Within the realm of blogging, there are some arguments that seem to go on forever. Whether or not one should use partial or full RSS feeds happens to be one of those arguments. Those in favor of partial feeds usually argue that this prevents duplicate content from showing up on blogs who scrape their content. Based on previous experience and from monitoring the debate across multiple blogs, I’d say that this has become a moot point. For starters, you can’t catch everyone who is ripping off your content. Secondly, you will not get penalized for having duplicate content because it was published on your site first. Google is smart enough to determine where the content was published first.
Full RSS feeds enables the subscriber the luxury of reading what your site has to offer from the comfort of their feed reader. There is no need to click through in order to see the full post. I’ve talked with many blog owners and RSS Feed readers and most of them agree that full RSS feeds are the way to go. Partial feeds are annoying and actually turn many people away from subscribing.
In my own travels across the web, I only subscribe to the RSS feed of a blog if it provides the full feed. I don’t have time to click through to the actual article. I’ll only do that if I want to publish a comment or two. I’ve learned a long time ago that people scraping your content is just another part of blogging. As far as I’m concerned, you can never win the war on content scraping, you can only win individual battles. But what is the point if the battles are never ending? So, my advice is to offer a full content RSS feed to your readers. Anything less is just not worth it.
If that wasn’t convincing enough, perhaps this comic created by Noise To Signal will help.
Post inspired by Cartoon: Partial Text RSS Feeds