PRWeb announced today that they are now offering a service that will allow their press release distribution clients the ability to map the company domain name to the RSS feed of the release hosted by PRWeb.
When you submit a press release through PRWeb and associate that press release with a RSS Group in the PRWeb control panel, the release is then published as part of an RSS feed. This feed url can be pinged to the RSS search engines and also used in an auto discovery tag for RSS feeds in the company web site. That way RSS enabled browsers and feed readers can automatically detect the company press release RSS feed and subscribe to it, even if they do not have a blog.
Until now, the url of the press release RSS feed from PRWeb has used the syntax of: http://www.rsspad.com/rss2a/45753.xml and can now be setup as: http://rss.toprankresults.com. We are not yet setup with this feature, so my example URL is not yet functioning.
What does this mean for users of PRWeb? You need to be using the RSS functionality in the first place. If your site does not have a blog, but you want to make it easy for readers and journalists to find and subscribe to your company news, then the PRWeb press release RSS feed feature is for you.
Being able to direct subscribers to a sub-domain, ie: rss.yourdomainname.com rather than a rsspad.com url offers some branding benefit. The release from PRWeb is very optimistic that this feature will “provide increased traffic to their individual domains“. What it won’t do is affect the link popularity to your main site since most search engines see sub-domains as a different site than your main www address.
Is it worth using then? I think it is for two reasons:
1. Branding – Using a sub-domain allows you to use your own company domain name when you publish the feed. This brings a sense of familiarity to the user.
2. Control – Should you decide to start a blog or not use PRWeb’s hosted RSS service, then you are not tied down to a URL that they control. This is very much like using FeedBurner. The free RSS feed service that FeedBurner offers uses the syntax: feeds.feedburner.com/yourfeedhere. If you use FeedBurner Pro, you can map that feed to a sub-domain or url on your own site, www.mysite.com/rssfeed or feed.mysite.com then you are not tied to FeedBurner should you decide you want to change services or if you want to change how you publish your RSS feed.