Google says that syndicated content is more than likely to outrank the original source material and that it is an inherent trade-off for amplifying the reach of articles and blogs.
Content syndication is a simple process where any form of web-based content is republished by third-party partners on different sites. The method is ideal for driving brand awareness and reach, as well as directing more people to consume the original article.
Google’s John Mueller said in a recent Webmaster Central Hangout that syndicated content always has a chance of outranking the original source and that there is no sure-fire method for preventing it from happening. He added that brands should be aware of this fact when syndicating content.
Mueller said: “I think this is always a tricky situation. We do try to figure out which page is the most relevant for some of these queries and to point users directly there. But if these are completely separate websites, and they’re just posting the same article, then there’s also a lot of additional value from the rest of the website.”
Mueller did urge webmasters to use a canonical tag to highlight that a certain piece of content is the original but admitted that this may not always serve up the “correct” results as webpages are typically very different. Overall, Google focuses on what will be most relevant for those using search.
He also believes that it “makes sense” to syndicate as it gives content a better chance of being read or watched by a larger audience.