The age-old philosophical question asks, “If a tree falls in a forest and nobody’s around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Have you ever wondered the same thing about the content you produce? All too often, online marketers and publishers craft engaging, thoroughly researched content for their websites and blogs, but limited visibility leads to minimal engagement and a low return on investment.
One way to maximize the reach of your online marketing efforts is to leverage content syndication networks.
What is content syndication?
Content syndication is the process of posting and promoting original web content such as articles, blogs and videos on third-party sites. Quality content syndication networks often have large, established audiences and high domain authority. When you promote your content on these platforms, you can increase your visibility and brand credibility, as well as improve your SEO.
Keep in mind that content syndication is different than guest blogging, which typically requires unique content exclusive to one site. Content syndication is more scalable than guest blogging, as it allows you to repurpose the same high-quality content on multiple platforms. In addition to long-form articles and blogs, syndicated content can also include videos, slideshares and infographics.
The most obvious indicator that a piece of content has been syndicated is a message displayed at the top of or next to it, such as “This article originally appeared on …” with a link to the original post.
Content syndication and SEO
Content syndication has measurable SEO benefits, such as generating authoritative backlinks and boosting domain authority. However, content syndication also poses a number of SEO risks, including duplicate content penalties and decreased search engine rankings.
According to Google, “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.”
This means that by posting your content on other sites, you run the risk of a syndication platform outranking you, burying your native post.
There are a few ways to address these risks and reap the SEO benefits of syndicated content:
- Request that the syndication site place a “rel=canonical” tag on the page that links Google to the content on your website . This tells the search engine that your website is the original source of the content, which helps it decide which version to show in search results. Using this tag also ensures that the original URL gets credit for all of the links, content metrics and “ranking power” applied to the “copy,” or syndicated version, of the page.
- Have the syndication site implement a “meta noindex” tag on its page so search engines can’t index it at all. This keeps the “copy” of the page from showing up in search results altogether. However, with the “noindex” tag, it’s possible that much of the ranking power of the syndicated version will be passed on to sites other than yours. For this reason, the “rel=canonical” tag tends to be the preferred solution.
Content syndication networks
It is important to identify your business goals for syndication in order to determine which networks are the best fit for your content. Understanding each platform will also help you decide how to most effectively format your repurposed content.
- Inbound.org: Inbound.org features curated content focused on online and inbound marketing. Users can browse content by channel for niche topics and subscribe to daily digests of related content. The community allows contributors to ask questions, start discussions, and post existing articles that link to their native sites.
- Medium: Medium provides a platform to directly publish content, photos, audio and video. Users can comment on and discuss the content, and the platform’s algorithm determines which content is most relevant to each user. Like Inbound.org, Medium also offers a personalized daily digest of relevant content. The network is designed for and actively promotes user engagement, and it also offers native paid distribution and tracks campaign performance.
- SlideShare: SlideShare is a LinkedIn affiliate network that hosts multidisciplinary professional content. Users can upload expert presentations and slideshows that inform and educate. The majority of site visitors come from targeted search, ensuring a captive audience for marketers.
- Outbrain: Outbrain is a content discovery and marketing platform that recommends your content on large online media properties such as CNN, People and ESPN. With a monthly global audience of 557 million, Outbrain focuses on helping brands understand and reach target audiences while tracking engagement and driving revenue.
- Taboola: Taboola is an advanced content discovery platform that provides native placements on top sites such as NBC, Fox Sports and USA Today. Its predictive technology helps marketers and publishers distribute content, engage users and monetize traffic. Taboola delivers personalized content to one billion users every month.
- Facebook Business: Facebook Business promotes “a business tool for every business goal” and offers both paid and free resources to help businesses and organizations raise awareness, drive demand and boost sales. Content opportunities include paid ads, free and sponsored posts, and tools to target and track audience engagement.
- LinkedIn: LinkedIn focuses on assisting businesses with building their brands and generating leads. The platform offers paid and free content distribution opportunities. Paid syndication includes sponsored content and InMail, as well as dynamic display ads.
Looking to increase organic traffic and build brand awareness by leveraging content syndication networks? Learn how OneSpace’s team of expert copywriters can help you complete high-volume content projects quickly and at scale.