How Does Content Syndication Impact SEO?
Intent-led content syndication is a proven way to increase brand exposure and quality leads. However, on the other hand, some marketers fear its ramifications on website SEO.
Does Content Syndication Affect SEO?
This question throws some marketers for a loop. They’ve been operating under the assumption that content syndication factors into Google’s search algorithm to possibly uplift ranking of websites with malicious intent.
However, results seem to show that syndication doesn’t influence SEO. Here’s how it really plays out.
Problem 1: Penalty on Duplicate Content
The main concern for concern when it comes to content syndication is duplicate content. Will Google penalize for publishing other content on your own website? Does it hurt your SEO?
Let’s hear what Google has to say on this dilemma:
“If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.”
So, there you go. The syndicated content penalty is only a marketing myth. Google doesn’t penalize websites on duplicate content. At least, not the way you assumed it to be.
Problem 2: Outranking Original Content
Consider this case. You create highly relevant content after studying buyer intent signals. Later, you syndicate it to an authorized website, and they’ve agreed to include a rel=canonical tag in the original piece.
But then you see the syndicated content appearing in a search result, outranking your original content. This isn’t what you hoped for! You want your intent-led content to appear on top of SERP and showcase its information to a would-be buyer.
Fret not. You can still dodge a bullet with a few pointers:
Ask your syndication partner to:
- Link back to original URL.
- Include a statement such as “[Article Title] originally appeared on [Original Site Name + URL].”
- Place a no-index tag on the syndicated page where content resides.
Pretty simple, right?
And recently, Google began considering this issue seriously. Now, it updates search rankings to favor original articles.
“While we typically show the latest and most comprehensive version of a story in news results, we’ve made changes to our products globally to highlight articles that we identify as significant original reporting. Such articles may stay in a highly visible position longer,” says Google’s VP of News Richard Gingras in his blog post.
Problem 3: Backlinks Kill Your Rankings
No doubt, certain links get your website downgraded algorithmically, or worse, you may receive a more serious response from Google.
Does content syndication put you in such trouble? Not if you avoid scalable link schemes.
Make sure you partner with an authentic intent-led content syndication vendor and get links from their safe websites.
What if you’re working with multiple vendors? Worry not, we’ve got a plan! Mark your backlinks with a “Nofollow” tag. This ensures you won’t get penalized for backlinks, especially if you’re doing a paid syndication.
And, if you’re lucky enough, and some vendors reach out to you to republish your content, feel free to ask for a “Dofollow” link.
Problem 4: Stolen Content Robs Your View
Ours is an imperfect world. You might have heard of or experienced webmasters (also bots) scraping others’ content to publish it on their websites.
With intent-driven content marketing hotter than ever, and webmasters desperate to rank their sites, they may choose to copy your good work instead of writing their own.
Such syndicated content doesn’t have your permission and eventually ends up harming your brand reputation.
What to do if someone steals your website content?
- Step 1: Reach out to them and get a backlink or canonical URL.
- Step 2: If no results, ask them to remove your content stating a copyright issue.
- Step 3: If they don’t agree or respond to the above steps, report this to their hosting provider. This step can get them suspended, so they’re likely to comply.
- Step 4: If all else fails, file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) report by contacting a lawyer.
Although the last option might cost you more, it’s worth considering if stolen content is outranking your site or damaging your online presence.
Take These Steps to Avoid SEO and Content Conflict
Many marketers think of content syndication as a double-edged sword, but we believe this fear is baseless. As we explained here, you can avoid SEO-related syndication conflict with a little workaround and planning.
If you’re having trouble understanding intent-led content syndication, educate yourself with this blog – “Intent Makes B2B Content Syndication a Powerful Strategic Prospecting Tool.”