How to Syndicate Content Without Getting Spanked by Google
Really good content isn’t easy to create. That’s why many companies jealously guard the blogs they write, keeping those blogs for their own website instead of sharing through guest blogging opportunities. After all, lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place, right? What are the chances you could create another killer blog on a similar subject?
“So, why can’t you just post the same blog to your own blog?” you ask. And that’s what we’re here to address.
Ix-Nay on the Duplicate Content
See, Google hates duplicate content. The idea behind their incredible and well-documented aversion to duplicate content is that searchers should be able to find a wide variety of websites regarding a particular topic. If you found the same thing over and over every time you searched something, you’d probably get pretty frustrated, too.
In order to create a better search experience for everyone, Google started issuing spankings to websites that practiced content duplication. Whether the duplication was from plagiarism or just innocent sharing, websites were punished all the same. Recovery after a slap from Google isn’t easy.
But What About…
I can already hear your next question. “What about the websites that do nothing but syndicate content?”
Yes, there are several websites out there that syndicate content, with one of the most popular being LinkedIn. Can you not publish a LinkedIn article to your own company website? Well… Yes, of course you can. You just have to follow a certain set of rules to avoid the inevitable spanking.
First, before you start researching all the rules that make syndication A-OK for you, take some time to ask yourself why you want to repost blogs. Did you share some form of thought leadership that belongs on your site? Good. Go for it. Do you like someone else’s blog better than your own and want your site to get credit for it? Stop right there.
Never syndicate someone else’s content without first asking permission. They may not want their content floating around and possibly putting their company at risk for a spanking from Google.
Now, with the most basic of rules set, how can you syndicate content with the purest of intentions? Here are the steps.
Start your blog with a quick recap of what you contributed somewhere else. Say something along the lines of, “I recently wrote a blog about the most awesome thing ever and this company published it.” Then, link to the original blog. This accomplishes two things. First, you get a little bit of instant credibility, especially if the blog that published your work is respected within your industry. Second, you get those all-important backlinks, which give your site even more credibility in Google’s eyes.
If you really, really want to publish the whole article somewhere else without removing it from your site, you can add a rel=canonical tag and point back to your original blog. This lets Google know the work is syndicated and that you’re the author. This means your original copy will be given preference in searches instead of spanked.
You can also use the NoIndex tag to tell Google not to index the syndicated copy. You’ll still get the benefits of the links, which again helps your site in search results. If you have a nice relationship with the blog hosting your work, you can ask that they apply the tags so that your own version can be indexed.
And now you’re ready to start syndicating content, though we’d suggest holding back on reposting everything you’ve ever written. Be selective when posting copies. For one thing, you don’t want to overwhelm people. For another—and possibly even more important in the grand scheme of things—reason, we never know when Google will change its mind. What’s good today might not be good tomorrow. A few select syndicated blogs will be easier to handle than pulling down your entire body of work.
A great content strategy can really boost your business. If you need some help getting started or avoiding the common mistakes, we’re always here to help.