Syndication and Duplicate Content Issues (5:28)

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At 2009’s SES in Chicago, Abby Johnson discusses syndication and duplicate content problems with Stone Temple Consulting’s Eric Enge.

Eric begins by saying syndicating content is a great way to build inbound links and that marketers should not shy away from it.  The problem with syndication however lies in the fact that search engines can perceive your syndicated content as duplicated content – and that isn’t a good thing.

For example, you can have a content item on your site, have it syndicated to 10 other sites and you might find yourself in a situation where another site actually shows up in the search results for your content.  Is that a deal breaker though?  Not necessarily.

in the video Eric cites some real work examples where sites making heavy use of syndication increased their traffic by more than 50% over the course of 9 months.

There are some techniques you can implement in your syndication strategy to minimize duplication issues and still garner the benefit of syndication.

1. Use synopses.  Syndicate abbreviated versions of your full content, not necessarily the entire piece verbatim.  This is a technique widely employed by major media outlets and can have the extremely desirable effect of having your content obtain multiple results in a single search query.

2. NoIndex Your content.  Using a no index tag on your syndicated content means search engine crawlers will not index the content on the syndicated site leaving your site as the primary source for search query purposes.  Plus links back to your site from the syndicating site are still followed.

3. The third option or technique would be to create variant copy of your content for the express purpose of syndication.  With this strategy, slightly reconfiguring your content to be a better fit for the syndicating site or more customized to the theme or subject of the syndicating site can have the dual benefit of keeping your original content associated with your site as well as making your material designed for syndication more attractive for the sites where it would appear.

Posted in: Duplicate Content, Eric Enge, SEO, SES Chicago 2009
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