SEO 101: Indexing Syndicated Content

SEO Mistakes

I’m going to expand your question because it touches on a bigger one: Syndication.

Syndicated content, such as press releases, can be a great way to round out your content or to provide visitors with curated lists of valuable information.

Lots of sites offer this service, whether they provide a curated list of political news, fashion news, entertainment news, or something else. There are even sites that offer curated press releases for video games.

Ultimately, if it adds value to your visitors, there’s no good reason not to do it.

The tricky part is how Google will view it, which honestly is not even as tricky as it sounds. If the way that you curate the content is just to stick it in a category and not add anything to it, it’s just pure syndicated content.

It adds value to the visitor, but it doesn’t add any value for Google to list your site as a resource for it the same way that they list the original source for it. So they either won’t index it or they will ignore it.

If you add some commentary or interpretation of the content that adds some value beyond just the syndication, it’s possible that would be considered of greater value, especially for a query that contains a word like “review”.

If the query isn’t something that your specific commentary or interpretation refers to, don’t expect to outrank the original source of the content.

Now on to the thorny issue of whether you allow Google to index it or not… If there’s additional commentary, I say there’s no problem with allowing Google to index it. This is assuming of course that you properly credit the source of the syndicated portion of the content and don’t try to pass it off as your own.

However, if your site is nothing but a syndicated content site, there’s probably not enough value in it for Google to consider your site when it comes time to rank sites.

So I strongly advise against using syndication as the primary content on your site, even if you do provide some insightful commentary.

Officially, Google says they don’t use ratios to analyze sites, but in my opinion, it’s all about the ratio of value.

If you have a site that offers no value outside of the occasional commentary on syndicated content, you aren’t going to rank for anything except long-tail terms, and you won’t be seen as an authority on those topics.

If however, you provide a lot of original content and value and the syndicated content and/or commentary is in addition to this other value, it’s fine to let Google index it in its entirety.

Google’s official position on properly attributed syndicated content is that they would like to be able to crawl it and decide for themselves if they want to use it.

In my opinion, it’s best to leave syndicated content and press releases open. Let Google decide what has value and what does not.

Blog Source: Search Engine Journal | Should You Let Google Index Syndicated Content & Press Releases?

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