Sharing content is a key way of amplifying your digital presence, audience and ultimately customers. This can be done across many platforms, however a key method is by getting published on related businesses’ and media companies’ blogs. This will help you reach new audiences while simultaneously establishing yourself as a source of expertise and authority on your offering. Being published on other websites also gives you the crucial ability to enhance your SEO through back linking.
However, there are a few key rules which should be followed when you share content for SEO improvement. Don’t risk the decreased visibility that comes with Google severely penalising both your site and the third party site you are being published on. Luckily for everyone, these rules are straight-forward and simple to follow.
Use Canonical Tags
For your website to show up in Google searches your website must be indexed by Google. Google does this automatically and constantly, forever crawling the web for the most relevant and high quality content to display to Google users when they search for related content. However, if Google finds duplicate content, it will prioritise one of these pages over the other. Or, if it thinks that the content was duplicated for malicious purposes, it will penalise both. If you’re sharing content to a different website this can mean a critical page on your website might be ignored by Google as it may index the other website’s page.
To avoid this, it’s important to point out to Google the content’s original site. Make sure you tag the non-original location of the content with an indicator of the content’s origin. This’ll ensure Google indexes your page correctly – it’ll now know which page to index and which to ignore.
Now how do you do this? Canonical tags. Canonical tags are placed in the website header of the page that’s housing the duplicate content; They refer google’s bots to the original source of the content. Below, this code is what needs to be inserted into the third party’s page to refer back to your own site. The url should be the page url which houses the original content on the original site.
<link rel=“canonical” href=“https://yourwebsite.com/original-content-location/”
And these tags aren’t visible to visitors of the site, so you don’t need to worry about ruining site design!
Change Your Content by 30%
Unfortunately, while using canonical tags is a valid way to share content, it can prohibit one of the parties’ pages from being indexed. Thankfully, it’s not too much trouble to ensure both pages get indexed. And it’ll also boost your visibility. Both sites indexed means your content will appear twice in Google searches.
For this to happen, there needs to be say a 30% difference in content between the two websites’ pages. Using different photos and tweaking the content slightly so there’s a difference in wording are both easy ways to achieve that 30%. When Google crawls the websites, it won’t mark them as duplicates and both sites will be visible in a Google search. Two different versions might mean you need to put in more time into content development, but the reward will definitely be worth it.