Weighing Content Syndication and Plagiarism | Part 2


There is an abundance of information on content syndication and plagiarism on the internet today. For every Google search, we do not receive less than a million results.


Some misinformed, some right on point.


Are these writers well informed about the subject? Hmm, maybe or maybe not.


As content syndication advocates, we keep ourselves up to date on related information (there is so much to read and so little time!)


But, there are so many other marketers out there who don’t or don’t have the time to read SO much. We don’t blame anyone!


However, this is probably how the chain of misinformation starts.




And, in this post, we will clear one such myth or misinformation about content syndication and plagiarism.


There are so many write-ups out there that talk about content syndication and plagiarism but have opposite views. Which one is right, after all? Let’s ask Google about it


In Part 1 of weighing content syndication and plagiarism, we discussed briefly how they are different. In this post, we will show you examples and analyze Google’s policy in brief.

What Google has to say about content syndication and plagiarism (or duplicate content) –


Google describes duplicate content (or plagiarism) as substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely matches other content or are appreciably similar.


Google’s primary concern is to deal with attempts to manipulate ranking.


Sometimes content is deliberately duplicated across domains in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings or win more traffic. Deceptive practices like this can result in a poor user experience when a visitor sees substantially the same content repeated within a set of search results.


In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.


Before you jump to conclusion that content syndication and plagiarism are the same, Google also specifically mentions content syndication


If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the no index meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.


The policy goes on to mention that


Duplicate content on a site is not grounds for action on that site unless it appears that the intent of the duplicate content is to be deceptive and manipulate search engine results.


In short, you can go ahead with content syndication without worrying about penalty by Google. However, don’t ever try to manipulate Google’s ranking. Never!




Let’s look at a few known brands who actively syndicate content without encountering an issue.


1. Buffer


In an article on Buffer, Kevin Lee talks about the guest post and content syndication on their blog.


If you look through their comments section, Brian Honigman raised concerns about content syndication and plagiarism. Here is the screenshot for your reference 


Brian Honigman

Leo Widrich, one of the founders of Buffer, responded to this query saying


Great point Brian – we’ve not seen any issues at all either, our SEO traffic has been rising steadily over the past 12 months! If you ever learn anything, let me know!


He also attached an analytics screenshot of their SEO traffic. You can see that Buffer’s traffic constantly kept increasing with content syndication (or as many marketers refer to it as duplicate content)


buffer trafficThe same Brian Honigman has written about his experience with content syndication which you can read here. In his words,


The accumulated effect of all these advantages and the manner in which they feed off of each other gives syndication the unique power to take your online reputation and reach to the next level. Given the extent of the potential benefits, pursuing syndication as a content strategy is well worth the effort.


2. Content Marketing Institute


CMI allows content syndication in their submission guidelines as well. This clearly shows that there isn’t any concern with content syndication and plagiarism


Despite allowing authors to syndicate content on other websites, there has been absolutely no effect on its traffic


content marketing institute graph

Source: Ahrefs


3. Kissmetrics


In Neil Patel’s words


When we started republishing content from the Kissmetrics blog on sites like Entrepreneur and Search Engine Journal, we saw the referral traffic pick up (we got almost 9,492 visitors a month)


Luckily, a lot of known brands have tried content syndication and this shows show that there are no concerns about content syndication and plagiarism at all. While content syndication can spruce up your content marketing results (there is a reason why content syndication is called the new SEO.), you should take certain precautions (only to ensure you gain those benefits).


See, if you decide to stick to original content and guest posting, we won’t say you are wrong. We won’t even ask you to change your strategy.


But, ignoring content syndication is leaving available traffic. Just analyze your real goals and best ways to achieve them.


What has been your experience? Do you see any concerns relating to content syndication and plagiarism? Drop your queries or comments below. We love to hear from you.



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Vikas Bhatt

Author Vikas Bhatt

Vikas is the co-founder of OnlyB2B ITES Pvt Ltd and a Demand Generation cum Data Cleansing Expert. He has 10+ years of experience in B2B Lead Generation, Data Mining, and Content Syndication. Say hi on vikas.bhatt@only-b2b.com

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