Syndicated Sites, Hashtags and Google +
I have two years worth of content here on my blog and for the past year, I’ve been following my own advice. I suggested content creators repurpose their content through syndicated sites such as Project Eve, Social Media Today and Business 2 Community. I knew doing so would have its pros and cons. Sure, my content would be seen by more eyes which is a good thing, but my site wouldn’t see any of the traffic unless readers clicked one of the strategically placed links that point back to my blog.
Good things have happened as a result of my work being syndicated. My blog on on how small businesses can become million dollar businesses caught the attention of a big Australian company. One of their executives is going to be a guest on my podcast very soon. Two other articles, one on National Chicken Wing Day and the other on toaster strudels and female creative directors both ended up on Yahoo Small Business News. It’s been great exposure but I was still a bit bothered by not getting the traffic.
Not so much anymore.
I learned about Google Authorship at this year’s BlogElevated Conference. Holly Homer taught us the wonders of using Google +. She showed us how to add syndicated sites to our Google + profiles which I hadn’t done. She shared how when we post our content and use appropriate hashtags on Google +, our posts are crawled in six minutes! That’s not all, those posts rank high in Google searches.
I decided to test it out and here’s what happened.
Moved up in rank.
Prior to me adding the syndicated sites to my Google + profile, my National Chicken Wing post didn’t even show up in my search. The Yahoo Small Business News version of my story ranked number one. It’s my story, but it’s not my site. After I added the syndicated site to my profile, posted the article in Google + with a “national chicken wing day” hashtag…well, here are the results.
My site finally ranked first in the search. Even above the Yahoo story.
Now my toaster strudel post is still nowhere to be found on a Google search. The syndicated site and Yahoo still rank first and second. I hope the Google gods are working on this and my site will move up in rank.
What about other search engines?
Unfortunately, this only works for Google searches. The syndicated version and Yahoo version of my story still rank first and second on Bing and Yahoo. Again, the original story on my site is nowhere to be found. Yahoo’s search did include social media activity about the original post on the first page. A tweet sent by someone who follows me was listed and a pingback from my own site ranked pretty high in the Yahoo search results.
Too syndicate or not to syndicate…that is the question.
Right now, I’ve put syndication on pause. The toaster strudel post got past me and was published anyway; that was not my original intent. We’ll see if any good comes from it. As a growing business, I know the exposure is good but I also know site traffic is also a good thing if not better. Some experts suggest writing different articles for syndication sites; that is an option but again it drives traffic away from the content creator. It would be different if at least my name linked back to my site but alas, even that links back to the syndicated site.
What should you do?
I definitely recommend using Google +. It’s a content creators best friend. List all of the sites you write for in your profile and use hashtags on all your social media posts when posting your masterpieces (those come up in searches now too). If you’re going to post your work on syndicated site, these are a few things you can do to help boost your Google search rankings.