Defining SEO Information Environments Through RSS

I have been pretty obsessed with the topic of Information Environments as of late.

From their structure, to the way that we let them interact with the search engine bots, a full understanding of our Information Environments is the basis of a strong SEO approach. No matter what changes in search algorithms a strong Information Environment Design will help your usability as well as assist in classifying your data.

In a recent post, I broke down the basic website levels in terms of Information Environments from shallowest to deepest, Domain>Sections>Categories>Pages>Media.

There are several ways to help make the connection between these levels, and thus help classify the information held within. The most granular connection takes place on the link level, with anchor text passing classification. More advanced classification concepts include SEO Siloing.

One way to help classify your data is through the use of RSS. Most sites today use Really Simple Syndication to get their content out to readers and search engines alike. Fresh content is key to timely crawls, and RSS feeds play right into this basic SEO concept. However, most sites only have an RSS feed on the domain level of their Information Environment structure.

By taking RSS feeds and placing them at the Section and Category level you can help define the information on and below that level.

The Concept in Practice

Let’s say we have a site fantasy sports information and products, http://www.fantasysportsexample.com. (Tis the season!)

On this site we deliver Fantasy basketball, football, and baseball info. These become the Sections in our Information Environment Design.

Below these Sections, we deliver player news, stats, and feature articles. These will become our Categories.

ied-fantasysports.gif

By placing an RSS feed on the Categories of this site we can help classify all of the information found there and below.

Let’s take a look at the basic RSS XML structure

xml.gif

Basic RSS feed structures allow you to label a channel as well as each individual item.So for our site, http://www.fantasysportsexample.com , we will use the concept of SEO Siloing at the Section level. We will do this by creating mini-sitemaps that the user navigates to from the homepage that list links to each Sections’ Categories, as well as links to the other Sections. This will help define the categories.

At the Category level we will create our RSS feeds.

One for fantasy basketball player news, one for fantasy football player news, and so on and so on.

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