Republish Your Content on Other Websites Using a Canonical Tag
Remember how many times have you heard that duplicate content is harmful to SEO in terms of ranking? You did, didn´t you?
But what if you created a great blog post and want it to be read by as many people as possible? Thus, you want more than just sharing it on different social media platforms. What you will be striving for, is republishing this specific blog content on high authority websites and generate leads from there. But here again you hear that voice in your head “♫ Don’t do that, Google will penalize you!”
So, here is the question; should you republish your blog content on other platforms or no!
The answer is; Yes IF YOU DO IT CORRECTLY!
What does this “CORRECTLY” mean?
Assume you’re dealing with two websites; website X (this is your blog with the original content) and website Y (here you want to import/republish your blog content). So, what you need to do is somehow telling the search engines that website X is the original one so and passing all the SEO benefits to that very page. So, here comes to the concept of Canonical Tags.
Canonical Tag tells search that the content is not the original one and represents a copy of another content.
This tag can be found in the HTML head of your content page (Press Ctrl+U or Ctrl+Shift+I). Here is an example of a canonical tag.
Note: It might happen so that the search engines consider the wrong link (the other platform you reposted your blog content) as the original one if there is no canonical tag.
Before going into detail on how to deal with this blog content syndication (by the way, this is how it’s called) and how to use canonical tags properly, let’s first look at the following;
Where Do You Need to Use Canonical Tags to Avoid Content Duplication
- You have very similar content on different pages of your website. Here you need to help search engine spiders using their crawling budget efficiently to give value to the most important pages of your website.
- From HTTP to HTTPS if there’s no redirection option.
- Self-referral on every page; If you have a Page X, put a canonical tag to the point that very page.
- Avoid placing the canonical tag on a canonicalized page. Otherwise, it will be entirely ignored by crawling spiders.
- Non-HTML documents such as PDF (in the HTTP header ). Check out how to handle it in this guide.
- When you have the mobile version of your website (m.yourwebsitename.com), you need to use a canonical tag (for mobile) AND a rel= “alternate” tag (for desktop). Here’s the guide by Google.
- If there is a new version of your content, but you don’t want to delete the old one.
- You have exactly the same content. E.g. you published a blog post and reposted it on another website.
Now, Let’s dig into the latter and get back to the main question regarding correct content syndication. Here, what you need to bear in mind is that you need a canonical tag for that republished content telling search engines that the original one is in your blog. So, you can either
- Publish the article in those websites which give a possibility to add a canonical tag. A great example of a content syndication platform is Medium (Do you know any other platform? Feel free to share in the comments).
Here you need to IMPORT your blog content and the canonical tag will be generated automatically. NOTHING ELSE NEEDS TO BE DONE.
Here are the steps; Click on the Profile picture > Go to Stories > Import a Story > Put the Content URL > Import > Edit > Publish (https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/214550207-Import-a-post)
2. Contact and ask the website owner to add a canonical tag manually to the content which points to your website. Different ways exist on adding canonical tags, and it mostly depends on what kind of website do you host.
How it can be done? Insert the following tag into the head of the page you want to canonicalize (not the original one, the one you’re pointing to).
Or just include them in the HTTP headers.
If the website is based on WordPress the website owner is most probably using the YOAST plugin for the SEO. So he/she need to go to the post, scroll down to the YOAST part, press settings and put that URL there.
And also don’t forget about self-referencing canonical tags.
Finally, please note that canonical tags will not guarantee that your website’s rank will skyrocket to the first place. However, if you implement it not correctly it will harm you SEO for sure. This is SEO : ))