Setting Blog Feed to Summary or Full Post for Feeds?

In talking with some bloggers over my choice of setting the RSS feed to being a summary feed, I started wondering what was the most common practice by other bloggers and wanted to get a feel for how others felt about RSS and email blog feeds.

There are advantages to having your blog feed being only a summary instead of a full post and these include:

  • Not having duplicate content on your own site (feeds can cause duplicate content if indexed on Google)
  • Users who subscribe via RSS or Email have to come to site to read full post (can bring more visits to site).
  • FaceBook Fanpage which reads in feed also doesn’t have full post and directs more traffic to site.
  • Easier for readers if you write multiple posts a day (they will see all summaries and clearly see more than 1 article was written)

Yet there are also reasons for having a full blog post in your feed as well:

  • AdSense can be included inside the article feed for potential earnings from feed
  • Readers may not click to visit site to read article just from title/summary yet may read full post if available
  • More value to being an RSS subscriber, they don’t have to visit site to actually read new articles

One of the things I like about the Yet Another Related Posts Plug-in (YARPP) is that it shows related post title and descriptions even on a RSS feed summary and looks like this:

I like how it includes my original article title, description and then shows related articles. I think it increases my chances of a reader visiting the site from the RSS feed instead of just reading the post in the email and not visiting the site. So I decided to run a little 30 day experiment and set to having an RSS Feed Summary instead of full posts in RSS. This will let me know if my “Direct” site traffic increases versus previous months. (When people click to your site from an email program, it mostly shows as “Direct” traffic since there was no referral).

What is your opinion and point of view on blog RSS feeds, do you prefer RSS Feed Summary or Full RSS Feeds of your blog posts? Did I miss any pros and cons for either side that I didn’t consider?

-Dragon Blogger

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