Why You MUST Have A My Yahoo! Page

Yahoo! allows you to set up your own front page called 'My Yahoo!'. Even if you don't use Yahoo! as your search engine, you need a My Yahoo! page which you log onto every day. That's because having a My Yahoo! page that is set up correctly can do wonders for your search engine ranking.

My Yahoo! is a page which you can set up with your own features so that all the material you want is presented to you in a convenient format. You can have news, weather, your diary, your contact list, your share portfolio and a host of other bits and pieces of content. A nice, handy home page for you.

However, a My Yahoo! page can also include something called an RSS Feed. This is a technique called 'Really Simple Syndication' and it allows owners of web sites to push their content to viewers, without them having to go collect it by visiting their web site. It can be set up for any page, but is usually reserved for blogs. If you use blogging software or a system such as Blogger you can simply set up an RSS or XML 'feed' for your page. (XML - eXtended Markup Language - is another system for syndicating content.) People who want to keep up to date with your news can include your RSS feed in their list of interesting web sites and every time your page is updated, their information is updated as well. Hence you can deliver new information to people who might otherwise forget to revisit your site.

You can include RSS feeds within your My Yahoo! to help you keep up to date with news you want to receive. But there is an added advantage. Yahoo! itself monitors all the My Yahoo! web pages that are created and indexes their content. This means if your own web site's RSS feed is listed in your My Yahoo! page you get automatic indexing of your web site. If you were to submit your site to Yahoo! you would either have to wait several weeks, or pay a fee to be considered for indexing. With a My Yahoo! page RSS feed, your pages will be indexed within hours.

So, here's the process you need to follow. Firstly, set up a My Yahoo! page. All you need to do is visit Yahoo! and click on the My Yahoo! logo at the top right of the page.

Then set up your account and choose the kind of layout you want and the features you would like to include. If you are not going to use the My Yahoo! page you create as your main home page, don't worry too much about this. The main purpose is to get your own web site indexed, so the design of your page is not important.

Now you want to add your RSS/XML feed. Click on the 'Choose Content' button at the bottom of your My Yahoo! page. Look at the 'Wide Modules' list and you'll see 'RSS Headlines (BETA)' down at the bottom of the list. Don't worry that it is in 'beta' stage - Yahoo! has been using it for well over a year. Select the option and click 'Finished'. You will then have the option to choose your RSS feeds.

On the 'Choose your RSS sources' page simply type in the complete URL (web site address) of your feed. One of mine, for instance, is 'http://www.infoselling.com/blog/atom.xml'. Your RSS feed will either be an 'rss' page or an 'xml' page. If you use Blogger and you haven't set up such a feed, you can do so by visiting the 'Settings' page.

Click on the 'Search' button and Yahoo! goes off to find your feed. If it finds it successfully you can simply add the selected feed to your page. Click on 'Finished' and you'll be back on your My Yahoo! page. That's it. Whenever you update your blog your My Yahoo! page gets updated - assuming you log into regularly. You can get your My Yahoo! page updated automatically if you submit your blog at Ping-o-Matic.

One other thing - make sure your RSS feed page includes a 'sitemap' - a link to a page which includes links to all the pages in your web site. Yahoo! will follow this sitemap link and start looking at all your other pages.

Having a My Yahoo! page is a quick and easy way to get your site indexed within Yahoo!. I tested it with one of my sites. I set up an RSS feed, loaded onto My Yahoo!'s RSS feeds and within three days all 287 pages of the web site had been indexed. With another site, I submitted it to the 'Submit your site' option at Yahoo! and several weeks later, still none of those pages have been listed by Yahoo! There is a clear reason to be using RSS feeds and having a My Yahoo! page.

Graham Jones is a psychologist who has specialized in the way we use the Internet. He is an expert on information products and runs Infoselling.com where you can get a FREE report on how to sell your own infoproducts.


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