What is Content Syndication?

Jake Sheridan
Jan 5
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Content syndication is a term describing how third-party sites republish your content on their websites. Content syndication links are created when a website re-posts your article to their website as well as linking back to where you originally published it.

This article focuses on the SEO benefits of content syndication links because they provide an increased link juice score and traffic potential with search engines due to their relevancy.

In this article, we’ll cover:

  • What content syndication is
  • Real examples in the wild
  • How to prepare your content so people want to republish it
  • Answer frequently asked questions about content syndication

What is Content Syndication?

Content syndication is just a fancy way of saying: republishing content on one (or more) third-party websites with a backlink to your original post.

When you syndicate your original content, it is distributed across various platforms to reach a wider audience.

If you a looking for a definition to explain/justify syndicating content for your boss or client, we’ve got you covered:

Content syndication is when one website or blog sends content to other websites or blogs. It is useful for both the content provider and the prospective website that receives it.

It’s best to understand content syndication as a two-way flow of benefits, as shown clearly in the below diagram.

As you can see, the vendor, or content creator, or original source, sends content to either an intermediary content repository, which then distributes the content out to other partner websites, or the vendor just sends it directly to other websites.

In turn, those websites link back to the vendor, boosting the metrics of that vendor website.

Content syndication examples

What types of content can be syndicated? Pretty much any type of content can be syndicated: infographics, articles, videos etc.

Some of the ways content can be syndicated are by:

  • Republishing entire articles
  • Editing content and then publishing a shorter version of it
  • Posting an sample/summary from the original article

You can see examples of syndicated content across a few different sites. Here are some examples

News sites

Content syndication is widespread in news and trending outlets.

In this example, large websites, such as CNN, will syndicate content from other outlets (monday.com, Health Headlines, Faqeo, and mortgage-benefits.com, in the case of this example) to fill out their own content.

Both parties benefit, as CNN gives their readers more diversity, and each host website gets a high-powered backlink from a highly reputable website.

Medium

Medium used to be a great place to republish content for SEO. You could import content and set the canonical URL to your original article to avoid any duplication/cannibalisation issues.

You can still do this, but as Medium is becoming increasingly gated, the SEO benefits have lessened. Still, it can be a good place to dip your toes into the world of syndication.

Finding syndicated content on ANY site

Want to find your own content syndication examples? Here’s a VERY simple method for finding pieces of republished content on any site:

Use this Google search operator:

site:[target-website] "originally appeared on"

You can also use these footprints: “originally published in” + “republished with permission”

Now you know what content syndication is, check out the next section to WHY it can be a good tactic for SEO.

Why syndicate your content?

Like all content distribution channels, content syndication is another method to get in front of the right audiences.

According to Semrush, 16% of content marketers use it as a channel:

Here are some possible benefits you get from content syndication:

  1. Content/brand exposure – syndication allows you to reach out to prospects, viewers, and readers who might not have otherwise came across your brand.
  2. Website traffic – syndicating on certain sites can be a good way of getting traffic back to your site.
  3. Backlinks – syndication sites can publish your content and credit you by linking back to it.
  4. Lead generation – syndication can be an effective way to demonstrate thought leadership to get more leads

Content providers can get more links, traffic, and referrals by syndicating their content, but it’s not a guarantee.

Potential websites that receive this content may also get links from sites sending them their own unique piece of content made specifically for them. Syndication can lead to new sources of links and traffic for new websites without too much effort on behalf of the site operator.

TLDR: Content Syndication Best Practices 🔥

There is no specific formula when it comes to how to use a content syndication strategy for a website.

However, there are a few general guidelines that you should take note of when using content syndication for SEO:

  • Target site – Pick a target site or blog that is similar/relevant to yours,It may be for SEO purposes, but it can also be to help you learn how they work, their style of content production, and how to send your content to them.
  • Content format – Send your content in an email or in a Word document attachment. This will reduce the risk of the syndication being rejected due to formatting issues.
  • Text length – Make sure that your text is not too long. Long texts are often difficult for syndicators to manage when they are only sending one or two per week.
  • URL – Make sure that your website or blog’s URL is visible in the Content Syndication field on the target site/blog’s sign-up form.

Content syndication is very popular amongst news outlets and websites that share industry happenings.

