Content syndication is a process in which third-party sites republish content that originally appeared on your company’s blog. Syndication is useful for content publishers just beginning a new marketing strategy as well as veterans who want their name or brand to be associated with thought leadership. Sites within a syndication network can publish your articles, videos and graphics as native content, while giving you credit and linking back to your original post.

Does content syndication harm the SEO value of your content?

If you’ve been publishing web content for any length of time, you probably know that problems can occur when you publish duplicate content. Generally, search engine algorithms will determine which copy of the content is most relevant to user search intent and will only index one instance.

Content syndication networks get around this challenge by telling the search engine where the content originally came from, so that the original publication gets indexed and receives all of the SEO benefits.

syndication networks

The most common way to ensure your syndicated content remains SEO-friendly is to partner with syndication service providers that implement the rel=canonical tag on their sites. Essentially, this tag tells the search engine that there are multiple versions of the page and only the original should get indexed. The rest will remain accessible to users, but you won’t take a hit on your SEO benefits. Adding a meta noindex tag to a page serves a similar function.

Are paid content syndication networks better than free solutions?

The short answer: No. There are many great syndication partners that can help your content generate greater levels of audience engagement. Paid service providers utilize a cost-per-click pricing strategy similar to Google Ads. You select a campaign budget and bid rate, then the automated system distributes your content to third-party sites until your budget cap is met. The process is easier for you, but the end results often look spammy to users.

Free service providers tend to be non-automated and may require you to pitch your content to the site’s editorial staff. However, there are plenty of options that allow you to syndicate your content in a few easy steps and without any approval necessary. In these cases, you need to have a thorough understanding of the site’s audience and the type of content that will most appeal to those readers.

Content syndication is a useful strategy for getting more eyes on your content. A 2017 Salesbox survey found that 65 percent of B2B marketers use syndication networks and platforms as a core lead gen tactic.

Here are 10 great content syndication providers with free service offerings:

1. Quora

Pricing model: Free

Quora is a social media platform that allows users to ask questions that can’t be answered with a simple Google search. Quora users create a profile that shares their professional experience and personal hobbies, which establish their authority on a given subject. Users can upvote answers, lending further credibility to the information they contain.

Quora also provides a blogging platform that is tailor-made for writers who haven’t yet developed an audience. Likewise, bloggers on Quora don’t have to do as much heavy SEO work because the platform makes it easy for users to discover content. This allows writers to focus on creating compelling and valuable content. B2B leaders can utilize this platform to share their company’s blog content and start conversations with relevant, engaged readers.

2. Medium

Pricing model: Free

content syndication networks

Medium is a platform that gives writers and businesses a space to publish feature-rich articles. Readers can access a handful of stories for free each month, or sign up for a subscription, much like media outlets like The Washington Post or Huffington Post. The site is free to publish on, which makes it a valuable tool for marketers who are still developing their audience.

If you have content on your company blog that you wish to share on Medium, you just have to import the content by pasting its URL into Medium’s blogging tool. The site will automatically format your written content, images and links and apply the necessary meta tags to ensure search engines recognize your website as the original copy.

3. SlideShare

Pricing model: Free

SlideShare is a platform designed to help thought leaders share their expertise with a wider audience. Purchased by LinkedIn in 2012, SlideShare is consistently within the top 100 most-visited sites in the world.

You can share PowerPoint presentations, documents, videos and graphics. SlideShare’s sophisticated search functionality then makes it easy for your target audience to find your content. It’s a great way to build thought leadership. The site’s connection to LinkedIn also makes it easy to boost engagement metrics because you can share your SlideShare content with your professional network in a single click.

4. LinkedIn

Pricing model: Free

LinkedIn itself can be a highly useful content syndication and distribution platform. You can republish your blog posts as LinkedIn articles which will populate your connections’ news feeds. LinkedIn is ideal for B2B marketers, because the platform is designed for business people.

Not only can you share your expertise with people already within your network, but also with people in your secondary professional network. For example, if you share a blog post with your network and five people click the “like” button, it will be distributed to their followers as well. The more people who like and share your content, the more probable it is to gain impressions.

5. Facebook Business

Pricing model: Free and paid

content syndication networks

Facebook Business offers organizations and individuals the ability to share content with targeted audiences via free and paid channels. Options include paid advertisements, sponsored posts and audience analytics tools. Generally, these options don’t allow you to fully reproduce your content on Facebook, but you can share snippets and links.

Content marketers can also take advantage of Facebook Groups by posting relevant articles to ongoing conversation threads. This process takes a little more time and resources, but can be a great way to develop connections with other thought leaders.

As with other types of remarketing platforms, Facebook Business can help you take advantage of lookalike audiences. These are users who have not yet interacted with your brand, but who share web surfing habits similar to your current audience. Facebook’s algorithms can target these users and expand the reach of your content.

6. Mix

Pricing model: Free

content syndication networks

When content discovery platform StumbleUpon closed its doors in 2018, it moved its services to Mix, a new content curation platform that allows users to create collections of related content and share them with other users. As with sites like Quora, users sign up for a Mix account and select topics they are interested in. Mix then serves up a queue of relevant articles in the form of article cards. Users can add articles to custom collections and share them with others in their network.

