Are You Losing Out to Content Syndication?
According to Google, 30 percent of the content shared online by businesses and individuals alike is duplicated content. No, that statistic doesn’t mean that 30 percent of all online content is plagiarized. What it means is that there’s a lot of replicated content out there—what we in the industry call “syndicated content.”
What does it mean to syndicate content?
Content creators like yourself can repost their content on different platforms after that content’s initial publication. Much like syndicated TV shows, where the same program is broadcast on multiple networks at any given time (think Judge Judy or Wheel of Fortune), syndicated content is usually first published on a home network—your website—and then handed out to other websites for widespread publication.
Be it a video, blog post, photo or infographic, a content creator can reach out to any third-party source and have their content shared with that new audience. Your source gets a new form of media, and you gains exposure.
This process works as well for blog posts as it does for your advertising strategy. You might run an advertisement through a local news channel. To syndicate that content and get more bang for your production buck, you could a) make deals with other channels, b) run their ad through YouTube, or c) post the ad as its own content on their business’s YouTube channel.
I thought duplicated content was a bad thing. Does syndicated content hurt your SERP rankings?
So, sure, there are pros and cons when it comes to content syndication. On one hand, gaining a broader audience reach is rarely a bad thing. On the other hand, you’re correct: Google’s algorithm notices (and despises) duplicated content.
Even so, utilizing content syndication may boost your SERP ranking to the point where reused content beats out original content on SERPs.
Syndication through a third party generates backlinks. Backlinks are essential to a strong SERP ranking. And if you choose to syndicate your content with an authoritative source, your content’s SERP ranking will benefit from that source’s reputation.
Syndicating content also shares your media across multiple platforms and keeps you from relying on consumers to spread the word about your content.
Syndication has its complexities, of course.
Reach, reputation and backlinks all contribute to content syndication’s strong showing. But is it worth it to share your content with a third-party source?
That depends. (I know, I hate that answer too.)
Google does have duplication penalties in place that might ping your platform if you aren’t credited properly when sharing your work. To mitigate this negative effect, you can canonize your site content to let Google know the content on your platform is original.
Even so, Google may opt to show consumers the third-party content if the algorithms determine it to be appropriate to their given search terms. Google’s team states this possibility when discussing duplicate content. Even as they work to minimize duplicate content, it’s not a perfect science, and the engine is built to work around duplications.
So really—is it WORTH IT?
If you’re not getting the kind of traffic you want on your platform, should you syndicate your content?
When you compare the benefits of organic content generation versus the benefits of syndication, you’ll find there may be an argument to do just that.
When you create organic content, you can:
- Write less formally and better connect with consumers
- Cross industry boundaries with your topics
- Choose your content length based on its convenience
When you syndicate your content, you can:
Don’t lose out to competitors who are already syndicating their content. If you balance your syndication with your production of original work, you’ll see traffic benefits for your efforts.
Image attribution: BillionPhotos.com – stock.adobe.com