You know that feeling when you’ve come up with an awesome piece of content? You want as many people as possible to see it … and some websites are willing to publish a copy of it even if it has already been published elsewhere. That is content syndication.
A lot of marketers, however, worry about giving away their content to another site. Some have heard whispers about duplicate content penalties. Is syndication really a good idea?
The truth is, there is no evidence that Google actively penalizes sites for duplicate content. It can, however, confuse search engines. Google doesn’t want to display the same exact content at multiple URLs on a SERP, so it has to pick which one is the original or the best. Syndicating content well means helping search engines prioritize the copies.
When content syndication is done well, your brand benefits from greater exposure, secondary publishers benefit from your great content, and Google benefits from clear direction for its search results.
If your content is published on multiple venues, more people will see it. That leads to some valuable benefits:
Syndicated content can give your brand a boost, for sure, but it’s not always a good thing. Don’t syndicate when:
All opportunities are not created equal. Syndicating content is about expanding your brand, growing your audience, and building links that help—not damage—your SEO.
To get the maximum SEO benefit from content syndication, there are a few technical steps you should follow:
To prevent any duplicate content concerns with search engines, links to the original source help considerably. Use of rel-canonical is the only guaranteed tool to prevent duplicate content red flags, but in our experience, most publishers will not agree to point the rel-canonical to the original content without payment.
Search engines understand that most duplicate content on the web is not spammy, so taking a little extra care to syndicate your work the right way will keep you free and clear from penalties and ranking confusion.
When done well, content syndication can expand your brand and boost your SEO. For full details on how to publish syndicated content on the web—and a very handy checklist—check out the latest addition to our SEO Best Practices Series: Content Syndication and SEO.