Typically, when an authoritative website publishes a story, other small outlets will simply republish the same story with a disclaimer stating, “this content was originally published on x website”.

Content syndication is a trade-off, where the secondary website gets free material, and the website hosting the original content gets recognition, a backlink, and quite often more traffic from a relevant audience and a backlink with high link relevance.

How to Syndicate Content for SEO (Free + Paid)

When it comes to syndicating content for SEO, you have two choices: free + paid

Free content syndication

The DIY approach of finding relevant publications, pitching your content, and then building partnerships. Some free places to republish content on:

  • Medium
  • Quora
  • LinkedIn
  • SlideShare
  • Reddit
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest
  • Business2Community

Paid content syndication

Use tools to get your content recommended in large publications. Some paid content syndication services, sites, & networks places:

  • Outbrain
  • Taboola
  • Zemanta
  • Content.ad
  • RevContent
  • Sharethrough

Whichever method you go for, these tips will help:

TLDR: 5 Tips to Syndicate Content for SEO 🔥
  1. Republish your most recent (or most popular) content on larger websites with more viewers and authority than yours.
  2. Syndicate old content on websites with a similar readership and authority as your site.
  3. Guest post on a larger publication and republish on your website, Medium, or LinkedIn afterwards.
  4. Syndicate your work on websites that do so naturally.
  5. Use paid services like Outbrain and Taboola to get your work published in large publications

Let’s take a quick look at each of the syndication methods:

4 Free content syndication tactics

Want to syndicate your content for free? Try these four methods:

  1. Syndicate your content on a site bigger than yours
  2. Syndicate your content on a site similar to yours
  3. Guest post on a BIG publication (then republish to your own channels)
  4. Get picked up by other publications (with a low amount of effort)

Let’s look at these in a bit more detail:

1. Syndicate your content on a site bigger than yours

  • WHAT ❓ – Republish your most recent or most popular content on larger websites with more viewers and authority than yours.
  • PROS  👍  – Amplify your reach by piggybacking off a larger site.
  • CONS  👎  – Your website will only be visited by a small percentage of readers, as there’s little motivation for users to visit the original source as they can consume the complete piece of content on the third-party website.
  • WHY  🤔  – Syndicating on big publications is the way to go if your main goal is to raise brand awareness.

2. Syndicate your content on a site similar to yours

  • WHAT ❓ – Syndicate old content to websites with a similar readership and authority to yours. Look for publications that have a comparable level of authority as your blog.
  • PROS  👍  –  They might allow more contextual links back to your website from the article.
  • CONS  👎  –  May result it less visits to your site.
  • WHY  🤔  –  It can be a good way to let their audience discover more content on your blog and get new leads.

3. Guest post on a BIG publication (then republish to your own channels)

  • WHAT ❓ – Guest posts on a larger publication and then republish on your website/channels afterwards. It’s sometimes worthwhile to publish on a large site initially, as they may be primarily interested in new, original content.
  • PROS  👍  – You gain the advantage of putting your content in front of a large audience that may not have found it otherwise.
  • CONS  👎  –  Again, your website may only be visited by a small percentage of readers.
  • WHY  🤔  –  You are free to repost the piece to your audience and social networks, depending on the publication. So you get a link AND content share (hopefully).

4. Get picked up by other publications (with a low amount of effort)

  • WHAT ❓ – If you Google the headline of a recent piece from a major publication, you’ll notice that it’s been picked up by smaller publications. These usually include a quote from the original piece as well as a link to the source.
  • PROS  👍  –  Can be a great low effort way to distribute content.
  • CONS  👎  –  May struggle to get your foot in the door if you are a newer site with less authority.
  • WHY  🤔  – Get your content picked up (on autopilot) by sites/publications that naturally syndicate content.

Finding RELEVANT syndication opportunities (for FREE)

The simplest way to do this is to use a Google search searching for web pages containing phrases that indicate content syndication:

  • “Originally published in”
  • “This content is republished with permission from…”
  • “This article originally appeared on…”

Then, to narrow your search, include a search modifier inurl:{keyword} to make sure the results that come back are relevant to you and your target audience.

For example, use this to find syndicated content about local SEO:

"republished with permission" inurl:local seo

Your Google search should look something like this:


Paid content syndication

Paid content syndication is, and this will surprise no one, when you pay to get your material published.