Content marketers can upload their feature-rich articles to Mix, create themed collections and then sit back while Mix distributes the content to relevant readers. Mix also offers Chrome and Firefox extensions that allow you to grab URLs from anywhere online and add content to your collections. As a new contender in the content syndication market, Mix is likely to add features as the service matures.

7. Reddit

Pricing model: Free

content syndication networks

Reddit is a social media platform where users share links to content from around the web. It is one of the most popular websites in the U.S. and around the globe. Reddit is organized into subreddits – communities centered around a specific topic. These range from forums where people share pictures of their pets to industry-specific communities like r/WebDev, where programmers can ask questions about development challenges.

As with some of the other social media sites on this list, Reddit isn’t the best place to fully syndicate your content because you can’t create feature-rich articles. Instead, you can link to your original post and start a conversation about it on the Reddit platform. This can be a great place to build an audience and develop your reputation as a thought leader.

8. SoundCloud

Pricing model: Free and subscription

If you have audio content like podcasts, SoundCloud is a great platform to reach to audiences. Like iTunes, SoundCloud allows you to upload and share your content for free. If you want more features, such as detailed analytics and fine-tuned audio controls, you can sign up for a monthly or yearly subscription.

To be successful, your podcast needs to be accessible by a wide audience. Therefore, it’s best practice to syndicate your audio content on several platforms. If you only publish your podcast through iTunes, you could miss out on a significant number of listeners. Basic skills with RSS feeds will give you the ability to sync iTunes and SoundCloud so you only have to upload your content once.

9. YouTube

Pricing model: Free

content syndication networks

With over 1.9 billion active users each month, YouTube is the clear choice for video content syndication. It’s easy to create an account and start uploading your presentations, tutorials and informational videos in moments.

The new YouTube Studio feature provides an analytics dashboard to track each video’s performance. You can also gain insights into audience behavior to help you better tailor your content to viewer needs.

YouTube embeds are a great way to display content on your website without the need to host videos on your own server. If you plan on creating a lot of video content, this can be a wiser use of resources.

10. Pinterest

Pricing model: Free and paid

If you create infographics or other visual content, Pinterest is a useful platform. Compared with other content syndication solutions, Pinterest displays infographics the way they are meant to be seen – not cropped to fit a web template.

You can upload as many pieces of content as you want for free. Paid users can create special pins that allow for more user interaction. For example, Article Pins show a headline, author and description so users can easily determine if the content is what they’re looking for. Pinterest is also one of the best places to share recipes and shoppable product descriptions.

What about paid syndication platforms?

Now that you’ve seen what free content syndication providers have to offer, let’s take a look paid platforms. They may be popular, but we don’t recommend using them as the value they produce is small and the leads they generate tend to be low quality.

1. Outbrain

Pricing model: Cost-per-click

content syndication networks

As one of the biggest content syndication networks, Outbrain generates more than 275 billion content recommendations every month. You’ve likely seen Outbrain content on sites like CNN and Le Parisien.

Outbrain offers an extensive native ad network and content marketing distribution channels. Paid content distributed by Outbrain can take the form of press coverage, blog articles, podcasts, social media posts, display ads and almost any other type of content you can imagine. These often appear as spammy ads at the very bottom of web pages.

2. Zemanta

Pricing model: Monthly minimum campaign budget

Zemanta is a demand-side native ad platform that utilizes advanced technology to place relevant advertisements in front of readers. Though the company was absorbed by Outbrain in 2017, it continues to operate under its own brand.

This solution can optimize time-on-site and click-through-rate metrics to improve the ROI of each piece of content you produce. Zemanta can also help B2B organizations develop content hubs for specific target audiences – however, we haven’t seen much proof of its ability to generate value.

3. ZergNet

Pricing model: Free

content syndication networks

This solution is free, but it forces you to host a widget on your website that can make your pages look spammy, which can reduce your ROI. ZergNet aims to help content publishers get more traffic by providing an environment that encourages readers to click on links. When you partner with ZergNet, you place a widget on your site that contains links to ZergNet articles. Users click on these links and get sent to a page of articles where they can discover related content.

The more your users engage with ZergNet content, the more free traffic ZergNet will send to your website. ZergNet provides a manual approval process in the middle to ensure that any content appearing on your widget conforms to your organization’s editorial standards. At the end of the day, we don’t recommend this platform because it can drive users away from your site and it’s a little too close to link farming for our tastes.

4. Taboola

Pricing model: Cost-per-click

content syndication networks

Like Outbrain, Taboola provides an extensive network of publishers who distribute your content to an algorithmically defined readership. You have control over which sites your content can appear on. For instance, if you don’t want your content to appear next to potentially controversial articles, you can exclude those sites via a simple dashboard. However, if you don’t know which sites are producing toxic content, your brand may appear on those sites for days or weeks before you find out.

Taboola can place content on sites natively so it appears within each site’s feed where readers are focused most. Savvy readers will know these are ads, and the users who do click on them are likely of low quality.

Whether you’re trying to build an audience from scratch or you want to develop your reputation as a thought leader, syndication networks and platforms can boost the power of your content. Just be smart about which ones you use. See you out there!

Alexander Santo is a Brafton writer living in Washington. ​He enjoys searching for the perfect cup of coffee, browsing used book shops and attending punk rock concerts.