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Syndicating your content without affecting your PageRank

By Alexandra Gavril - January 10, 2014

Getting traffic to your site can be a real challenge in today’s crowded marketplace. Reaching and attracting new readers while, at the same time, building a brand, takes a lot of time and effort.

Syndicating your content can be a good way to gain some extra exposure, build brand authority and build some valuable links. However, you need to get it right to avoid any duplicate content issues.

Let’s take a common scenario: you’ve created some strong content and pitched a highly authoritative site on syndicating your post. They said Yes and you’re thrilled. But wait a second – what about duplicate content issues? If your site is new or not an authority in your industry but the other site is, it’s very likely that that site will be seen as the originator of the content and not yours.

So, they’ll get all the traffic and love while you get the duplicate content smack from Google. That means that while you are the one who has produced that great content, you won’t get any of the benefits. Your content will be read by many, but not on your site.

The most common issues with content syndication are:

  • Search engines might see the original content (yours) as duplicate content
  • The syndicator might outrank the content creator (you).

So, how can you fix this?

There are a couple of things you can do to ensure that content syndication is beneficial for you, without affecting your page rank.

1. Only syndicate a synopsis – not the entire article

This can be a good techniques for sites that already have authority. Simply allow for the syndication of an excerpt and then have the syndicator include a link to the source where people can read the entire article.

2. Syndicate while using the rel-canonical tag.

Using the rel-canonical tag on the syndicating site helps prevent duplicate content issues as the syndicating site’s version of the content won’t be indexed. However, these pages will still pass link juice.

3. Use the “Fetch as Google” tool

Nick Steeves at The Social Media Hat has come up with a very simple yet interesting solution. He used the “Fetch as Google” tool in Google Webmaster Tools to submit (fetch) the URL to Google immediately after publishing an article to the blog. This technique lets Google know that your blog is the original source of that article.

Here’s how to do it:

Go to Google Webmaster Tools and under Site Dashboard on the left, click on Crawl -> Fetch as Google. Now simply copy and paste the URL of the page and click “Fetch”.

Basically you need to make sure Google fetches your page first before crawling the syndicate’s site. This way Google knows that your content is the original version.

Are you syndicating your content? What other tips can you share with us?