Is Licensing Content Good or Bad for SEO?
Licensed Content for SEO – Worth My Time?
Licensed content can have far-reaching benefits for brand awareness and reputation, but is it worth your time in regard to SEO?
To an extent, the subject remains controversial and there are indeed some organic search issues to be aware of when licensing content, but generally speaking, this technique is absolutely worth exploring if you’d like to increase you presence in organic search.
Licensing content is when you create and publish content onto your own site, then grant permission to other sites to post a duplicate copy of your content onto their site. Licensed content is quite applicable to large publishers wishing to gain additional exposure to audiences outside of their typical viewership, but the technique is also quite appealing to smaller sites interested in brand building. How much content you’d like to license will remain up to personal discretion, but do keep in mind the importance of maintaining unique content on your own site.
Licensed Content Best Practices
- Always be the reference resource and get a followed link when licensing your content. Be sure to request a deeplink from the licensee directly to your article, not your website homepage or blog.
- Pursue a rel=canonical tag from the licensee to the page with your article. Doing so will illustrate to search engines that you are the content creator. Webmaster Central Blog has a great post on this.
- Be sure to publish your content on your site first!
- Discuss with the licensee the idea of adding a noindex tag to the header of their page in which your content lives. The content will still be available to their readers, but the licensed content will not be crawled.
- Avoid licensing each piece of content you create. It is important to maintain unique and authoritative content on your own website.
- Being outranked – If you follow the aforementioned best practices, the likelihood of partners outranking you for your own content will be greatly diminished. That being said, it is still a common concern and does happen fairly regularly.
- Duplicate content – Be sure to keep a close eye on partners publishing your content. Duplicate content is frowned upon be search engines and if licensed content best practices are not followed, you may increase the risk of your site appearing manipulative.
The likelihood of earning valuable backlinks to your site via licensed content should not be ignored and the opportunity to attract many new visitors to your site is always attractive.
Unfortunately, many content partners are not willing to entertain the laundry-list of licensed content best practice requests you will be sharing, so it may ultimately prove most beneficial to focus your time and effort on just your own, unique content creation, as opposed to licensing.