Understanding XML Sitemaps, Content Syndication and SEO

April 3, 2015
by Conor Treacy

    SEO Dictionary DefinitionContent syndication is a strategy that’s used by businesses to reach a wider audience. While content syndication can put a business in front of new prospects, it’s important to do so in a way that doesn’t negatively impact SEO efforts. This post is going to cover what XML sitemaps are, as well as explain how they can be used to ensure that your site receives proper credit for publishing original content even after it’s syndicated.

    A Basic Overview of XML Sitemaps

    At the most basic level, an XML sitemap is a file that tells Google when a piece of content is published or changed. While Google can find new content with their periodic crawls, this tool eliminates the need for any random uncertainty. Since an XML sitemap provides an immediate alert to Google, it’s a tool that can speed up how quickly new posts and other pieces of content are indexed.

    Although Big Red SEO often recommends an XML sitemap for websites that are having trouble getting Google to notice new content, this type of alert isn’t the only use of an XML sitemap. Another way that a sitemap can be very helpful is by showing Google where a piece of content was first published.

    Why Omaha Businesses Choose Content Syndication

    At Big Red SEO, we are big believers in the power of quality online content. The only problem with publishing great content is if a site is new and doesn’t have a following, it can be really hard to get people to read even the best of content.

    Since it’s impossible to pull a targeted audience out of thin air, the next best thing is to put your content in front of the right existing audiences. Accomplishing this goal is why many Omaha businesses choose to have their content syndicated online.

    With syndication, you don’t have to worry about putting even more content creation on your already busy plate. Instead, you can take the content you’re already putting a lot of work into creating and get more eyeballs on it.

    A Common Pitfall of Content Syndication

    While Big Red SEO is the first to agree that content syndication is easier than creating even more pieces of original content, that doesn’t mean this process is always a breeze. In order to reap real benefits from content syndication, it’s important to keep two things in mind.

    The first thing to remember is that simply getting more eyeballs on your content isn’t enough to move the needle for your business. Instead, you need to get the right eyeballs on your content. Accomplishing that goal requires finding the right target audiences. Not only can it take time to find these audiences, but you also need to give the publisher that’s communicating with this audience on a regular basis a compelling reason to syndicate your content.

    Although finding the right channels for content syndication is the first major obstacle that needs to be addressed, it’s not the only issue that can come up with this practice. Once businesses begin having their content syndicated by other sources, there’s a chance that Google will begin recognizing one of the syndication channels as the original source.

    If that happens, it means the syndicated source will likely outrank the original in search results. While the content may still have links to the publisher’s original site, this is obviously not good for SEO or traffic. And since traffic is one of the reason businesses pursue syndication in the first place, it’s easy to see why you want to avoid this problem.

    How XML Sitemaps Help with Content Syndication

    Based on personal tests and data from multiple sources, the best way to avoid any attribution problems with content syndication is to utilize an XML sitemap. By ensuring this type of sitemap is properly set up on the site where a piece of content is originally published, you can give Google a clear way to to see where it came from.

    Although it can take a little work to get an XML sitemap properly configured (especially for larger sites with lots of pages), there are WordPress plugins that can help any business using this platform get started. And keep in mind that if you encounter any issues with your sitemap or your content syndication strategy, Big Red SEO is here to help.

    While it’s a good idea to use an XML sitemap regardless of whether or not you decide to pursue content syndication, this is a strategy that an increasing number of Omaha businesses choose to pursue. Just keep in mind that while content syndication can help spread the reach of your content, it’s not the only option that’s available.

    From promoting content via social media to doing promotional outreach for it, there are a variety of ways to get content in front of more readers and help it rank well so you can begin building an engaged audience on your own business website.

    The key to putting your business and its online presence in the best possible position is to work with a partner that understands the right way to go about increasing your online visibility.

    Omaha SEO Strategy That’s Focused on the Bigger Picture

    If you want your Omaha business to find online success in 2015 and beyond, it’s important to keep your eye on the bigger picture. While new tactics come and go, those approaches can only get you so far.

    In order to find real success that’s sustainable, you need to nail the fundamentals and then focus on the bigger picture strategies that will ultimately move the needle for your business. If that sounds like a lot to handle, the good news is you don’t need to tackle it on your own.

    Instead, you can turn to Big Red SEO for expert help. Since we are true SEO professionals with a proven track record, we can put your business on the right path and keep it there. If you want to discuss everything from content syndication to big picture SEO in detail, please give us a call at (402) 522-6468.

    Conor Treacy

    About

    Conor Treacy has been in the SEO game since the mid-90's when SEO hadn't yet come into full fruition. He spends most of his days performing website audits, reading and writing SEO blogs and industry related material. The rest of his time is consumed with correcting people on their invalid and blackhat ways. The SEO world has changed in recent years, there's a lot of disinformation on the web!