How to use RSS variables in Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO allows you to automatically add content to your RSS feed. In the video below, Joost explains how this works and why it is important. In short, these RSS settings exist because, unfortunately, there are scraper sites that republish content from other sites without their permission. If they republish your content, they usually don’t link back to your site. This leads to duplicate content problems in the search results, and because of this, a scraper site with a bit more authority than your blog would simply outrank you with your own content.

In this article, we’ll discuss the variables you can use to customize your RSS content. What makes the variables so powerful is that they allow you to automatically add a link to each and every post that is added to your RSS feed.

RSS variables

There are four RSS variables that you can put into the text boxes on the RSS tab in Yoast SEO. The variables start and end with %%, with a description of the variable in between. Let’s go through them one by one to see what they do and when you should use them.

Available variables on the RSS tab under Search Appearance in Yoast SEO

%%AUTHORLINK%%

The %%AUTHORLINK%% variable adds a link to the author archive for the post author. The author’s name is the anchor text of the link. It’s not part of the out-of-the-box setting for the RSS content in Yoast SEO, because we’re primarily focused on getting the post ranked. But still, it’s a link that you may get out of the scraper sites.

%%POSTLINK%%

The %%POSTLINK%% variable is part of the out-of-the-box setting for the RSS content in Yoast SEO. It adds a link to your post, with the post title as an anchor text. Because the post link variable allows you to build many more links than your scraper competitors, it provides a strong signal that your post is the original one that should rank in the search engines.  

%%BLOGLINK%%

The %%BLOGLINK%% variable is part of the out-of-the-box setting for the RSS content in Yoast SEO. It adds a link to your blog, with the blog name as an anchor text. This is a strong signal that this post was originally posted on your blog.

%%BLOGDESCLINK%%

The %%BLOGDESCLINK%% variable is very similar to the %%BLOGLINK%% variable. The only difference is that with this variable, the anchor text will include a description of your site, rather than just the site name. So why use this one rather than the %%BLOGLINK%% one? It simply adds a little bit more context. It’s not crucial (or it would have been the default variable), but it can’t hurt either!

Using the variables

Using the variables is as simple as adding them to the text box on the RSS tab in Yoast SEO. It’s easiest to just copy paste them from the list that we provide there. But if that’s a problem for you, they’re fairly easy to type as well! Let’s go through the steps one by one now.

  1. Log in to your WordPress website.

    When you’re logged in, you will be in your ‘Dashboard’.

  2. Click on ‘SEO’.

    On the left-hand side, you will see a menu. In that menu, click on ‘SEO’.

  3. Click on ‘Search Appearance’.

    The ‘SEO’ settings will expand providing you additional options. Click on ‘Search Appearance’.

  4. Click on the ‘RSS’ tab.

  5. Click the text box and start editing your content using the variables listed below. 

  6. Click ‘Save Changes’.