Bloggers: The Trick to Syndicating Without Hurting SEO

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At the end of last year, I heavily syndicated some of my blog content across a number of larger sites and platforms. I enjoyed interacting with the new audiences and appreciated the exposure, but it never occurred to me that I was literally shooting myself in the foot. For months my blog traffic and page views had been on the rise, which naturally gave me a better Alexa ranking. Then things went south–fast.

I first noticed a problem when my traffic and page views began to decline in mid-December. At first, I chalked it up to seasonality and the holidays. People were busy shopping, cooking, and partying. They were not spending as much time online. I’d soon find out this was not the case.

In January, I got the shock of my blogger lifetime when my Alexa ranking tanked (significantly). It dropped by thousands over a number of days. My gut immediately told me to check my Google Webmaster Tools to see if I had been penalized for something. There were no messages, no alerts, everything was fine. What was going on?

I sat down and made a list of all the changes I had recently made to my blog, plug-ins that I had added, and so on. Again, nothing raised a red flag. Until…a friend who specializes in SEO asked me why I was syndicating so often. He explained the negative traffic hits which occur from drops in SEO to original articles and posts, and asked if I had seen a drop with my blog. The light bulb went off!

Even though I was receiving attribution and, in most cases, a link back to my blog, all of the sites I had syndicated with were five to ten times the size of my little corner of the Interuniverse. Because they were larger and had authority, Google viewed the syndicated versions as the original articles and mine as copies. This penalized my SEO and caused all the syndicated versions of my posts to appear in searches. The big guys were now the ones receiving the referral traffic to some of my most popular posts. Mine were subsequently dropped. I stopped syndicating, as the return on investment was a huge hit to the blogging platform I had spent countless months building.

In late February, through some book outreach, I happened to meet another SEO guru. We chatted about syndication and the detrimental effects it can have on blogging. Then he asked if I new the secret to syndicating safely. The secret? Like a magic wand? He basically said, “YES!”

Within your Google Webmaster Tools, there is a feature that allows you syndicate without hurting SEO. I’ve been testing it since early March, with great results.

The feature is called Fetch as Google. Bloggers often publish new posts and wait for them to show up in Google search results. Fetch as Google is a convenient way to speed things up considerably if you have new content that you’d like to be discovered and found in the SERPs. It also allows Google to know who is the originator of posts, which is critical when syndicating content.You can use this tool to fetch up to 500 URLs a week per Webmaster Tools account. Submitting your link to the index using the Fetch as Google tool really is like waving a magic wand. 

Here’s how to use this handy feature:

Note: If you haven’t verified your blog with Google Webmaster Tools yet, see Google Webmaster Tools: An Overview for step-by-step instructions.

  • At the Google Webmaster Tools home screen, select your blog (domain name), expand the Crawl menu, and then click the  Fetch as Google menu link. This will take you to the “Fetch as Google” page.

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  • Copy and paste the URL of the page (leaving off the domain name) in the field and click the Fetch button.

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  • If your page/post was fetched successfully, it will appear in a list. When it does, click on “Submit to index.”

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  • Make sure only “URL” is selected (this will keep the index process to just the one page) and click the OK button.

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  • To confirm that your page/post has been indexed by Google, check to make sure it reads “Success” under Fetch Status.

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Every time you publish a new blog post, it should be Fetched right away. This will get your content indexed faster and allow you to syndicate without hurting SEO.

Posted on by Crystal in MommiFried Extras

14 Responses to Bloggers: The Trick to Syndicating Without Hurting SEO

  1. Janine Huldie

    Crystal, huge thank you for sharing this here with us all and can’t thank you enough. Really does make a difference and am going to make sure I have this done to my own page now 🙂
    Janine Huldie recently posted..It’s My Party…J9 Designs Turn A Year OldMy Profile

  2. Ginny Marie

    This is great information! Thanks for this post!
    Ginny Marie recently posted..Your Spin Cycle Prompt {week of 4/21}My Profile

  3. Kristen

    So how does it work with our other sites when WE are the ones asking OTHERS to post their content on our sites such as MOAM for you and Ten to Twenty for me? In order for us to get content, it’s so much easier to let bloggers repurpose their content… Great post and I’m heading to check out my GA now!!
    Kristen recently posted..The 5 (new) Worst People on FacebookMy Profile

  4. Chris Carter

    WOW- thank you so much for sharing this Crystal! I need to get my hubs to help me- and although I don’t have ONE post syndicated, there *may* be a time when this will be precious information to me. Right?

    So glad you figured it all out- and so sorry you had to go through that madness with the horrible effects of your syndicated posts!
    Chris Carter recently posted..The Best Easter Gift I Could Give My Kids- BiblesMy Profile

  5. WriterMom Angela

    I am doing this RIGHT now! Thanks so much for solving the puzzle! I would hate to be the person who told you something wasn’t possible because you are one determined lady!
    WriterMom Angela recently posted..I’m That MomMy Profile

  6. Angela Gilmore

    This is great to know! I just fetched my last two posts! Who do you syndicate with? If you don’t mind me asking.
    Angela Gilmore recently posted..Baked Breaded Asparagus SticksMy Profile

  7. Lisa @ The Godlen Spoons

    This is such and interesitng tidbit. I am terrible with SEO, etc. – basically all the technical stuff. I did this with one post, though, following your instructions and will certainly do it in the future as well!
    Lisa @ The Godlen Spoons recently posted..My Favorite Candy! {Tuesday Ten Linkup}My Profile

  8. Alexa

    Great information Crystal! I have just done this!
    Alexa recently posted..Earth Day 2014 – Five Signs You Might Be a Tree HuggerMy Profile

  9. Jhanis

    Should I go back to old post and fetch them too?
    Jhanis recently posted..Tag, you’re it!My Profile

  10. Dana

    So do we have to do this with every post? I don’t syndicate but anything that helps my SEO is a win for me.
    Dana recently posted..Should I keep blogging?My Profile

  11. MIchelle

    I’ve been hesitant to syndicate because I wasn’t sure how it was going to affect me. Thanks for this awesome tutorial!
    MIchelle recently posted..Tasty Tuesdays 57 plus FeaturesMy Profile

  12. Jennifer

    Great post!
    Jennifer recently posted..Open a Locked Car LocksmithMy Profile

  13. Pingback: Bloggers: Ten Places to Get Paid for Your Writing (Volume 1) | MommiFried

  14. Michelle

    Thank you for this information. I’m a new blogger and I just submitted my first guest post. While I’m excited for the opportunity, my traffic did not increase as I hoped. Now I know why.

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