syndicating-web-content

To Syndicate or Not to Syndicate, That is the Question

If you are a Blogger or a Real Estate Agent, then you are very likely familair with the term “Syndication”.  If you are not familiar with the concept, here’s a quick definition.

Web Syndication – Web syndication is a form of syndication in which website material is made available to multiple other sites. Most commonly, web syndication refers to making web feeds available from a site in order to provide other people with a summary or update of the website’s recently added content (for example, the latest news or forum posts). The term can also be used to describe other kinds of licensing website content so that other websites can use it. (Source: Wikipedia)

Based on that definition it sounds like syndicating your content should be a no brainer right? Not always. The main benefit of syndicating your content is that you get more people to view what you’ve created. The issue is how does it impact your websites seo?

Pro’s of Syndicating your Website Content

  • More people read or see your material.
  • That’s about all the benefit you get with Web Syndication.

Con’s of Syndicating your Website Content

  • Potentially negative impact on your SEO Value
  • You might not be seen as the original source of the content

Let’s talk about how this hurts your SEO aka Search Engine Optimization. Without getting to much in the Science of SEO, here are the basics.

Your Website

Let’s say you have your website that hasn’t had the chance to become a prominent site on the internet yet. You aren’t on page one for your main keyword phrases which is how people would naturally find you. You might not have that much content on your website and Google’s Search Bot might not visit your site that frequently, maybe once a week or so. This means that Google isn’t always immediately aware of your newest article or blog post.

The Syndicated Website

Now let’s talk about the site that you might syndicate too. Maybe it’s a big Website that has a lot of branding and might be visited by the search engines every single day, maybe even several times per hour. Google tends to increase it’s visits to websites that have consistent quality content added to it. That quality content might be yours but since the site that is displaying your content has been visited first, they often become the one that ranks well in the search engines. You just helped them out big time.

The Impact of Syndication

Wouldn’t it be a shame if you worked so hard to create your article and Google might not even give you credit for it? It’s not always clear who the original source might be. You might be thinking that your information is in the article so you must be the source. The issue is that most links found in your article or post on the syndicated site would be “NO FOLLOWED”. This means that the search engine won’t follow the link and most often will overlook it.

Also what happens if you completely depend on the larger site to provide you with Online Leads or Links to your site? If your business model is dependent on them and they change their terms of use how would that impact your business?

Why Should I care about SEO?

The ultimate goal of most website owners is to be seen as a valuable source on the internet. If you are in the Real Estate industry, then you’d most likely want to get to page one of the search engines so you can generate leads.

How to Syndicate without hurting your SEO?

There is a way to do Syndication without hurting your SEO. But it does require some additional work on your part.

  • Google Webmasters Tools – If you haven’t already signed up for this service then do it now. There is a feature called “Fetch as Google” from their yo would basically submit the link to your newly created article or post and Google will be made aware of it faster. It’s like saying “Hey Google, Check this out”. This will help you to be seen as the source of your original content. Most people unfortunately don’t do this part.
  • Make sure to have a good link structure on your website. Link to other posts of value in your site so people can continue reading your content. This will help you raise your SEO Value.
  • Get Social. Make sure you share your newly created article or post on all the major social networks. A quick excerpt and image on Google+, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn should do the trick. If there are other places you are active on then share there as well. This will help you gain more views, links and to be seen as the original source of your content.
  • Email your content to your database. This is another great way to develop a large following and to keep people coming back for more.

In Conclusion

The original question to this post was if Syndicating is good or bad for your website. The answer is Yes and No to both. It’s bad if you aren’t willing to do what’s needed to be seen as the original source. If you take the steps I highlighted above then Syndication might work for you. Otherwise you are hurting your websites SEO value.

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