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Web 2.0:
Impact of RSS feeds on the visits of Websites

With the Web 2.0 new vectors of information like RSS feeds have appeared. What repercussions do they have today on the visits of websites having chosen to publish them?
  • Survey carried out from May 1st to 31, 2007
  • Perimeter of 53 websites
The average share of visits resulting from RSS feeds is still discreet

In May 2007, for an Internet site publishing RSS feeds, the latter generate on average 1.8% of the totality of its visits.

This proportion is an average indicator, and varies, of course, from one website to another depending on its content, its marketing strategy, its notoriety…


Access by RSS feeds: more targeted visits

For an Internet site publishing RSS feeds, these generate 43% of the visits to more than one page, vs. 51% for the other types of access for the month of May 2007.

Thus, more than half of the visits via the RSS feeds are made, on average, on a single page of the website, the visitor thereby focusing on the information relayed by this referrer.


During the entering visits (to more than one page), the number of pages viewed on average during the visits resulting from RSS feeds is inferior by one and a half pages to that of the visits resulting from other types of access: 7.1 vs. 8.5.

One can assume that the visitors from the RSS feeds, coming first of all for precise information (contained in the feed), thereby continue their visit according to the interest that they take in the rest of the website. Which would explain why the number of pages viewed by entering visit is lower than for the visits less centered on a very precise subject at the beginning.

One can also assume that the visitors of the RSS feeds come more regularly to the website than those coming by other types of access, and that they focus therefore on certain subjects or new items during their visit.


The average duration of the entering visits resulting from the RSS feeds is thereby shorter than for the other sources: 5 minutes 53 seconds vs. 7 minutes 19 seconds. Which is essentially linked to the differential of the number of pages viewed per entering visit because the average durations given to each page are very close:

  • 50 seconds for visits generated by the RSS feeds

  • 52 seconds for the visits generated by the other types of access


The average share of visits generated by the RSS feeds is still relatively modest. Today, the categories of websites that use the feeds are principally current events/information, services and classified advertisement websites. These content websites thereby choose to communicate their message via this personalizable Web 2.0 support and answer to a pull strategy (communicate towards the visitor who has chosen to subscribe to the RSS feed) in order to involve their visitors.

If the internet users are more and more numerous to adopt this new Web 2.0 channel and at the same time more and more websites make the strategic choice to propose it, the share of the RSS feeds should progress… To be continued on XiTi Monitor in the coming months.


We have selected, among the websites audited by XiTi, those of which declared RSS feeds have generated visits on the website.
For these websites, only the days of the month of May 2007 with RSS feed visits recorded are taken into account.
The measurements of this survey correspond to the average trends recorded on the websites of the perimeter.

- Access by RSS feeds: access by a link from a RSS feed
- Other sources:
Direct access: direct entry of the URL, bookmarks (favorites) or e-mail (via messaging software like Outlook)
Access by Search Engines: access by keyword search in a search tool
Access by Referrer Sites: access by websites not belonging to the same group as the website on which the visit is carried out
Access by Portal Sites: access by websites belonging to the same group as the website on which the visit is carried out
Access by e-mails: access made from webmail
Access by Sponsored Links: access by keywords bought on different networks that allow the displaying of links towards the “buyer” websites according to the subject of the search
Access by Awareness: access by declaration in the search engines of the company name or of its products/services
Access by Advertising: access by buying advertising media on the Net
Access by Affiliation and Partners: access from partner or affiliated websites
Access by E-mailing Campaigns: access by e-mails declared as marketing campaigns

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