How to Implement Syndicated Content Correctly

Duplicate content has been a problem since Google began enforcing its policies against it years ago (almost 10!).. If you’ve been using the internet for a while, like me, you are quite cautious about having websites punished in search rankings for anything.

The penalty for duplicate content is the simplest to explain: Avoid using other people’s content as your own and avoid using the same text on different websites. Google will lower your search ranking if you do this. Simple, yes?

when content syndication was utilised for both our public relations and sales activities. My inner old coder screamed, “RED FLAG, DO NOT REPOST THAT ARTICLE ON OUR BLOG!!! I have no doubt that this will lower our search ranking.

Then I began to consider how frequent the application of this kind of overly simplistic “strategic” thinking must be among marketers, paradoxically ensuring that they miss out on SEO chances. How will we be seen if we don’t syndicate? My PR team yelled.

Since we need to syndicate for visibility and be found through search, I developed a few practices that are supported by data. Let’s begin with the fundamentals.

Duplicate content is what?

Duplicate content includes sections of text that are identical or similar across different domains or within the same domain. Due to my recent penchant for cons, let’s shorten it to dubcon.

Dubcon can be marked as dishonest and non-harmful. Deception dates back to the days when people appropriated information to boost their search engine rankings and make as much money as possible. Previously, you could use the Google search algorithm to your advantage in order to rank for terms quickly; individuals did this (I’m guilty), and Google started to crack down. Syndication or pull quotes were the main types of non-malicious duplicate content. The majority of this text was taken from press releases and advertisements.

Syndicated material—what is it?

Material syndication is the practice of distributing your articles, websites, or video content to external websites. You can post this kind of content as a complete article, snippet, link, or thumbnail. I refer to syndicated content as syncon since I refer to duplicate content as dupcon (dang, that sounds cool). I won’t go into detail about how to syndicate content, but if you’re curious, read Eric Enge’s article on the subject for more information.

These are the crucial inquiries: Is Syncon comparable to Dubcon? And how do search engines distinguish between the two? This is where research is necessary, so I’m turning to the search guru that says to “SYNDICATE CAREFULLY,” Google. This makes me think of the “drink responsibly” advertisements. We’re confident you’ll carry it out, but be careful—this is the internet, after all. Attribution is the designated driver when you syndicate content.

Going a little further


There are some exclusions. Store items (products), discussion forums, and printer-only versions of web pages—with product pages being the most significant of these—are three forms of material that will not be detected as duplicate content even in the lack of attribution. “Store items shown or linked via numerous separate URLs” are seen to be non-malicious, according to Google. Forums are a given because they behave like a natural conversation would.

My brief advice for technical people

defining characteristic

Make sure to tell Google where the material originated if you wish to syndicate it.

The 301 redirect

Do not resolve material from separate URLs on the same page. Choose the format you wish to resolve and have the other URLs 301 redirect to it if you have multiple URLs for the same page, such as and (one with the following slash and one without).

calling JavaScript

To automatically disseminate content across AJAX requests, you can populate feeds after the page has finished rendering. You can accomplish this by using a JSON, XML, or RSS feed. JavaScript can be used to send a request to load the page’s content after the page has fully loaded. Without redirecting the user to another website, that content can be enclosed in an iframe to show the current page navigation constantly.

Reference to the mothership

Use one site as the hub for all global material in a multisite configuration. First, publish the fresh stuff there. Use canonical links to the original published article when syndicating material among the child sites (as described above). In a franchise or sub-brand situation, this is fantastic.

Use secure content syndication techniques.

Even if you don’t deal with the technical side of things (in which case, please share this piece with your tech people), you still need to be aware of how syndicated material can function without getting flagged as duplicate content by Google and other search engines.

The main lesson is to always cite the original source by including a link.

When your sales, PR, or other teams yell that they want the advantages of syndicated material, you no longer need to raise the alarm. Instead, you can do so with the awareness and information detailed in this article.