June 23, 2009

Five Tips for Using Syndicated Content Effectively


Hostway Team

By Hostway

Using syndicated content on your Web site can be a great deal, especially if it’s free. You get high-quality content, update your Web site often and enhance your site’s value to visitors. But of course, there’s a catch.

When you post syndicated content on your Web site, you’re posting content that is published somewhere else on the Web. While adding new content helps your search engine ranking, it also has the potential to bring your ranking down because it’s not original content.

To maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of using syndicated content on your Web site, follow these five tips:

1. Achieve an optimal balance of original and syndicated content.

Consider syndicated content as a side dish to your compelling, original content. You serve up the main course that drives visitors to your Web site, and let others bring a few complementary items to complete the feast.

Well-written original content will help your search engine ranking and increase value to visitors far more than syndicated content. But syndicated content will help you add keywords and links while allowing you to update more frequently.

2. Make sure you properly attribute your articles.

It may be tempting to eliminate the bylines for syndicated articles. But doing that could void any positive effects the articles have, and can even damage your site’s reputation with search engines.

Anyone who believes their content is being used improperly may file a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA) request with Google to claim ownership and request removal of the offending Web site from the search engine. Even if the content owner doesn’t report you, Google may determine that you have deceptively lifted content from the original site and remove you itself.

So whenever you use syndicated content, make sure you follow the attribution guidelines to the letter.

3. Choose only content that’s relevant to your business and Web site.

When visitors reach your Web site, the first thing they’ll want to see is that they’re getting what they signed on for when they clicked your link. That’s why it is very important to only post content on your site that’s related to your business or your mission.

Additionally, relevant content helps you rank higher in search engines because it’s loaded with keywords that relate to your site. Post off topic, and you won’t get that keyword boost.

4. Find a quality content provider.

Whether you choose to post articles via RSS or do it yourself, make sure you’ve selected a high-quality content provider. The articles should be interesting, current and well-written. Also choose a provider that offers content similar in tone to the rest of your Web site.

5. Publish frequently updated content.

If you post the syndicated articles yourself, read through each one to make sure its still relevant. In today’s world, things change so quickly, even an article from two years ago can be obsolete.

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