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What is content syndication in SEO and what are the benefits?

Read Time 14 mins | Written by: Gill Fernley

Content syndication is growing in popularity as a way to get more eyes on your content. But is it right for you?

Before we dig deep into how to syndicate content, or even if you should, let’s start with the question of what is content syndication in SEO?

Table of contents

  1. What is content syndication in SEO?
  2. How does content syndication work and what are the benefits?
  3. Where to syndicate your content
  4. Content syndication networks
    i. Free syndication networks
    1. Medium
    2. LinkedIn
    3. Slideshare
    4. YouTube
    5. SoundCloud
    ii. Paid-for syndication networks
    1. Taboola
    2. Outbrain
    3. Zemanta
  5. How to do content syndication for SEO
  6. Takeaway

What is content syndication in SEO?

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If you've ever wondered what does content syndication mean, then content syndication is simply having your original post republished, exactly as you wrote it, on third-party websites, with a link back from their site to yours. As a way to get more eyes on your content, it can be an important part of a company’s content marketing strategy.

While that sounds straightforward, there are some things to think about to ensure you use this strategy properly and make sure you aren’t damaging all that careful SEO work you’ve done on your website.

You’ve probably heard that search engines don’t like duplicate content and if you’re letting other sites republish your content, then that is duplicate content. Isn’t it? Well, yes. And no.

Search engines want to give their users the absolute best results they can, and they don’t want their results to show a long list of identical articles. To prevent this, they look for the original copy of the article, or the one with the most domain authority, keep that in the search engine listings, and remove all other copies.

That sounds quite horrifying. What if they remove your website’s original post from the listings? Surely, content syndication can’t be good for you?

The thing is, the search engines are perfectly aware of content syndication. They know what it is and why people use it, and they don’t penalise properly syndicated content.

They will still only keep one copy in the search engine listings, but if you do your content syndication in the right way, that copy will be yours! And that really is good for your SEO efforts.

How does content syndication work and what are the benefits?

If you’re using guest posting as part of your content marketing strategy, then you have to write fresh new content regularly to keep that up and have an impact. If you’re doing it yourself, along with writing for your own blog, and doing everything else you need to do to run a business, that can add up to burnout really quickly.

With content syndication, you just write your blog as you normally would, and then syndicate that, without having to write anything new.

It’s a great time-saver, and you can still get great results. You get to use the exact same content multiple times.

What every business wants is targeted, interested traffic coming to their website, and most syndicators will provide a link back to your site when they post your content, giving you new traffic that might not have found your site otherwise.

Not only is that great for traffic, you also get precious backlinks to your website from sites with good domain authority and that works wonders for your SEO. BackLinko has a great article on getting more backlinks if that’s a topic you want to explore further.

If you can get a link back to your lead magnet from your syndicated article, you could get targeted newsletter sign-ups too. And the same applies to links that go to your sales page.

Who doesn’t love more organic, targeted traffic, more brand awareness, more newsletter sign-ups and more sales?

Where to syndicate your content

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A simple Google search will find you sites that take syndicated content in your area of expertise:

  1. Search: “republished with permission,” “originally appeared on,” or “originally published in” + your topic.
  2. Create a list of quality sites with good domain authority in your area.
  3. Start pitching!

You can also check out ThemeCircle’s list of sites that accept guest posts. While a guest post isn’t the same as syndicated content, many sites accept both, so it’s worth trying these sites too.

Content syndication networks

As well as reaching out to other sites to ask them to use your content, there are content syndication networks that you can use.

Free syndication networks

These syndication networks are open-access publishing platforms that you can use freely to boost your content marketing:

1. Medium

An easy and intuitive CMS, simply import your article onto the Medium publishing platform and you’re done! It’s then visible to its 85-100 million active users each month in a range of industries.

2. LinkedIn

If you market to other businesses, then LinkedIn is the place to be. To get your content onto LinkedIn, just click ‘Write an Article’, and paste your copy in. Every time you write an article, LinkedIn will send a notification to your network to let them know.

3. Slideshare

Content syndication isn’t just for blog posts and articles. You can also post videos, PowerPoint presentations, infographics and documents on Slideshare.

4. YouTube

Got video? YouTube is a great place to share your content. You get great analytics and you may be able to add an income stream with ads.

5. SoundCloud

Syndicate your podcast or other audio here, with a free option or a paid subscription that gives you analytics and more features.

Paid-for syndication networks

With paid syndication sites, you pay per click, as you do with Google ads. These sites do syndicate your content widely, but you risk appearing alongside highly controversial content that you wouldn’t want to be associated with your brand, and some sites can make your content look like spam.

Paid-for syndication sites include:

  1. Taboola
  2. Outbrain
  3. Zemanta

How to do content syndication for SEO

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There are a few ways to do content syndication:

1. Make a strategy: Make sure this strategy fits into your overall content marketing and SEO strategy and schedule it in, covering aims and objectives, just like you would any other part of your content marketing.

2. Choose sites well: Aim only for on-topic, quality sites with good domain authority that will reflect well on you. Look for sites that will give you a rel=canonical tag. What this does is tell the search engines that yours is the original (or canonical) copy. Even better if they will also use the NoIndex tag, which tells the search engines not to index their copy of your post. That means that your website is the only one indexed in the search engines and you get all that juicy organic traffic.

3. Post on your site first: Take your time and post your content on your site first. Wait until the search engines have crawled your site and indexed your new content (perhaps around a week) before offering your content for syndication. That way, your content is already indexed as the original copy, before it is reposted anywhere else.

4. Keep a list of partner sites: Finding good syndication partners can take time, so build up a quality list of sites that you can regularly send your content to for the most impact.

Takeaway

Content syndication can be a great way to expand your reach, build brand awareness, increase traffic and build domain authority.

Done properly to show your content as the canonical copy, with a NoIndex link, you’ll find content syndication can have a positive impact on your SEO.

✏️If you're looking for quality content to underpin your marketing campaign, hire a professional content writing service with Copify.


Header image: Sebastian Pandelache

Embedded images: Christin Hume, Austin Distel, Crew

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Gill Fernley

The director of her own copywriting firm, Gill writes B2B and B2C content for SMEs and digital marketing agencies. She has a background in performing arts and writes conversational, direct sales copy for businesses on a range of topics. She’s also a keen writer of chick lit.