Google Recommends Noindex For Syndicated News Content

Are you concerned about syndicated content outranking your news content, not in relation to the current indexing disruption affecting publisher traffic from Google News?

Google reinforced its long-standing recommendation that publishers require syndication partners to noindex syndicated news content.

The Twitter discussion began with data compiled by John Shehata, CEO of Newzdash.

The main finding: Yahoo News consistently gets a high proportion of traffic for syndicated news content compared to the original publisher sites.

When Yahoo syndicates publishers’ content, that syndicated version often outranks or ranks similarly to the original content in Google search and news results.

Hence, Yahoo News likely receives a significant portion of the traffic that could have gone to the original publisher sites.

It’s not the first time this issue has been mentioned.

Google Confirms: Noindex Syndicated Content

Google SearchLiasion entered the discussion, tweeting several replies with slides from a recent event discussing updates with advice concerning syndication, canonicals, and noindex.

Here, you can see the precise recommendation for syndication partners to use the noindex tag, which could help Google’s automated systems better recognize the original article.

Google maintains it only recommends noindex, not canonicals.

Ultimately, Google does not blame its guidelines syndication partners for outranking original publisher content.

This recommendation does not mean that Google can’t tell what content is original and what is duplicated.

Canonical tags do not work because the content on a syndication publisher’s website can differ from the original content, thanks to the unique website templates and surrounding related content.

Some Twitter users misinterpreted the advice, leading to the following clarification:

Google also offered three options for publishers who use syndicated content partners.

SEO professionals advised publishers to help ensure original content outranks the rest.

Publishers Must Decide

The complex issue of syndicated content potentially outranking original content has received renewed attention.

Despite some confusion and misinterpretation, Google remains consistent in its long-standing advice, emphasizing that publishers should require their syndication partners to use the noindex tag.

Ultimately, Google leaves it up to news publishers and syndication partners to properly determine how to handle content to ensure both meet their publishing goals.

Featured image: dennizn/Shutterstock