I've noticed over the last few days that one of my sites has been getting hundreds of hits a day from people searching for "katharine mcphee yellow dress". I don't have a site about American Idol, and I've never even typed the words "katharine mcphee" (and the first time I'd even copied and pasted the name was in the previous sentence). So how did I get a high search engine ranking for those words? RSS.

The site that's getting all the traffic is my RSS feed directory, Chordata. One of the feeds in the directory is the Celebrity Cafe Magazine. They mentioned the yellow dress in their feed, my site displayed a preview of their feed, the search engines picked it up, and boom! I had a high search engine ranking for those words ... for a few days--I think the honeymoon is over now.

I don't know that I made any money off of the traffic--a trickle of AdSense revenue at best)--everybody probably just clicked through to Celebrity Cafe Magazine. Had I been in a position to profit from the traffic, that feed would have been a little goldmine for me. The lesson of this experience is that if you display an feed on your site that's relevant to your target market, you'll get more search engine traffic. If the feed is active with new items every day (like Celebrity Cafe's is), displaying it on your site will keep the search engines coming back often, so when something big happens in your industry, the search engines will see information about it on your site early, and then early searchers for that information will find you.