How to Syndicate Blog Content While Maintaining SEO
Thinking about syndicating your blog content?
Are you worried about possible negative effects?
Don’t worry. In this article I’ll show you how to do syndication AND keep your blog in rainbows and sunshine.
But first a little back story...
In a recent article, Mike Allton discussed his experience of syndicating blog posts to the content aggregator business2community.com (B2C) (and subsequently to Yahoo! Small Business). He delved into the negative traffic hit that he took from this, which occurred from a drop in SEO on the original article on The Social Media Hat.
At my company’s blog, The Wishpond Blog, where we write about social media for small business, we came across the same issue. When we started syndicating our content to B2C, Google saw the syndicated version as the original article, and ours as a copy. This penalized our SEO and caused the B2C or Yahoo! version of our articles to appear in Google searches, whereas our original article did not (I won’t go into anymore detail on this, as Mike covered the issue extensively here).
In this article I’ll tell you why I love syndicating my content to B2C and how I combated the negative SEO symptoms using Google Webmaster Tools.
Top Benefit: Ebook Downloads & New Leads
In his article, Mike outlined a few of the benefits of syndicating your content, including more readers of your content and a bump in reputation. To add to those, my favorite thing about B2C’s syndication is that they keep your blog calls-to-action within the syndicated version.
On each of our posts we include a large CTA to download one of our ebooks, like the one below. While some syndication channels are reluctant to allow these types of CTAs (as they see them as advertising that they’re not getting a cut of), B2C includes them. This allows us to generate ebook downloads and new leads directly from our syndicated articles on B2C.
To get them inserted into your B2C syndicated posts, make sure that the CTA is placed within the blog post itself. If it’s part of your blog template it won’t come up on B2C, as it won’t be included in the RSS feed of your blog, which is all that B2C looks at.
One minor added benefit is being included in B2C’s “Top Contributors This Week” section, which showcases contributors whose articles received the most views and shares in the past week. This appears in the top-right corner of every page and article on the site, giving you a little exposure to every reader.
Here’s The Wishpond Blog coming in at #3 this past week:
Combat Negative SEO Symptoms using Google Webmaster Tools
As Mike wrote in his recent article, when he syndicated his content to B2C, “myself and other bloggers have noted that not only does our own original content often rank lower, it sometimes doesn't rank at all! This results in less search engine traffic to your site, even though these potential searchers are reading your content - they're reading it somewhere else.”
We came across the same issue and actually stopped syndicating for a time. But we still wanted to keep bringing in new leads, so we found a solution. We used the “Fetch as Google” tool in Google Webmaster Tools. Immediately after publishing each article to our blog we would submit (Fetch) the URL to Google. This way, Google would know that our blog was the original source of the article, not B2C, and stop penalizing our search ranking.
One question you may have is, “how fast do you need to fetch a URL after publishing?”. I tend to do it right after I publish, but as long as you do this before B2C publishes the syndicated version of your article, which usually takes a couple of hours, you’re in the clear.
Next, I’ll show you step-by-step how to “Fetch as Google” to make sure Google is crediting your blog as the original source for your articles:
1. Login to your Google Webmaster Tools account. In the left-side menu under “Crawl” click “Fetch as Google”. This will, understandably, take you to the “Fetch as Google” page.
2. On the “Fetch as Google” page, copy and paste the URL of the page (not including the predefined root to the left) in the field and click the red “Fetch” button.
3. The freshly “Fetched” page will appear in the list below. When it does, click on “Submit to index”. This will open the “Submit URL to index” pop-up window.
4. In the pop-up box, make sure “URL” is selected (this will keep the index process to just the one page) and click the blue “OK” button. This will close the box and show you the list of pages once more.
5. And that’s it! To confirm the page has been indexed by Google, check to make sure it read “Success” under Fetch Status.
For any blogger, I would definitely recommend syndicating your blog to B2C. For new bloggers it gives your content access to a huge audience and for more established bloggers it’s a great source of new email leads. Just follow my simple method above to keep your own blog’s SEO in check and you’ll be alright.
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By Nick Steeves
Nick Steeves is the Chief Product Officer at Wishpond. Nick enjoys writing and teaching small businesses on how use online marketing and social media. Wishpond is a marketing platform that makes it easy to generate leads and sales online.