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Nowadays, website owners work hard to set their business apart from the rest of the crowd. One of the best ways to do so is by creating original, high-quality content.
When the content you create is properly optimized, especially for SEO, it will help you boost the visibility of your business, expand your reach, and improve your bottom line.
But common issues website owners are usually faced with include:
- Lack of content for their website
- Lack of reach for their content
And even though optimizing for SEO is excellent for driving long-term results and improving website traffic, your efforts shouldn’t end there.
Instead, you should find other ways that will allow you to both maximize the power of the existing content and reach a wider audience. That’s where content syndication enters the scene.
What is content syndication?
Simply put, content syndication refers to republishing your already-existing content on various websites and platforms in an attempt to reach a larger audience.
According to Search Engine Journal, content syndication may include publishing content in its entirety, editing and republishing content or simply publishing excerpts of already-existing content.
By republishing your content on other websites and platforms, you can easily attract the attention of a larger audience, leading them back to your website.
Naturally, this benefits both parties involved, as it provides the website/platform you’re publishing on with fresh content while at the same time bringing a new audience to your site.
Content syndication shouldn’t be mistaken for content repurposing or guest posting
Even though all of these three things may sound quite similar, the fact of the matter is that they’re quite different.
So, let’s make things a bit clearer:
- Guest posting – refers to creating a fresh, original piece of content for a third party, and then backlinking it to your website.
- Content repurposing – refers to changing the format of your existing content, with the goal of breathing new life into it. Content repurposing can also refer to changing your existing content so that it matches the third-party’s platform and audience.
- Content syndication – refers to republishing the exact copy of your existing piece of content at a third-party website/platform. So, content syndication is basically just copy/pasting your existing content to a new location, with a backlink leading directly to the source.
How much does content syndication impact SEO?
Taking everything we’ve discussed above into account, it becomes quite clear that content syndication is closely-related to duplicated content.
That being said, the best SEO companies advise that you need to be careful when syndicating content so as not to end up on Google’s naughty list.
What this means is that you need to understand that Google will always prioritize the version of your content that matches the users’ search the best.
So, in short, Google can choose to prioritize the version that may or may not be the version you’d prefer.
Luckily, even though Google doesn’t favour duplicated content, syndicated content is not penalized – unless it’s used in a manipulative and malicious way.
So, if you’re duplicating your content in an attempt to manipulate search engine results, it won’t be treated by Google the same way syndicated content will.
Knowing this, it’s easy to see that syndicating your content may not always be the best strategy, as you run the risk of another website outranking your own.
But does that mean you shouldn’t syndicate content? No. It simply means that you need to learn how to do it properly.
That’s why the best way to syndicate content is to give the third-party permission to use your content, with the proper attributions leading back to both the author and the original source.
Content syndication – best practices
Now that you know what content syndication is and how it can potentially affect your SEO efforts, here are just some of the best practices you should consider if you decide to proceed with implementing this strategy:
- Don’t give the third party all the credit – especially SEO-wise
Just like we’ve mentioned previously, one of the biggest concerns about content syndication is that the third party that uses your syndicated content can potentially rank higher than you.
Naturally, no business would want to see this happen, so you should proceed with caution.
The best way to mitigate this issue is to make an agreement with the third party to add a rel=canonical tag that will point back to the original source of the content.
That way, the audience that comes across your content can easily follow the tag and end up on your website as well, contributing to your organic traffic.
- Know who you’re publishing with
Ensuring that you’ve found the right partner is crucial for any relationship, this one not being any different. This will be particularly important if you’re looking to expand your audience.
You can easily find numerous outlets looking for guest blog posts, but as we’ve mentioned earlier, guest posting is not really the same as content syndication.
That’s why you need to be absolutely clear with your intent and emphasize to your publishing partner that you’re specifically looking for a content syndication partnership and not just guest posting opportunities.
- Diversify the platforms you’re syndicating on
When talking about content syndication, do know that you’re not only limited to other websites. You can also choose to syndicate your content on other outlets, which include – but are not limited to:
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a great platform for content syndication is it provides a perfect environment to share your expertise and use your already-existing reach. What’s even better is the fact that LinkedIn will show up on SERPs, but the chances of it outranking your website for the same type of content are next to none.
- Medium – Medium is another online publishing platform that’s great for content syndication. Since they collect content and send personalized recommendations to subscribers based on their previously-read articles, it can be a great outlet for expanding your reach and boosting your visibility. What’s even better about Medium is that it offers the chance to automatically post your blog entries to your profile.
- Quora – Quora can also be a great place to share your content, particularly when only talking about excerpts. For best results, simply browse Quora for questions related to your content and provide the answers by using your own excerpts – naturally, linking back to your website.
- Reddit – Reddit is arguably one of the most diverse platforms on the internet. With a plethora of different subreddits, it offers any content creator a chance to reach out to and connect with the audience. And unlike Quora, Reddit is quite unfiltered and uncensored, which makes it extremely popular with the crowd.
Of course, you will need to test some – or all – of these platforms until you manage to find the right fit. The best choice will be the platforms that offer the best return for your time investment, as in the world of content creators, time really is money.
Do keep in mind that not every one of these platforms will work for you personally, and that’s entirely okay.
Create the perfect pitch
Since some of the best sites for content syndication receive tons of requests on a regular basis, you need to make sure that your request ends up among the ones that are chosen.
That’s why you’ll need to work on your pitch and make sure to send out only your best content in order to ensure that you stand out from the crowd.
Additionally, always read the site’s guidelines carefully and thoroughly, and create a pitch that will perfectly match what the site’s looking for.
How to syndicate content from other outlets
If, on the other hand, you’re looking to syndicate content from other outlets to your website, here are just some of the pointers:
- Use WordPress
WordPress is a great platform that offers a plethora of handy plugins you can use when syndicating content. There are plugins that will enable you to automatically syndicate content from other websites to your blog, which will significantly save you time.
The best part is that you can add as many websites as you want and even set up different intervals for when the content will be published.
- Syndicate content manually
If WordPress plugins don’t seem to be working for you, do know that you can always syndicate content manually. However, this process can become quite time-consuming, which is why not many people choose to rely on it.
Content syndication can be a great solution, particularly for businesses that are looking to expand their reach, as well as websites that are in need of fresh content to publish.
Even though mastering content syndication is not easy, it can be achieved by ensuring that you implement proper tags that will lead Google to the original piece of content and its source.
So, if you make sure you do your research and carefully approach the process of content syndications, you really shouldn’t experience any negative SEO side effects.
Christopher is a Digital Marketing Specialist, Project Manager and Editor at Find Digital Agency and a passionate blogger. He is a dedicated and experienced author who pays particular attention to quality research and details.
Focused on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels, he starts the day scrolling his digest on new digital trends while sipping a cup of coffee. In his free time, Christopher plays drums and Magic: the Gathering.