Google Says Partner Websites Can Gain SEO Benefits from Your Syndicated Content

Written by
Daria Chetvertak
Reviewed by
Olena Karpova
Feb 08, 2024
2 min read

If you distribute syndicated content, another website might be receiving all of the SEO benefits from it, even if the canonical points to you. Let’s figure out why this happens.

Content syndication refers to the process of distributing or sharing content (such as articles and blog posts) across multiple platforms or websites. This can involve republishing content from one source to another. The goal of content syndication is to increase the reach and visibility of the content by spreading it across different channels. Syndicating content drives traffic back to the original source. This can improve SEO because it entails generating backlinks from other sites.

However, there is one problem that could prevent you from reaping the benefits of syndicated content. When publishers use cross-domain canonicalization to share syndicated content, Google may have a hard time figuring out where the original source of the content came from. 

Unlike canonical tags under a single domain, cross-domain canonicalization is more difficult for Google’s system to handle. Canonicalization is also designed to signal to Google which of the (nearly) identical pages is canonical. Syndicated pages, on the other hand, may vary significantly from the original content. This makes them difficult to classify as duplicates in the traditional sense. 

This can lead to confusion as to which version of the content should be prioritized in the SERPs. This results in the SEO authority and ranking potential of the content being attributed not to the owner but to one or more of the syndicating websites.

So, what solution does Google recommend to address this issue?

To prevent potential confusion, Google suggests that you ask your partner to block all indexation of the syndicated copies that they have possession over.

According to Google’s guidelines, partners should add this robots meta tag to your articles:

<meta name="Googlebot" content="noindex">

This will prevent your content on partners’ websites from ranking on SERPs and disrupting the original resource.

Whether it’s your own project or your partner’s site, checking the canonical settings and the presence of the noindex tag on any website’s pages can be easy. Just use SE Ranking’s Website Audit tool.

Score your website in 2 minutes.

Enter any website URL to get a detailed report on tech issues and suggested solutions.

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