Your Syndication Partners Should Canonical To You Or They May Outrank You On Google

Sep 20, 2019 • 7:31 am | comments (7) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

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Danny Sullivan from Google spent the past couple days defending Google on why a syndication partner, like Yahoo News, outranks the original place Yahoo got that content from. In short, Yahoo is not using a canonical tag to tell Google the content is from a specific partner. So Google picks the best option it is aware of.

I wrote about this in detail at Search Engine Land under the title Google explains why syndicators may outrank original publishers. Again, the short answer, if you want to make sure Google ranks your content over your syndication partners, make them use a canonical.

Google has said this for a long time now and the cross site canonical tag is noting new. Google wrote "Publishers that allow others to republish content can help ensure that their original versions perform better in Google News by asking those republishing to block or make use of canonical. Google News also encourages those that republish material to consider proactively blocking such content or making use of the canonical, so that we can better identify the original content and credit it appropriately."

Now, in the complaint, that syndication partner did not have a canonical:

Danny was quick to point that out:

It is hard for Google to figure syndicated content out because the content is published on multiple sites at the same time and because the concept of syndicating content makes that content not unique as a default.

It is hard for Google to know who is the original source if you don't give Google any signals, such as the canonical:

Again, your partners have the right to use your content based on the terms you give them and they agree to. If your terms state they need a canonical tag to your site, then you are set. If you cannot do that, then you have to understand Google might rank them above you. This has been the case since day one really.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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