Better Podcasting #065 – Self-Hosting Your Podcast RSS and Media

Have you ever considered self-hosting your podcast RSS and/or media? During this show Stephen and Stargate Pioneer talk about the controversial topic that is “self-hosting” your podcast. There are definitely both pros and cons to going this route and we’ll discuss both along with best practices and also some hosting providers you can use. If you’re about to launch your podcast, we suggest you take a listen to this episode before you submit your RSS feed as it might make you reconsider which RSS feed you want to index.

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Stephen Jondrew and Stargate Pioneer thank you for listening, downloading and subscribing to Better Podcasting. We hope you come back for more Better Podcasting!

Happy Podcasting!

This podcast was recorded on Friday, February 3, 2017 – Streamed Live to www.Geeks.Live. Audio/Video Production by Stephen Jondrew of

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7 comments on “Better Podcasting #065 – Self-Hosting Your Podcast RSS and Media

  1. Dave Jackson says:

    I don’t understand how having a feed on any media host would lose seo. Here is my thought process. When people use search they use? That’s right Google. Out of all the browsers out there, what browser does NOT display RSS in a manner that it makes sense to a non geek? That’s right, Chrome. So why would the biggest search engine in the world decide to use RSS feeds in their results so that they deliver (in most cases) a screen of code. In all the years of using Google search I don’t think I’ve ever seen an RSS feed come up as a result. I’ve seen podcast episodes, but not from the feed. That’s why there is a website field in an RSS feed, so you can point people to your website.

  2. Stephen says:

    Hey Dave, thanks for listening and thanks for the question. While there is no specific 100% guaranteed step by step instructions on SEO, one of the areas that I’ve often seen mentioned is that getting links back to your site (from other sites) with your search terms is one of the better ways to move up the rankings. In turn, it’s often recommended not to split content as you’re essentially fighting with yourself. For example, if I search for “The Starling Tribune” on Google, the first link is the GonnaGeek page but also the 4th is Libsyn. Moreso, if I search for GG Network Member “All Things Good and Nerdy”, the first is their podbean site. Likewise, if I search for “School of Podcasting” on Google right now, your site comes up as number one, however, at the bottom of page one is also your libsyn page. There’s good reason to believe since all of these results are high up in the rankings for their respective search terms that they have been linked to in external searches – essentially splitting the SEO. Finally the last part of consideration is that many of these RSS feeds hosted on mediahosts have the permalink back to their mediahosts page (for example libsyn). If any service than indexes the RSS uses these links, it’ll mean they link back to the media host site instead of the main for the specific episodes, but that’s going a bit down the rabbit hole. Hope this clears up and I’ll be clarifying the point next episode – I appreciate the question! Thanks again for asking and thanks for listening – great question. 🙂

  3. Dave Jackson says:

    So what you are referring to in these results is my “podcast page” on my media host. NOT my RSS feed. I now have two pages (apparently) in the top of Google. If I was worried about this, I could easily go into Libsyn and delete my Podcast page. You said you lose SEO by using the RSS feed. It’s not the RSS feed that is coming up in the results. If you said, “You shouldn’t use your hosting providers page..”I might see your point.

    Side note. Your captcha thing is really annoying and times out super quick.

  4. Stephen says:

    Hey Dave, thanks for the followup and sorry to hear about the CAPTCHA. I made some changes recently to the site in regard to posting replies and I’ll look in to that bug. I appreciate the headsup as I wasn’t aware it was an issue. This a great example on how it’s important for me to check the site from time to time “as a guest”. Thank you very much for pointing this out.

