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Adsense for Feeds in Wordpress

29 Jul 2011

Google's acquisition of Feedburner makes it easier to add advertisements to your RSS feeds. In this post we talk about how to put Adsense in the feeds of Wordpress.


Create Feed Unit

Take the new Adsense interface for example, after login to your account, click on the tab "My ads". Then you can see "More products" on the left navigation bar. Click on "Feeds" button under "More products", and then click "+New feed unit" following the popped up hint. On the next page, you can specify how the ads will appear in your feeds.

Then you need to add a feed to your Adsense account if you hasn't burn one from Feedburner. After the combination of Google's Adsense and Feedburner, we can easily create our own feeds in Adsense interface. Just click on the link "Burn new feed" and follow the popped up wizard. Then you can get a unique feed URL. For instance, mine is http://feeds.feedburner.com/gnailuy. If you enjoy reading my posts, its welcome to subscribe to my blog via this link.

Rewrite Wordpress RSS to Feedburner

Next we should redirect Wordpress' default RSS feed to the Feedburner URL that we just generated. We have to ensure that our change will not affect to our old subscribers. Again there are a few plugins doing this. Doing some hack will work too, but it's little bit complex. You may find Using FeedBurner on Wordpress Codex very helpful.

I am using pretty Permalink on my site. So I prefer to archive this goal by adding rewrite rules in .htaccess file. Once we enable Permalink in Wordpress, there exists some rewrite rules in .htaccess. After Googling a lot of articles on the Internet, I added the below rules in front of the existing rewrite rules:

# BEGIN RSS Rewrite
<IfModule mod_rewrite.c>
RewriteEngine on
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !FeedBurner    [NC]
RewriteCond %{HTTP_USER_AGENT} !FeedValidator [NC]
RewriteRule ^feed/?([_0-9a-z-]+)?/?$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/gnailuy [R,NC,L]
# END RSS Rewrite

And that's it. Google will automatically add advertisements to your feed.

Special Issue for Mainland Chinese Users

For SOME reason (life is not easy), Mainland Chinese users cannot access the above Feedburner URL. So the above redirection will cause them not being able to subscribe to your feed. To solve this, we can play some tricks to serve Feedburner feed from our own site.

First, create a new folder in your site's root directory. Name this folder carefully so that it won't conflict with Wordpress' old feed path. I chose "googlefeed". Next, create a the following php source file named index.php in this folder:

header("Content-Type: application/xml; charset=utf-8") ;

Then your users will be able to subscribe to your blog following this link: http://gnailuy.com/googlefeed/. If you want all your users to be redirected to this feed service, you can add rewrite rules as above. There is only one small difference. This line

RewriteRule ^feed/?([_0-9a-z-]+)?/?$ http://feeds.feedburner.com/gnailuy [R,NC,L]

should be replaced with

RewriteRule ^feed/?([_0-9a-z-]+)?/?$ googlefeed [R,NC,L]

Then all RSS user will be redirected to http://gnailuy.com/googlefeed/.

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