2016-2017 Update: With search engine competition rapidly growing and Google's (and Bing's and Facebook's) changing algorithms, syndicating posts can be a tradeoff or a risk. I've seen many successful individuals syndicating their website or blog posts on LinkedIn, Forbes, Inc, Huffington Post, etc. These writers get additional exposure for their business, website, and hopefully some website traffic and SEO boost from including their URL. I've had some success (more so in 2014 and early 2015) with syndicating articles on this website to LinkedIn publishing. I've gotten traffic and a lot of additional exposure, but sometimes the LinkedIn posts end up showing up in search engines and not the original website posts. That equates to lost web traffic, SEO, and decreased advertising revenue. LinkedIn (or Huff Post, Forbes, etc) makes the advertising revenue off of your post. Because of publishing overload and congestion, I've decided to take a break from LinkedIn publishing. Syndicating your posts to multiple websites depends on your business goals but just keep in mind it can be a double-edged sword. As for aggregation websites, they are still commonplace but from what I've seen they tend to just include links to the original article, a brief summary of the story, or an embedded YouTube video. This seems more prevalent now with "Breaking News" type gossip, scandals, major mainstream news, or other "clickbait". While these types of sites can potentially be profitable, I would personally avoid making it a consistent business practice.
We've all seen the success and even accolades received by founder Arianna Huffington and The Huffington Post over the years. The Huffington Post is one of the most successful, aggregation sites that constantly consolidates the most popular posts worldwide to one site. It also publishes thousands of posts written by unpaid bloggers and authors looking to promote themselves. It then leverages its enormous traffic to sell expensive advertising space. Many critics have said that the website simply exploits unpaid writers and makes money off of the works of others in general. They have been sued over these issues but ended up having most or all of the charges dismissed. But that's another story altogether.
So over the past year or so, I got really into syndicating posts from other bloggers onto my site, or syndicating my posts onto my secondary blogs. You know, the whole "guest blogger" thing but simply using a post that they already created, saving both parties time. Or publishing the same post on to more than one of my various websites and blogs. This was obviously an attempt to increase the number of places where the blog could be seen, increase the combination of keywords that would bring readers to my site, and an overall attempt to increase traffic in general. If you have a good post, or really need content for a site, wouldn't this tactic make perfect sense for boosting traffic and web sales? Not necessarily these days...
The reason why it may not be a valid strategy anymore is because of Google's site ranking crusade against scraping sites and other sites that simply aggregate other peoples' content. These websites compile articles and videos from other websites to mooch off of their traffic and leverage it for advertising. That means if you put the same article on two different sites, one of them will end up having a better search rank than the other. The one with the lower rating could even be from the original site! Google's tactic to get rid of scraping sites hurts syndication significantly as well. I've still had a lot of syndicated posts garner a lot of traffic on several sites at once, but I don't think it's worth taking the risk with important posts. So for this reason and more, it's definitely a good idea to weigh the pros and cons of syndicating your post or using a syndicated post on your website or blog.
I know I've deleted all my redundant posts on my little "pet project" websites to avoid the risk, and I'm using syndicated posts with much greater apprehension. I'm not saying syndication or aggregation won't work, but it's certainly not what it used to be. Decide what makes sense for you and your site rank, and continue to follow the updates on Google and other search engines' algorithms.
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