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minute read
November 22, 2019

How To Ensure Content Syndication Doesn't Hurt Your SEO

Written by
David Scott

If you're investing in content creation, you need to invest in content promotion. Without a solid promotion strategy, your target audience will never even see it.

Multi-channel content syndication will get your content in front of key decision-makers within your target accounts. You can focus on the channels your audience is most active on and see results that will massively increase the ROI of your content.

However, content syndication isn't simple.

You need to know about technicalities that could hurt your brand down the line.

In this guide, we'll show you how to ensure your content syndication efforts never negatively affect your website SEO and ensure you see positive ROI on your campaigns.

If you get it right, content syndication is a powerful way to drive leads and educate prospects on why your solution is right for them.

Why Use Content Syndication?

If you're reading this, it's likely that you already know about the benefits of content syndication.

We won't run you through all the benefits that you may have already read in our complete guide to content syndication, but we'll quickly recap a few of them.

You'll be able to increase the ROI of your content massively.

When you syndicate content, you (or your content syndication provider) will ensure that your content gets seen by decision-makers in accounts that you're targeting.

Whether your content is a blog post, whitepaper, podcast, webinar, or other types of content, content syndication means that it'll receive more engagement and help drive more leads into your pipeline.

What are the SEO Downsides of Content Syndication?

There are potential downsides to content syndication. If your campaigns aren't technically sound, or you're posting in the wrong places, you might see SEO penalties hit your website, which can lead to lower traffic.

Let's take a look at some of the potential downsides (and then we'll show you how to avoid them).

1. Being Flagged for Duplicate Content

If you're re-publishing your content across multiple websites and blogs as part of your promotion strategy, you risk being flagged for duplicate content.

What does that mean in plain English?

Well, in Google's own words, you can't post duplicate content if the intent is to "win more traffic".

Unfortunately, if you're cross-posting your content to multiple sites it's quite likely that this is the case. If detected, you risk having your site penalized in search rankings, or even having your site completely removed from Google's index.

You will be able to identify this within Google Search Console, and they'll glad pages that have duplicate content issues. If you see this, you can either reach out to your syndication partners and ask for them to add the correct meta tags (we'll get to what these are shortly) or add the tags to your content.

Duplicate Content risks of content syndication
Google Search Console will warn you about duplicate content issues

When running your content syndication campaigns you need to ensure that you don't get flagged for duplicate content, as the SEO effects can be devastating if you rely on organic traffic.

2. Outranking Your Own Content

Another SEO risk of content syndication and cross-posting your content is that you outrank the content on your own website.

Yes, that's possible (and as annoying as it sounds!)...

If you post your content onto a website with high domain authority (it's worth noting that Google doesn't officially say that website authority is a ranking factor), there's a chance it rises in the rankings and outranks your original piece of content.

If a site outranks you, it means they're getting the benefits of the traffic to your article. You won't be able to implement any lead generation forms or call-to-actions on your content on the third-party site. Instead, you'll need to hope that someone navigates from that site to yours.

While you may see some benefits to your content being shared on a well-known and popular site, it's rarely worth losing out on traffic that you would otherwise have.

How to Avoid SEO Penalties when Syndicating Content

If you want to benefit from content syndication and avoid adverse SEO effects, these tips will help.

Let's jump into them.

1. Use The Appropriate Meta Tags

If you're cross-posting your content onto other sites, you'll want to ensure the syndicated content has the right meta tags applied.

While this might sound technical, in reality, it's straightforward.

You apply the "rel=canonical" to the page you're syndicating your content to, and also add in the link to your originally posted content. What the rel=canonical tag does is show the source of the material to search engines.

apply the rel=canonical tag
The rel=canonical tag applied to one of our resources

When a page has the appropriately used canonical tag it won't outrank you as search engines recognize that your page is the 'master copy' of the content, if you will.

Another tag you can apply to the page you're syndicating your content to is the noindex tag. Thenoindex tag will prevent the page where your content is posted from being indexed at all.

2. Choose High Authority Syndication Partners

You need to work with syndication partners who will complement your brand.

Posting on low-quality sites won't attract the right audience.

You'll need to syndicate your content via authoritative sites that your ideal customer reads and trusts.

If you can't find any relevant sites to syndicate to, don't worry. You can still massively increase the reach of your content by sending your content directly to leads and syndicating your content using built-in publisher tools in many social networks.

3. Syndicate Within Social Networks

If you're unable or don't have the time to build the partnerships required to syndicate content on high-authority sites, then you can syndicate directly within social networks.

As you would expect, this can be a powerful strategy as most social networks have an extensive reach and you'll be able to post entirely for free. If you have a large existing follower-base this is the perfect opportunity to tap into that and ensure your content gets massive reach.

Here are some social media sites that we recommend posting on.

1. LinkedIn

Assuming you have a sizeable professional network and are connected with people in your target customer base, then you should be posting content to LinkedIn.

It's the perfect place to reach ideal customers and if your content is high-quality it'll be quickly picked up by your connections and you'll benefit from network effects that will multiply your reach.

2. Medium

Medium is another popular place to cross-post and syndicate your content. You also don't need to worry about cross-posting your content to Medium as their built-in import tools mean add rel=canonical tags so your own site's SEO won't suffer.

3. Quora

Even though Quora may end up competing with your content, it consistently ranks highly in search for questions. If there common problems in your industry and Quora questions are asking about those, it's almost always worth answering them.

Within your answers, you can link directly to your content and you'll likely see a steady flow of traffic through to your site.

4. Reddit

It's the number #3 site in the US. Even if it can be a challenge to use Reddit for content promotion, you should be working on it. Not every post you share will be a hit, and if you're too self-promotional you'll get torn down. However, if your content resonates with the audience, you can see massive traffic spikes thanks to the sheer size of the Reddit user base.

4. Send Content Directly to Leads

Finally, if you want to completely avoid any negative SEO effects you can use email and telemarketing to syndicate your content.

By sending your content directly to leads with these channels you can increase the chances that your prospects see and engage with your content.

The benefits of these direct channels are that you can very quickly identify buyer intent. You can quickly qualify prospects (and they can qualify your solution, too) so your sales team doesn't waste any time on prospects who aren't ready to buy. You can also answer any questions they have about your content and can make the experience more interactive and engaging.

With a multi-channel approach, you can guarantee that you're promoting your content in all of the right places, and you'll have a higher chance of your ideal prospects reading and engaging with it.


If you're running a content syndication program you need to ensure it doesn't negatively affect your site's SEO.

If your campaign has technical issues that cause your syndicated content to outrank or compete with your content, you're cannibalizing traffic and won't be seeing the best possible results.

Setting clear goals and ensuring that your campaigns are set up for SEO success is crucial. You also need to be promoting your content in the most effective ways, not only relying on organic reach. You can easily do this by promoting your content across multiple social media networks, as well as reaching out directly to your prospects with email and telemarketing.

If you want to scale up your content syndication efforts, we'd love to help.

You can get in touch with our team here and we'll be happy to walk you through our content syndication process and show you how it can benefit your business.

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