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If you publish blog content as part of your online marketing strategy, then you may be wondering if some of them are destined for content superstardom in places like LinkedIn and Medium.

LinkedIn Pulse is a great way to get your blog in front of your network because it notifies your connections when you publish content on the site (posting status updates just shows up in the regular ol’ newsfeed).

If you want to reach an even wider audience, then you might consider publishing content on Medium, which typically serves up longer, more in-depth articles.

No doubt about it, if you are looking to build your brand, then publishing to LinkedIn and Medium is a great way to start.

However, if you are like some of our clients, then you also wonder how this might affect your SEO.

How Republishing Blog Content Can Affect SEO

Anytime you take content from your own site and put it on another site without making any changes, you create duplicate content. Now you have your blog post on your website, and you have the exact same copy on LinkedIn and Medium.

How will Google decide which one to rank higher in its search engine results pages?

That depends on your site. LinkedIn and Medium may or may not have more authority. That means Google could rank the blog post from your site higher, or they could prioritize the content from one of the other two sites.

Whether or not this bothers you depends on your goal.

If you want to drive more traffic to your own website, then you may not want to republish your blog content to third-party sites. However, if you want to get more eyes on your work – to establish credibility or thought leadership, for example – then perhaps a site with a higher profile is more important this time around.

Some people also worry about their site being penalized by Google if they have duplicate content. While Google does discourage duplicate content, they do not necessarily penalize you for it. It depends on the circumstances, and KISSMetrics does a great job of explaining these.

Here are Some Options to Consider

Some clients want to work those SEO investments and get the benefit of LinkedIn and Medium, and nothing says you can’t do both. Try one or a combination of these approaches as you go forward:

  • Use canonical tags – If you want to repurpose your blog content on third-party sites for more exposure, then you can always ask those sites to use a canonical tag to give your site credit for the content. You won’t always get your way, but it’s worth a try. Note that LinkedIn and Medium don’t offer this type of functionality, but some others might.
  • Write the opposite point of view – Instead of using the same content on another site, try writing another blog from the opposite perspective. Example: Put “5 Best Practices for Being Awesome” on your own site, and “5 Biggest Mistakes When Trying to be Awesome” on another site. Your site gets some of the SEO benefits and you increase your audience at the same time.
  • Post differently on each platform – Consider writing some blog posts intended only for LinkedIn and Medium, and host the rest of your content on your own site. Sure, you don’t get the credit for the third-party pieces, but you eliminate the duplicate content issue and broadcast your work to people who may not see it when it’s only published on your own site.

What have your experiences been like when publishing content on other sites? We want to hear about it in the comments!