Over the years it has always amazed me that some personal finance bloggers get all freaked out about a perceived duplicate content penalty. They think the only way the can safely publish their content is to write a new post for every guest post opportunity.

In the end, good authors just simply lose out from introducing themselves because of their own fears and myths.

I mean seriously, how many extra hours are there in your day to write individual guest posts?

The Stupid Simple Benefits of Syndication

Want to learn more about the benefits of syndicating your content? Read this, this, this, or this.

Or watch this.

Practicing Safe Syndication

Every post that is distributed here on PFSyn.com contains a rel canonical link to the URL you submit to identify the original location of the submitted content. It also contains the syndication code used by ProPublica and other big sites that distribute content. This is the recommended way to safely share content.

pfsyn code

You can see how the Google protective syndication code has been inserted into submitted stories. Just take a look at the bottom of the raw HTML of any article.

Check this out in action. Look at an example of a the code below from an article and you can see how it is linked to the original URL. Google loves that.

And then look how the canonical and syndication meta tags have also been inserted in the syndicated HTML. Google love that even more.

<i>This article by Jeff Yeager first appeared on <a href="http://www.gobankingrates.com/personal-finance/10-tips-save-money-april/">GoBankingRates.com</a> and was distributed by the <a href="http://PFSyn.com">Personal Finance Syndication Network</a>.</i></p> <link rel="canonical" href="http://www.gobankingrates.com/personal-finance/10-tips-save-money-april/"><meta name="syndication-source" content="http://www.gobankingrates.com/personal-finance/10-tips-save-money-april/">

Listen to What Google and Matt Cutts Has to Say About B.S. Duplicate Content Myths

Want to read more about why all the fear of duplicate content is just a flat out myth? Read this, this, this or this.

Or you can just listen to what Google has to say about this subject.

Update April 27, 2015

By far one of the most common objections to syndication is the possible fearful duplicate content penalty from Google. Recently I received an email that said, “It looks like the method in which PFSYN is using the rel=canonical tag isn’t valid. See “Mistake #5” in this page: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/…/5-common... You’re the expert. If you’ll give me a response I’ll post it in the group.”

Here is my response:

This is why I’ve taken a belt and suspenders approach and use multiple ways to identify the original source to search engines. And let’s not forget, all we can do is constantly react to whatever Google says and changes.

As I say at http://pfsyn.com/dont-freak-out the articles identify the source by:

1. Linking to the original article.
2. Using the rel=cannonical tag which Google and chose to pickup or disregard, it’s their sandbox. How anyone can easily tuck that into their head section is beyond the pay grade of most blog owners.
3. Use the code which other sites like ProPublica use for syndication. (Which I showed above.)

And while Google says these tags were originally used for news sources, this is yet another process they use.

And Then…

We are left with the constant and prevailing issue, if the author is syndicating to try and push some SEO metric or syndicating to get their content in front of new eyeballs and engaged readers. Sure, if anyone was ever worried about some arbitrary SEO Google mumbo then they should never, ever, ever syndicate to any site they could not confirm before publishing that the rel link was put in the head element. In that case they should spend time writing unique content that would appear on one site and then get back to pitching for their next unique article.

But I’ll tell you what, I don’t give a damn about that because I know from my experience that exposure drives traffic. That’s exactly why sites like Credit.com and others syndicate like crazy.

Bottom line:

I’ve always enjoyed the approach by Leo Babuta at Zenhabits.net with a massively popular high authority site – http://zenhabits.net/open-source-blogging-feel-free-to-steal-my-content/

“Google rank will go down. My understanding is that Google penalizes pages that have exact duplicates on other sites, when it comes to PageRank. I don’t know how much of a penalty that is. If people duplicate my content (which they already are, even without permission), it’s possible that my PageRank will drop and people will have a harder time finding my content on Google search. If that’s the case, I accept that penalty. I’ve never been one to go for SEO techniques anyway, so this is nothing new to me.”

I don’t need to convince anyone to do anything. I’m either full of crap or working together collaboratively and sharing our content is a logical and smart thing to do to engage readers who already care about personal finance. People need to decide for themselves.


“In our case, we feel that the benefits of syndication outweigh the downsides. Your situation may be quite different than ours, so it’s important to take a close look at your numbers and your goals and then decide from there. It should also be mentioned that part of our joy with syndication is in getting to share our content with anyone who might find value in it. In some ways, we feel that keeping content only at Buffer is a rather selfish act. If others can use it, then we don’t want to stand in the way.”

“The more places you can spread your name and your brand, the more likely you are to reach a new audience. If we were to post only to the Buffer blog, it’s possible we’d miss out on visitors from HuffPo or Fast Company who read stories in one place but not the other. In fact, when I was first learning about Buffer, I tracked back to the Buffer blog from a syndicated post.”

“At Buffer, we choose to look at these inbound links in terms of happiness. We republish and syndicate because we feel it is the right thing to do to share our content with as many people as possible who might find it useful. Rebecca Churt of Hubspot has a lovely term to describe the way we all should write: content altruism. Essentially, this means adding value to the web without worrying about what you might gain.” – https://blog.bufferapp.com/how-to-become-a-columnist-guest-posting-syndication