one.

    The same situation happened in IE7 as well and we’re able to override their sheet too. However, as with everything we do, we give publishers the choice to have our stylesheet override the browsers’ stylesheets as some may like the IE7 and FF stylesheets. Hope that clears things up!

    If you ever need anything else please shoot me a note and I’d also like to follow-up with you on the stats you’d like us to add. What exactly do you want us to count for you?

    Eric Olson
    Publisher Services – FeedBurner
    312.756.0022 x2034

  3. says

    Very interesting link strategy which should be pretty effective if the blog in question has strong and impressive content. The feed reader doesn’t have a chance to be wowed by aesthetic factors like site design or navigation, which can be a good or bad thing depending on the blog in question.

    Looking at my feed just reminded me that I need to get the images properly aligned with the text. :)

  4. says

    Image alignment on page and in feeds is my post for tomorrow ;) after I have perfected my own. Most blogs cheat and just use align right in the image link.

    Blog templates encourage use of CSS in the theme, that neds up looking horrible sometimes in a readers.

    It is like a part 2 to my post on headings in Feed Readers.