Big brands frequently cooperate with large publications to deliver their content in front of a large audience. Smaller brands with a tighter budget were previously unable to use this strategy.

Fortunately, platforms like Outbrain and Taboola now allow even modest businesses to appear as recommended content on sites like CNN, BBC, and The Guardian.

You’ve probably seen these paid placements before. Outbrain ads for example, look like this:

If you pay to have other websites use your content, you need to make sure the quality of the backlink you receive, the type of backlink, the backlink quality, and the type of audience viewing the content is highly relevant to your website, otherwise it is a waste of money.

Having said this, websites can pay a substantially smaller fee to have larger websites syndicate their content than looking for some backlink services and can end up with some pretty impressive links to their website.


Content Syndication FAQs

What is a content syndication platform?

If you are looking to create more content for your website or blog, or if you want to promote your brand and website on other websites and blogs, using a content syndication platform is essential.

Content syndication platforms are places that help content creators share their content with platforms that can syndicate it. The best content syndication platform will be easy to use. It should let you find websites that offer syndication, and then it should let you pick the channel for that syndication (email, social media, blog post, etc.).

After creating your unique piece of content, you’ll be able to select the different posting channels and send off your unique post. Then it’s up to you to promote and share your content so that it gets seen by as many people as possible.

While there are many content syndication platforms available for use; Repost Pro is an established one which comes highly recommended by many people in the industry.

What are the benefits of content syndication for SEO?

Content syndication can lead to more referring sites, more links (and therefore more traffic), and more social media shares. It can be used as an alternative to buying links or can also be leveraged to reach a very wide and well-established audience for a relatively small investment.

There are many benefits of content syndication for SEO. Content syndication can help you grow your rank, improve your site’s authority, and increase the number of links you receive in order to draw in more visitors.

Furthermore, the types of sites using your content are likely those within your niche or tangentially related. This therefore means the backlinks you receive from your content syndication efforts come from relevant websites, thus carry a high degree of backlink relevancy.

Is content syndication good or bad for SEO?

Content syndication can be either good or bad for SEO. In most cases, it is good.

Content syndication is useful for an SEO campaign because more content means more visibility on the web. The more content you have on your website, the more likely it is that someone will stumble across a piece of your content and follow a link to one of your target sites. That’s a win for your brand and company.

However, if you are using an automated tool to create syndicated content without human input, then you risk being exposed as a spammer by Google and other search engines.

It’s just like anything else in SEO. There are good ways and naughty ways to go about content syndication, and so long as you do it reputably with good providers, it will benefit your SEO efforts in the long run.

Is content syndication paid?

Content syndication is usually free, but there are some paid services which are available. Depending on the reach you’re hoping to achieve with a content syndication strategy, you might want to combine free manual outreach with paid services to optimize your efforts and results.

Does content syndication work?

Content syndication definitely works, but only if you do it right. These are some of the things to remember when creating content for syndication:

Make sure that your post is unique in terms of both in language and pictures/videos. It’s also good to have customized thumbnails to ensure that the thumbnail works well for your intended audience.

Create positive, meaningful, and engaging titles that will generate clicks when someone clicks on the link to your post. Think about what the ideal reader wants in a headline.

What is content syndication strategy?

Content syndication is a simple form of link building. It works by sending out a piece of content to other websites and blogs. This can be done either manually or using an automated tool. If you pick the right sites and post the right content, you will gain more links and more traffic over time (and hopefully increase your rank).

Content syndication is a term coined by Darren Shaw for an SEO campaign in which content is sent to other websites and blogs with the goal of gaining more links, social media shares, and backlinks. This strategy quickly became an essential part of social media management as it soon became essential for brands on Facebook to build their reach.

Summary

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of what content syndication is, why you should consider it as part of a link building plan, and how it can benefit your online presence and SEO efforts.

Content syndication should be used in conjunction with other link building tactics, in order to get the highest number of top-quality backlinks to your site as possible. Outsource link building through content syndication is also possible, and a good idea for someone looking to expand their link-building efforts.

Written by Jake Sheridan on January 5, 2022

Founder of Sheets for Marketers, I nerd out on automating parts of my work using Google Sheets. At Loganix I build products, and content marketing. There’s nothing like a well deserved drink after a busy day spreadsheeting.