Summary of Search: Who is Syndicating Who? What to know about syndicating your blog.

Google released a new Panda 4.1 update this month and unique, relevant content and overall site quality has never been more vital. Syndication actually plays a large part in what Google sees as duplicate content. Done correctly, syndication can mean new visitors, brand exposure, social shares, and links to your site (which are seen as “Votes” by Google). When implemented poorly, another site may look to Google like the authoritative source for your content – and your site is seen as a spammy “scraper” site.

Why does it matter?
Google prefers to show a piece of content only once in the top ten results. When Google finds the same content in two places on the internet, it will typically show the most authoritative site in the higher position, and other sites on page 2 or 3 (or 20). But a site with more authority doesn’t necessarily deserve credit for all content it posts.

Canonical tag
A few years ago, Google helped create the “canonical tag” to provide authors a chance to specify the original source for articles that could be syndicated, scraped, or otherwise end up all over the web. It’s a tag that can be placed on other websites, but point back to yours.

This could work well, but many larger sites either
1. cannot (will not) accept a canonical tag pointing back to your website – or
2. They insert their own canonical tag pointing to their own site! What does Google do when two canonical tags are encountered for the same content? Revert back to looking at authority, and the smaller site loses out. If using or LinkedIn to syndicate your content, your own site/blog is likely to lose the authority test!

Hyper Dog Media Monthly Summary of Search October 2014Syndication used to be much easier. In the “old days”, the deal was that if you gave my site unique content, I gave you a link. In 2013, you could still get the link but it might be nofollow. In 2014, the deal is that you probably do not even get the canonical tag.

What to do?
Syndicating your content can provide amazing exposure for your business. Don’t walk away from syndication, but certainly use it in a way that will not harm your own rankings.

1. Ask about policies with the canonical tag
Some sites, such as and do indeed want to place a canonical tag pointing to their own URL as the one true source of the content.

2. Post unique summaries on syndication sites
Everyone wants unique content, so give it to ’em. Just, do it in summarized form. Post the long, full version of your article on your own website, with a summary or intro on the syndication websites. Both locations should have canonical tags and unique content. In this case, might have a canonical tag pointing to it’s own page but it will be the only place that unique content is located.

PSST! Need a Free Link?
Get a free link for your agency: Would you like our monthly take on the changing world of SEO delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to the Hyper Dog Media SEO Newsletter HERE! When you subscribe, each newsletter will contain a link idea for your business!

Like it? Share it!