Content Syndication – Short explanation

Content Syndication is a way of reaching a wider audience for a piece of work by republishing some or all of it on other people’s web sites.

The original author of an article published on their own web site or blog can gain greater recognition for their work by putting it on a larger more popular site such as a newspaper or trade journal. The aim is to attract more readers from the larger more famous site to the author’s own site thus increasing their own number of subscribers interested in similar or related topics.

The advantages of Content Syndication

The original author gets their blog post or article in front of a lot more people who would never have seen it on their own site. It can be a cheap or free way of building up a readership by introducing new readers to a web site or blog that they have never heard of before and probably contains more content that they would be interested in. Once the publisher has attracted a new visitor to their site they have the opportunity to further engage with them by encouraging them to comment on a blog post or following them on social media.

The advantage to the site publishing the syndicated content is that they are getting some fresh new articles or videos that they don’t have to create or pay for. Providing new and interesting material for their readers ensures they maintain their own audiences.

The disadvantages of Content Syndication

The single biggest issue is said to be duplicate content because it is widely thought that search engine companies disapprove of it. However, the companies themselves aren’t against duplicate content unless they think it is an attempt to be deceptive and manipulate the search results. This really means that it’s unacceptable to spread the same piece of work over dozens of different sites in the hope that some of it will show up.

It’s perfectly acceptable to have a copy published but it might affect the original article’s position in the search results. Since the syndicated content is going to be put on a much more well-known site the search results may show the duplicate rather than the original.

This can be avoided if the third party site agrees to put a piece of code on the page telling the search engines where the original content is or instructing them not to index the duplicate.

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Choosing the right sites is the secret

When deciding to use content syndication to build their audience the author needs to consider which sites are the most relevant to their own field of interest. Having decided which sites they would like their content on they will have to approach the sites and negotiate to ensure that they get credit for their work preferably by publishing a link back to the original article or post.

Links from higher authority sites back to theirs may improve the site’s reputation. An alternative strategy for those who have neither the time nor inclination to approach third party sites is to consider a paid service like Outbrain or Taboola who will perform the syndication for a fee. Either way it’s a useful way to attract more visitors to a web site or blog.