Pages Navigation Menu

Book Reviews, Author Features, Recipes & Home of Fourth-Wall Fridays

#Syndication – Good, Duplicate #Content – Bad. What to Do? by @Girl_Who_Reads

Syndicating an article on Syndication – Social Media tidbits on the fly

Syndication – Good, Duplicate #Content – Bad. What to Do? by Donna Huber

Syndication – Good, Duplicate Content – Bad. What to Do?
by Donna Huber

GOOGLE-SWATEver since Google started cracking down on blogs that had duplicate content, I have wondered how syndication played into it. In legacy media, being a syndicated columnist was a huge feat. The columnist reached greater audiences with the same content.

Then there are the news stories that play over and over on every television station and every newspaper. Even as the legacy media moved online, the practice continued. Online news sites like Huffington Post even reposts content from other sites.

I’ve asked around in various groups what makes syndication okay for sites like a newspaper, but not a general blog like mine? Early answers were that they were somehow exempt from Google’s algorithm. Not fully understanding, I searched the web and Google’s own information and all I got was some technical mumbo jumbo that all I took away from was syndication was okay but not duplicate content.

I got into another discussion yesterday with an author who read an article about the benefits of syndication, but wasn’t sure how it differed from duplicate content. It got me thinking and again I went searching for answers. I ran across the most helpful article to date on the subject at Search Engine Journal.

To bottom line the article – it’s all about the quality. You really should read the article for yourself, but I’ll highlight a few things I took away from it and some thoughts on syndication as it applies in the book blogging world.

Quality Matters

quality-contentA lot of bloggers and authors are doing book blasts or sponsored giveaway posts. These posts usually only contain “canned” information. The whole point of the post is to be an advertisement. Ads = low quality. It is likely that Google will view these types of post more as duplicate content than syndication.

More: Book Blasts, Blog Blitz, Sponsored Giveaway

What is a high quality post? One that contains meaningful information is usually of high quality. Meaningful content may be timeless, usually answers a question the reader has on the subject, and/or provides insight possibly not found elsewhere. Interviews and guest articles usually are good examples of high quality content.

But content alone does not make the post high quality. It must be well written: free of grammar and spelling errors, contain clear and concise language, structured to be highly readable.

How to Syndicate

how to do itAfter reading this post, authors may be thinking “Great! I have that awesome post I wrote on my tour last month. I can syndicate that.” Not so fast. You may be running into a rights issue. Who “owns” that content? When I developed my Submission Guidelines, I consulted literary magazines and other publications (both ones that have print issues and ones that are online only) to determine how they handled content submissions. Most had language detailing the rights and permissions. Even if money did not change hands over a post, it is still possible that a guest article you wrote belongs to the blogger. Just to avoid hard feelings if nothing else, I would advise authors to check with bloggers.

Bloggers, should you give permission to have a guest article syndicated by the author? While the decision is up to you, I would tend to say yes, you should. Again if you look at my Submission Guidelines, I state I have exclusive use rights for a certain period of time, after that time the author may reuse the article, but a link back to the original post on my blog is required. Why? Getting other sites to link to your blog is good for SEO purposes also it means that more readers will see your blog’s name and since the post is of high enough quality to be reposted then it speaks well of the other content on your site.

Another option for syndication is to write an original article and then send it out to bloggers to post. You may first publish it to your own blog or you might not. Either way, make sure there is a bio and a link back to your website/blog. This option is open to more than just authors in the book writing sense. Bloggers can also have their own content syndicated. For example, most of my tips posts would make excellent content for syndication. I recommend including at the end of the article or somewhere unobtrusive, but visible, a statement to indicate it is a syndicated article. By indicating it is a syndicated article may encourage others who love the post to consider posting it on their own site.

Problems with Syndication

(or when does syndication cross the line to duplicate content)

crossing-the-lineAccording to Google, duplicate content is not grounds for action against a blog. So why have I been told not to post duplicate content? Mostly because there is a fine line between white hat SEO techniques and black hat SEO tricks. Did I lose you? White Hat = Good. Black Hat = Bad. Anything that attempts to manipulate search engine algorithms is bad. Duplicate content can become black hat if it looks like a linking scheme (meaning you are more interested in having a site post a link to your site than the content you are providing in the article). That’s why the most important thing to remember is QUALITY.

Bloggers may be thinking “hey, I never have to write another post. I can just post syndicated articles all the time.” I’m not sure if that would be a wise move. I think that the algorithm looks at the ratio between original content and duplicate content when determining if a site is trying to artificially influence search engine ranking (how high on the list a site is when someone searches for a subject).  Adding in a few original posts will also keep your readers interested. It is no secret that many book blogs share the same readers so if you only have content they can also find on another site they may stop visiting your site all together.

A third problem with using syndicated articles is related to the problem above. If 10 blogs post the same article then Google’s search algorithm decides which blog gets the top billing when returning search results. A couple of things play into it. One, the site that posted the article first may get pushed higher. Two, sites with better page rank get higher billing. I’m sure there are other factors, but you get the idea. The other sites may rank higher than yours in search and therefore your blog isn’t “found” by new readers.

Speaking of page rank… That is another problem you can run into with syndicated posts. If you have 10 blogs that have a lower page rank than you pointing to yours through a link then that might not be so good for you. And possibly worse you are linking to sites with lower page rank. What is page rank? It is a scoring system that Google uses to rank your site’s content. The better the content the higher the rank. You linking to a site is seen as an endorsement of sorts. I don’t fully understand page rank, so I’ll leave it at that. An option you have is to make the links “nofollow”.

choicesMore: Choosing doFollow or noFollow

Bottom line: syndicated content can be great for both bloggers and authors, if you used appropriately. Use it for good not evil by devoting the extra time to making sure that one post is worth being syndicated.

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the blogger behind Girl Who Reads and author of the how-to manual Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour.

Original post: http://www.girl-who-reads.com/2014/04/syndication-good-duplicate-content-bad.html

Thanks to our Ninja Blogger group Social Media guru, Donna Huber for having this great content. If you are interested in any other articles for syndication, contact Donna on her website Girl Who Reads or tweet her at @Girl_Who_Reads

4 Comments

  1. Good information. Lucky me I discovered your site
    by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved as a favorite for later!
    Show me some love!

  2. 2012 you should be prepared with lots of New Year resolutions.
    Micro drive mp3 players have rather more space for storing than flash memory gamers, varying from
    5 GB to 10 GB. If we think about the fact that the common size of a melody is
    three MB, it outcomes that precise flash memory players
    can retailer between 80 and 1200 melodies.
    Show me some love!

  3. Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to death at work sso I decided to browse your
    site on my iphone durin lunch break. I really like thhe iformation you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home.
    I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my ccell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways, good site!
    Show me some love!

  4. Get Official Free League of Legends Riot Points with
    the RP Generator | 2016The official RP Generator.
    Upgrade your League of Legends account with Free
    RP. Redeem the code within the Riot Retailer and revel in your Free Riot
    Points!Cheats for League of Legends in essence embrace any and all methods, methods or
    software that can assist you to to carry out better in ranked matches,
    degree up quicker, grind more IP or play more effectively.
    Cheats can either be achieved manually or utilizing software program,You may
    make use of our free RP codes methodology to
    generate the amount of Riot Points and get the skins you might
    want to improve your League of Legends experience. Here, we
    offer a web-based generator with a mobile-friendly interface that means that you can get your in-game RP Codes with much ease.
    Show me some love!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. No Wasted Ink Writer’s Links - […] Syndication – Good, Duplicate Content – Bad. What to Do? […]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge