15 Free Content Syndication Platforms That Do Not Affect Your SEO
If you are reading this blog, you are most likely researching about the merits and demerits of content syndication. Because some say it affects your SEO. To be honest, marketers often confuse between content distribution & content syndication. You will find a ton of blogs advocating syndication whereas many who oppose the same. So, what is it exactly that you should do?
Don’t worry, you are not the only one with this problem, there are many. And guess what? It has got simple solution. Everything depends upon understanding the scope and implementation practices.
First things first, content syndication is a sub-set (a part) of your overall content distribution strategy. It does not define your distribution plan, but certainly add multiple channels to share your content.
It however helps you to share your content with your target audience who are available on other websites and platforms, which you have individually not included in your marketing plan.
What is content syndication?
Content syndication is defined as re-publishing the existing content on your website to other third-party sites. The type of content includes blogs, e-books, infographics, articles, videos, etc.
Basically anything and everything which is created as a marketing asset for your target audience can be used for syndication purposes.
It is to be noted that readers (your target audience) select their own platforms to consume information which best suits their habits, ease and preference for the medium & format of communication.
For example, there could be reader A who loves consuming content in the form of long reads, reader B with preference to infographics (to understand the summary & then read), person C who prefers listicles to grasp the entire context of the content, or even person D who prefers videos than anything else.
The silver lining here is, with content syndication you can virtually reach out to all of them without having to create any new content. All it needs is adaptation (repurposing) of existing content into different formats.
It works like a medieval-era barter system where the syndication websites get relevant & quality content for their readers whereas brands get backlinks and steady stream of organic/referral traffic for their website.
Why to go for content syndication?
Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer, reaching your target audience and engaging with them is your top priority. The internet in this digital transformation era is largely driven by the availability of relevant information for the problems people are looking answers for.
With information comes content, and with content comes the challenge to distribute it.
Whereas, the conventional link building exercise using off-page SEO is still relevant, the cost of producing new content for it keeps getting high.
The only thing brand gets in return are the new referring domains and backlinks, not all of which are either do follow links or permanent in nature.
So, you get backlinks & referring domains, but literally there’s nothing which can amplify your brand’s reach.
Also, it is not necessary that the off-page submissions will result in relevant traffic or even any traffic to your website, nor does it guarantee any conversions.
Content syndication, on the other hand help brands optimize cost of content production, and also enable them to share their content on platforms which drives heavy traffic of relevant readers as per brand’s business niche.
Does content syndication affect my SEO efforts?
Content syndication is indeed production of duplicate content on other websites, which by default search engine algorithms do not like.
The search engines’ crawlers also have this tendency to consider the content posted on high DA/high traffic website as the original, and in the way neglecting the original content source, which might be your website.
Never mind, this happens when your original content on the website is either not indexed properly or your content syndication partner hasn’t implemented the rel=canonical tag on their website.
Canonical tags help search engines understand that there are multiple versions of this content piece, but only the original should get indexed, so that the brand can garner maximum SEO benefits and rank high matching user search intent.
Adding a meta no-index tag to the page also serves the purpose.
By default, most of the established content syndication platforms provide original publishers with canonicals links, thereby minimizing any risk of sabotaging their SEO efforts.
Free content syndication platforms
Content syndication can be done either by using free platforms or by indulging in paid native advertising campaigns with platforms like Outbrain, Colombia & Taboola. They define themselves as content discovery platforms, and have tie-ups with multiple top publishers around the world
For the scope of this blog, we will cover only the free content syndication platforms.
Here are fifteen of the best free content syndication platforms that you can leverage for your brand communication, without damaging your existing SEO efforts:
Quora is considered a gold mine for content marketers. It provides a conducive environment for brands to share their thoughts, vision and solutions with a large captive audience who love reading and discussions around the topic. One can not only share their website blogs here, but also participate in question answer sessions, easing out people’s queries and apprehensions.
Pinterest is for people who are driven by audio-visuals and treat it as a first source to gather information. It makes perfect business sense for marketers to create compelling infographics which acts like a teaser, and at the same time explain the content of the blog, service page, etc. in the most condensed form. It uses a collection of interesting images (read infographics) to discover fresh content on Internet across the niches.
It is for people who like reading the curated content for themselves. Flipboard suggests content from blogs, news feeds, social media, image & video sharing websites, and a ton of others. It allows users to flip articles, news, videos, etc. to their own curated magazines. It essentially acts like a personal magazine with curated content across a person’s interests. Flipboard, in my view can be considered as a more elaborate form of Pinterest.
LinkedIn acts as a great force multiplier if used correctly. The article and post sections provide brands ample space to publish their content on the platform. One can further choose to either publish the full article there or truncate it by providing a ‘Read More’ link directly to the original hosted content. This ensures brands get enough space to communicate to their audience (like a teaser) and then drive the interested/relevant readers to the website. Leveraging LinkedIn groups without spamming its timeline further acts as a catalyst to reach desires audience sets.
The ones least used by marketers
Scoop.It is a content curation platform, and by far the best that I have ever used. It helps users like me and you to create topic boards (something like in Pinterest & Flipboard) and scoop articles to be shared with the audience. The platform comes with social media integrations which makes it all the more easy for the readers to share their interests and thoughts. The trick is to name the topic board (content category) with which the readers can directly relate.
Digg is the homepage of the Internet as they say. It is simple to use, and comes with a user friendly interface. You just have to submit your high performing content, and let platform do the rest. If one of your content does find traction with the readers, there is no stopping from it being viral. You can reap benefits of virtually endless traffic to your website using this platform.
Medium is a free-for-all online publishing platform with minimalist UI and great user base. It drives people who indulge in insights and thoughts. Perfect platform to share brand communication in the most subtle and professional manner.
GrowthHackers started as growth oriented marketing platform for start-ups, but now also boasts presence of big corporates. It’s a perfect platform for companies with limited marketing budget. It works with sharing snippets of brand content followed by a ‘Read More’ or ‘View Full’ option. Makes it easy to discover content and also drives relevant traffic to brand’s website.
Mix is a content discovery platform specifically targeting blog posts. Brands curate and share content that they love. Mix learns about specific interest of users and present them with more of such content. The same posts can be added to collections (content category) and boosted with paid ads to drive up website traffic for the brands. It also enables readers to select the best posts which they like and add it to their collection.
Slideshare is an information mine for people looking to understand the entire context of content in the form of presentations. It gives great visibility to brands who repurpose their content for the curious readers. The platform offers social media sharing option and a huge built-in audience. Works best for brands which have complex/technical offerings and the ones where explainer videos are needed to communicate the product/service usage with the prospects.
The massive traffic sources
Product Hunt works as a perfect platform for brands looking to monetize their content and also for those who create volumes of e-books, whitepapers, data sheets, or any high on information content. Brands utilize this space to share their content in PDF format where people can download it either as a free or paid product. The trick here is to ingest UTM links within the PDF document which helps readers to directly move to brands website and explore more. They get information, brands get the referral traffic.
Facebook Instant Articles thrives by providing a native content consumption interface for Facebook users. Essentially introduced to enhance experience of mobile users, the sole purpose is to provide readers with an immersive experience and seamless UI. Instant Articles enables brands to ingest their blogs directly to Facebook using publishing tools and get the reader’s eye. It is not only visible to the people who have ‘Liked’ the brand’s page or interacted with them, but appears in organic news feed of multiple users with similar interests.
This does cause loss in organic traffic because the readers are using Facebook to read, but enhances brand awareness multiple times. You can always ingest backlinks to the article that can take people to brand’s website.
Feedly is a content discovery platform catering to the diversified set of industries and business niches. This platform enables readers to distinguish between insights and noise form the pile of information. It is a must place for content publishers to find traction with. Feedly comes with its user base advantage and the various kinds of profiles of readers. The trick here to be natural with your interests and multiple feeds around your interest. The more authentic you are, the better this platform works for you.
Zest is a content streaming platform focused around marketing & related articles. It allows users to suggest content using a chrome extension & login via LinkedIn account. The idea again is to be authentic and suggest content based on natural interests. So, sharing content only from your website doesn’t help here.
Get Pockets helps manage reading list of articles from all of the Internet. It adds saved webpages to libraries for later reading or reference. It offers it users with option to save, read, watch and listen as content consumption formats.
It is important to be present on these platforms to find your ideal customer. And trust me, these are just a few. There are literally thousands of them. It is the thought process which helps people find their business partners. The more you communicate with your target audience, better it is. Content syndication helps you to