Content syndication has been a common practice for many business blogs because it helps save on a little bit of time while still putting out great content. However, you have to keep particular SEO best practices in mind if you want your syndicated content to do as well as your other, original content. In other words, while syndicating your already published content may seem easy, the SEO isn’t necessarily.
A Quick Recap: How Content Syndication Works
For those who are unfamiliar, syndicated content is typically a piece of content that you have already published on your website, and then you offer it to another third-party website for re-publication. You can’t do this too often because it could start to look like duplicate content (a big SEO mistake), but every once and a while this is a great tactic for a few different reasons:
- It saves you time because you do not have to write a new, unique article to be published somewhere else on the web.
- You should always get a link back to where your content was originally published. This means that you are still getting credit for your work and still getting an SEO benefit (discussed in detail in the next section).
- Others can share and comment on your article, which helps bring you visibility and get your content in front of new readers.
Many websites do this by way of RSS feed to websites that generally focus on syndicated content. When you give a website permission to your feed, that website can then decide if they want to syndicate what you wrote that day or week. If you choose not to go the RSS feed route, you can simply reach out on your own to see if editors are interested.
It’s also important to remember that content syndication is best if you already have a well-established blog. Always focus on your own website first. Once you have a good rhythm going with your writers and style, then syndication is a good option.
How to Create a Proper SEO Strategy With Content Syndication
So here is where many companies tend to falter. Because content syndication seems so great and so simple, marketers forget about some of the SEO implications. While it’s true that you’re doing a great thing for your back linking and visibility, there are two major SEO related things to keep in mind:
- You could lose out on clicks if you’re not careful.
If you are publishing your content onto a website, chances are you want that website to be more authoritative than you so that you get the extra visibility you want. While this is great, it’s not going to be great forever. If a site is more authoritative than you, it will probably outrank you for your own content. This means that the third-party site would get all of the traffic over your site. Again, this is kind of the goal, but it shouldn’t be happening forever.
Once you have earned up a little bit of visibility, brand awareness, and SEO stamina through your syndication efforts, go through and actually remove your RSS feed or talk with an editor about no longer syndicating content. If you let it go on forever you could lose clicks that would have gone to you. In general, websites and editors who are syndicating your content should expect this, so don’t be like many companies and forget!
It’s also worth noting, however, that some companies can benefit from keeping their content syndicated. It all depends on your company and your syndication partnership. Learn more about this idea here.
- Forgetting to let Google know the source of your content could cause penalties.
As discussed above briefly, duplicate content is an issue. If you have too many websites syndicating your content then Google may see that as duplicate content and penalize you. You would be more likely to be penalized than the site that published your content because you would be the site where Google sees a huge influx of links. This means not only are you at risk for a duplicate content penalty, but potentially even affected by a Penguin update.
However, it is important to note that Google does not have a problem with syndicated content. There are SEO best practices yes, but Google explained themselves:
“Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.”
So what can you do to avoid any confusion? Make sure that Google always knows the source of your content. You can do this by including internal links within the article, and even more so by using canonical tags. You can learn more about how to use canonical tags here.
In the end, content syndication really is easy, even when talking about SEO, you just have to know what to watch out for and be careful. Once you know these two SEO problems that can occur, it’s very easy to avoid them.
Do you have any extra tips about content syndication and your SEO strategy? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.