Syndicated Content & SEO - can they be friends?

Digital PR | SEO
3 Min read

Syndicated Content & SEO – Can They be Friends?

Written by Jane Hunt
@jbh_jane

Syndicated Content & SEO - can they be friends?

What’s the current state of your content marketing?

For some brands, publishing one blog per week on the company website is enough, while others take a multichannel approach that encompasses infographics, videos and podcasts. 

No matter how much you scale your efforts, one of the biggest challenges associated with content marketing will always remain…getting your message in front of the right people at the right time. 

Common tactics for increasing content exposure such as influencer marketing and digital PR are incredibly effective. However, it can take time to deliver meaningful results. 

Enter syndicated content – a top technique for widening your brand’s reach and making new audiences aware of your offering. 

But here’s the kicker:

Some brands are reluctant to adopt syndicated content because they believe it will negatively impact their SEO. Here’s why you don’t necessarily need to worry about the relationship between syndicated content and SEO. 

In fact, they can be friends…

What is content syndication?

Content syndication is the practice of giving websites permission to republish content that originally appeared elsewhere. 

To give an example, you let one of your vendors or suppliers republish a blog that mentions how you benefited from their product or service.

Your content might be edited down or not published in its entirety, but you should still be credited as the author with a link back to your website or the original article.

The other side of the content syndication coin is republishing the work of others on your own website, which can still provide value depending on your marketing goals.

syndicated content example on Fox News

After featuring on Entrepreneur, a site that receives over 18 million visits per month, this article was published as syndicated content on Fox News, which boasts an audience over 19 times the size of Entrepreneur’s.

Is syndicated content duplicate content

Technically, yes, which is bound to cause a wave of panic among content marketers everywhere. 

However, Google doesn’t actually have a duplicate content penalty – it only penalises websites that scrape content or spam the web using duplicate content. 

If Google does find multiple URLs with the same content, its search bots will decide which one to rank and omit the other results. For some, this is as good as a penalty. 

In order to ensure original pieces of work always rank on Google, many authors and publishers ask that syndicated content comes with a canonical link. This tells search engine bots that all SEO equity relating to the content should be attributed to the original version.

Canonical tag on the Moz homepage

The moz.com homepage has a self-referential canonical tag.

What are the pros and cons of content syndication? 

When other websites syndicate your content:

Pros:

  • Form of promotion and driver of traffic to your website
  • Great way to build authority
  • Possibility of gaining quality backlinks

Cons:

  • The third-party website might want to get paid for the privilege of republishing your content
  • You won’t make any revenue for advertising
  • You won’t be able to build a list of subscribers

When you syndicate other websites’ content

Pros:

  • You don’t have to write content yourself
  • You get variety in the content you publish
  • You could establish yourself as a source of excellent information

Cons:

  • The original author might ask for a canonical link, meaning you won’t drive traffic from Google
  • If you don’t ask for permission from the original author, you could run into copyright issues
  • Google might think you’re scraping content or spamming the web

When should you consider content syndication?

The main reason for choosing content syndication is to get your ideas, messaging and brand in front of a wider, bigger audience. So, content syndication could prove beneficial if your marketing objectives include:

  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Establishing yourself as a thought leader
  • Boosting social media shares and followers

This is especially true if you don’t have a large user base and want to make more people aware of your offering. 

Can syndicated content and SEO be friends?

If syndicate content and SEO were friends on Facebook, their relationship status would probably be “It’s Complicated.” They won’t exactly be spending eternity together, but are on good terms and understand each other’s role in the relationship. 

To ensure SEO and syndicated content don’t have an ugly breakup, abide by the following best practices:

  • Publish your content first – Always publish your content first to drive traffic and help Google understand you’re the original.
  • Ask for a link – Require any syndicated content published elsewhere on the web to link back to the original article on your site. 
  • Check canonical tags – Double check that the canonical tag in the head section of the code points to the article on your site. 
  • Absolute URLs – Make sure that links in any content being syndicated are absolute (full URL) not relative (partial URL).

If you want your content to be seen and heard by more people, utilise the digital PR and outreach of an award-winning content marketing agency. Get in touch with us today

Join the Debate...

Post published on Thursday July 11, 2019

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