Skip to main content

Content Syndication

In its strictest sense, content syndication it is the multiple use of information in the form of text or images. In principle, other multimedia content such as videos and software can also be syndicated.


The principle of syndication is over 100 years old. In 1895, the American publisher William Randolph Hearst marketed popular comics. To this end, the so-called "unions" granted printing licenses for certain cartoonists to many publishers. Thus, small regional newspapers could benefit from publishing individual comic strips, not just large ones. A situation was created in which everyone came out winning. Artists did not have to sell their comics themselves and newspapers were able to increase the appeal of their editions by including comic strips. The company founded by the inventor of syndication, King Features Syndicate, is still active in the market.

Content syndication today

At this time, many media companies continue to work on the principle of syndication. In this way, newspapers benefit from a news report and publish it simultaneously in all regional editions. In addition, syndication provides television broadcasters with the ability to distribute a news report across multiple broadcasts. Large portals provide photographs or graphics for businesses. Publishers acquire publishing rights for a certain price. There is also a database with free content. The individual posts can also be exchanged between different publishers.

Syndication of content on the Internet

Even though in the analog world there are usually physical limitations for content syndication, such as the edition of a newspaper or the reach of a television station, the Internet is almost unlimited when publishing content. Virtually any website on the Internet that provides relevant information on a topic can be a content provider. The dissemination and sharing of the content of the media can be done through payment systems or free of charge through channels RSS or XML files. For operators of large portals, therefore, it may be attractive to display important stock market reports from a news website on their site as added value. Similarly, smaller sites can act as news "aggregators" through the use of RSS feeds for the purpose of sharing information for their visitors.

Syndication as part of SEO strategy

For SEO experts, it has long been an effective way to get backlinks to their own websites through RSS feeds. In the same way, you can attract more traffic to your website through multiple use of content. However, this tactic should be used with caution, primarily in view of spamming and [Duplicate Content | Duplicate content]]. In this way, the focus on content syndication should be on the benefits for users and the relevance of your web portal.

Risks of content syndication

  • Legal issues: Publishers who are dedicated to content syndication first face a copyright issue, because the incorporation of external content on your website requires the consent of the content provider. It is not advisable to integrate the contents of an RSS feed on your website without first asking its owner.
  • Content uniformity: If many websites take advantage of content distributed by a content provider, the uniqueness of your website may be affected. In this way, the massive use of syndicated content will be considered, in the long term, spam rather than a significant source of information by Google and users.
  • Double content risk: If you integrate RSS feeds or other syndicated content on your website, you must be aware of the risk of duplicating the content. This could be remedied by marking the output links as rel = "nofollow".