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Is syndicated content a Google ranking factor?

Syndicated content (Syndicated content sent to different platforms simultaneously) can sometimes outpace original content.How does it measure up as a ranking factor in search?

Does syndicated content affect organic search rankings?

In some cases, syndicated content is considered spam.

In other cases, it can exceed the original content.

However, syndication is a widely accepted practice in both journalism and content marketing.

But is it a ranking factor in the search ranking algorithm?

In this chapter, we will determine whether syndicated content is a Google ranking factor.

Disclaimer: Syndicated content is a ranking factor

Content syndication occurs in a number of ways.

Individual content authors can choose to syndicate their content in an attempt to reach a larger audience.

For example, a CEO might blog on his company website.

They might then syndicate the same blog post to LinkedIn, Medium, or elsewhere.

This allows them to tap into each network's audience and potentially link back to the company's main website.

Publications and blogs also have the option to syndicate content.

This happens when a publisher (content creator) agrees to share their content with a partner (syndicate) or even multiple partners in order to further expand the reach of that content and the brand behind its creation.

When syndicated content appears on a third-party website, it may end up being:

  • the same(Everything is the same except the URL where it is located).
  • compression(For example, only the first paragraph or parts of the article may appear).
  • Edited significantly(For example, it has a different title, or parts of it have been edited, deleted, or rearranged).

If syndication occurs without the consent of the creator, this piracy may result in duplicate content rather than syndicated content.

Let's Call It Real Content: Content Theft.

Some websites use software to scrape content from other websites.

These sites can only crawl content on specific topics for syndication.

Others may crawl any popular content to drive search traffic.

Evidence against the use of syndicated content as a ranking factor

The Google Search Center has specific quality guidelines for webmasters.In the "Advanced SEO" section, they specify two scenarios related to syndicated content that constitutes spam:

  • releaseAuto-generated content created by scraping RSS feeds or search results.
  • Publish scraped content using automated techniques that do not add any added value to the original contentor modify the original content.

In either case, your content is unlikely to rank in search results.

Authors of the original content can also file for copyright infringement.

In 2012, Google Search Central released a video about spam violations.

This video reiterates the use of automation and scraping to create syndicated content as spam.

In 2018, Google search advocate John Mueller talked about how syndicated content has the potential to outperform original content.

This happens when syndicated sites have other valuable content around pirated content.

In a 2021 article for developers on Google Search Central, Google discussed how to deal with duplicate content.

Regarding syndicated content, they made the following recommendations:

"If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is best for users for each given search, which may or may not be your preferred version.

However, it can be helpful to ensure that every site your content syndicates includes a link back to the original article.You can also require those using your syndicated material to use the noindex tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.

Syndicated Content as a Ranking Factor: Our Verdict

If you use content syndication to reach new audiences with high-quality content on popular networks, you can increase your search visibility by ranking on other networks.

However, simply syndicating content will not help the original content rank in search results.

Therefore, we classified it as unlikely to be a ranking factor.

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