    Before I get to addressing the question, I would again like to thank you for asking this as if you are wondering about it, that means potentially other listeners could be too. I ended up pulling up more research after your initial message and plan to present pieces of it to clarify next time as part of the followup. There are several podcast directory sites (some popular, some not so popular) which actually reference back to the tags pulling from the RSS. As by default most of these RSS feed tags are pointing back to the media host postings, this is in a way giving links back to the media hosts, rather than back the podcast main websites. There is also the additional note of “average Joes” taking the links and posting the media host link by mistake too (I searched for our Libsyn url and funny enough someone posted it to a Reddit instead of our main). There’s also a lot of SEO research available that shows that one variable to help increase page rankings is the amount of quality/relevant links back to a specific domain (no matter where it’s located on the domain). Extrapolating this, if there are links to my domain via the RSS feed from a variety of different places that are deemed by the algorithms to be quality, that is boosting my domain’s SEO credibility. Here’s an example. If I search for “School of Podcasting RSS” on Google, one of the links that comes up is “”. That’s potentially more “credibility” (perhaps the wrong term) that is going to libsyn versus your domain. With all of that said, I completely understand your reason of questioning this and I do appreciation you bringing it up so I can further clarify it on the next episode. I actually likely won’t go to far in the rabbit hole as I have here as it’s not really an SEO cast and I think it could bore the listeners, but I do believe it’s worth a quick followup to give people a few more things to consider/research if they wish while making their decision. I truthfully believe that based on everything I’ve read with SEO (in combination with my successful accomplishments it past projects bumping up sites to top rankings with certain search terms) that this is a valid point of consideration. As discussed through the episode, it was just one consideration among many of the pros and cons for people to think about when they are considering self hosting. The intent of this episode overall was to give both sides of the coin and get people to consider all aspects and potentials before deciding which way to go – help them make a decision on their own. Of course, with all of that said, I also authentically think that potential SEO shouldn’t be a make-or-break sticking point for people and it should just be one of many considerations in the bigger picture that people have when deciding. Thank you again for following up and your feedback helps to ensure we deliver the most clear package that we can to help hobbyists be the best they can be. 🙂

  5. Stephen says:

    PS. I just took a look now and fixed the CAPTCHA time out (in theory) – thank you again for bringing this to my attention.

  6. Dave Jackson says:

    Just listened to the latest update. If your feed is pointing toward libsyn (or whoever) it’s because you haven’t put your website address in your feed. Case in point, my listing at ( ) has my website as, well, my website (not my libsyn site) because I went in and changed it. So when you see someone who has a link to their hosting;s website, it’s because they aren’t taking advantage of that field in their feed.

    As for finding the podcast page on (for example) libsyn, that also can be deleted if you desire. I did have someone hire me for consulting and the reason was “I looked up podcasting and you are everywhere..” so having multiple sites show your content may not be a bad thing (unless it hurts you SEO juice).

  7. Stephen says:

    Hey Dave, thanks for checking back with us. I ABSOLUTELY (ha ha – see what I did there?) do agree it’s possible to change these tags but when we talk about things on Better Podcasting, we try to look at it from the hobbyist perspective. From what I’ve seen many of these folks who sign up for services use default settings and the default settings are to link back (as a note – in my research I found both hobbyists and non-hobbyists using the default settings). This is most definitely why I felt it was important to mention and preface with my followup that this link-back was in regard to using the default settings. Although I’ve been an avid self-hoster since I started podcasting in 2008, as mentioned at the start of episode 65, I’m also VERY realistic about there being pros and cons. My observation is that there’s been a lot of “extreme cases” cited during discussions from both sides when discussing self hosting and the intention of the episode was to give a variety of consideration (both pros and cons) for those considering self-hosting. As for the comment about the Libsyn page potentially helping people find you, for sure that’s definitely a consideration that podcasters have along with other listing methods such as directory services, distribution outlets and whatnot – but that’s sort of a different conversation. I think SP has actually cited in the past when we discussed media hosts that this was one of the reason he leaves his page enabled (but I could be wrong, it all blends together. I know he’s mentioned it to me offline). There are definitely pros and cons to leaving stuff everywhere and it was a concious effort for us to look at the subject of self-hosting from the self-hosting perspective – rather than a self-hosting vs media hosting comparison (since we’ve talked about media hosting before). Thanks again for your comment and I do appreciate you asking further about this as it helped us provide further clarification.

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