Content Syndication: What It Is & How It Works

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Content Syndication: What It Is & How It Works

What Is Content Syndication?

Content syndication is a marketing strategy that involves republishing content on other websites or platforms to reach a larger audience. It can help you increase your brand awareness, drive more traffic to your site, and generate more leads or conversions.

In some cases, third-party sites might syndicate your content in its entirety. Or they might publish an excerpt or edited-down version.

The publisher should always credit the original creator and include a link. Like this:

an example of article crediting the original creator

Note: A content aggregator automatically compiles links to content, rather than republishing content with permission. So, content aggregation doesn’t fall under this content syndication definition. 

What Are the Benefits of Content Syndication?

Syndicating content allows you to distribute content to new audiences. So you can maximize your investment in content creation.

Work with relevant content distribution partners, digital publishers, or industry influencers to increase brand awareness among your target audience. And establish your brand as a trustworthy, authoritative voice in the industry.

Plus, the publisher may include a link to your site. Which can drive referral traffic and benefit your SEO. Because Google treats certain types of external links (known as backlinks) as “votes of confidence.”

One potential problem associated with content syndication is that Google may not display it in search results. At least not in the way you might want it to be displayed.

Google doesn’t want to provide searchers with duplicate results. So it will display the version it deems “most appropriate for users in each given search.”

That may or may not be the version you prefer to show in search engine results pages (SERPs).

That could cause a problem in some cases (although you’re less likely to encounter an issue if you follow some basic best practices). But the extra referral traffic—and other brand benefits—will likely outweigh potential downsides.

Tip: Use content syndication alongside other content marketing efforts. So you’re not relying solely on content Google may deem as duplicate.

How Does Content Syndication Work?

Content syndication marketing works well when you have quality content that publications want to share.

You can create content with syndication in mind. Or identify existing content for syndication. You can try many content marketing formats, such as blog posts, infographics, and videos.

Then, consider how you want to syndicate content:

Let’s look at each method in more detail.

Work with Content Syndication Partners

Content syndication partners are sites that are open to syndicating external content. Because it’s a simple and often low-cost way to engage their target audience.

There are two main types of content syndication partners: syndication networks and noncompetitors.

Syndication networks are groups of sites that work together to syndicate the same content.

For example, Gannett owns hundreds of local media outlets. If one publication syndicates an article, it’s likely to be republished on others.

Pitching a site that’s part of a syndication network can be a great way to earn coverage on multiple sites at once.

Noncompetitors are not commercial rivals. But their target audience overlaps with yours.

Perhaps you own a children’s toy brand. Your noncompetitors would include parenting blogs, kids’ clothing retailers, and educational resource sites.

To find sites with syndicated content like yours, try the following queries (search terms) on Google:

  • “republished with permission” [topical keyword]
  • “republished from” [topical keyword]
  • “originally appeared on” [topical keyword]
  • “syndicated from” [topical keyword]

Like this:

“republished with permission” AI search in Google

Tip: The quotation marks (“) ensure Google looks for the quoted phrase exactly as typed. Learn about other Google search operators that make your queries more specific.

Or find content syndication opportunities by tracking competitors in the Brand Monitoring app.

Click “Get free trial” then follow the prompts to get started.

Get free trial for Brand Monitoring tool

Once you’re signed up, click “Get started.”

Get started button highlighted

Then “Keyword” in the window that appears.

Select Keyword option

In the “Monitor this keyword” field, enter a phrase commonly used in syndicated content. Like “originally appears on [competitor’s] website.”

Fill-in Monitor this keyword field

Then go to the “Track backlinks” field and enter your competitor’s domain.

enter your competitor’s domain in Track backlinks field

When you’re done, scroll down and hit “Create query.”

Create query button highlighted

The tool will identify instances where publishers have used your keyword and linked to your competitors’ domain. These could be good content syndication partners.

Results in Brand Monitoring tool

Repeat this process for other keywords and competitors.

Found a content syndication partner you want to work with?

Send a pitch. Explain why your content will add value to their site.

For advice, check out our guide to email outreach.

Track Competitors’ Syndicated Content

with the Brand Monitoring App

ADS illustration

Republish on Social Media and Other Platforms

You’ve likely shared links to your content on social media. But republishing content—in full or in part—can be a more rewarding strategy.

Platforms often prioritize native content—content that doesn’t cause platform users to leave the platform. Because they want to keep users on their platform. And users are more likely to engage when the content is right there in front of them.

There are also self-publishing platforms that allow you to syndicate content. So you can reach audiences and build a following in more places.

Here are some of the most popular content syndication platforms:

Platform Description Content syndication method
LinkedIn Social media network for professionals Publish articles or share text, videos, and other content through posts
Twitter Social media platform Share text, videos, and other content via tweets
Facebook Social media platform Share text, videos, and other content via posts
Instagram Image-based social media platform Post images and videos to your profile
Pinterest Image-based social media platform Build pins using images or links
YouTube Video-sharing platform Upload videos to your channel
Flipboard Virtual magazine platform Become a publisher to have your content added automatically
SlideShare Platform for professional content Upload presentations, documents, and infographics
Medium Open publishing platform where people can share and read articles Import an existing post to Medium
Substack Open publishing platform where people can share and read articles Manually republish an article using the Substack editor
Quora Question and answer platform Share relevant excerpts when writing answers to questions
Reddit Network of online communities Share content via posts or comments

Tip: Check out our social media management guide for more advice on growing engagement.

Syndicate Your Guest Posts on Your Own Blog

Rather than publishing content on your own site before syndicating it elsewhere, try the opposite. That is, guest post on an external site, and then syndicate it on your own blog.

For already-published guest posts, contact the publishers and ask for permission to syndicate them. Explain that you will include a link back to their site. And a canonical tag to tell Google that their version is the original.

When collaborating on new guest posts, ask for content syndication permission upfront.

Tip: Take a similar approach with press releases and other digital PR campaigns. Don’t just send out content: Ensure it’s published on your own site, too. In addition to increasing your content’s reach, this may encourage publications to link to your site. Because they can cite the original source.

Try Paid Content Syndication

Some publishers or distributors will syndicate content in exchange for a fee. This allows you to generate near-instant results and earn coverage on valuable sites.

Paid content syndication is a form of native advertising. Backlinks will not benefit your SEO—Google will not treat them as a genuine vote of confidence.

Publishers will post your content with a “Sponsored” label (or similar). Like this:

content with a “Sponsored” label on The NewYork Times

OutbrainTaboola, and Dianomi are some of the best-known companies for paid content syndication. But you can find more content syndication services through the Alien Road Agency Partners network. Filter by budget, location, and more.

Find Content Syndication Services

Through Alien Road Agency Partners

ADS illustration

Content Syndication Best Practices

  • Modify content as appropriate. You may want to add links or calls to action (CTAs) that point external readers to your site. Or adjust the content to better suit its new audience and format.
  • Use canonical tags. Google recommends using canonical tags to signal which version of a syndicated page should be displayed in search engine results.
  • Add a link back to your site. Google says each syndicated article should include a link back to the original article. In addition to helping SEO, this can generate valuable traffic.
  • Share syndicated content on social. After your content is published on a third-party platform, sharing a link to it on social media content is a great way to attract readers.
  • Measure key metrics. Track metrics such as referral traffic to see what works best. And hone your content syndication marketing strategy accordingly.
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