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How to republish website content for maximum effect

Fresh, original content is the cornerstone of any content marketing strategy. Yet it isn?t the only way we can gain popularity and derive benefit from great content. Last week we discussed the why in ?Four reasons why republishing old content makes great sense?. This week we are going to cover how to correctly republish content.

While duplicate content doesn?t cause as much trouble as we once thought it did as far as search engines go, it is still troublesome as far as your audience is concerned. It?s never good to repeat yourself in conversation or in content, so any republishing has to be done carefully if it is to generate the interest it deserves. Here?s how.

Select the content to republish

Not all your content deserves a second chance, so selecting the content that does is our first task. Take a look at the number of inbound links, shares and total traffic to a given post and select a few of the high performers. Next, see if you have any good quality pieces that are relevant to current trends and news topics. We can use those too.

Update the piece

For republishing to work properly, you need to give the audience and the search engines something new. So update the content with new information, new authorities, links, images, videos or whatever. Change keywords if your strategy has changed and update anything that seems a little stale.

Important: Don?t change huge swathes of the content. Keep the changes small and relevant to reflect new information. Changing entire paragraphs will cause search engines to consider the content new rather than republished which defeats the object.

Then add an editor?s note at the end telling the reader that the post is a republish of some original content that has been reworked and updated. This is optional but good practice. Your audience isn?t stupid, so being honest will ensure their continued goodwill.

I find it easiest to copy and paste the content into a new document and make changes separately. Your mileage may vary.

The republishing part

There are a few key steps to successful republishing. Follow them and you should get more out of your work.

Use the same page or blog title and make sure the URL stays the same. This will ensure you maintain the authority of the original piece. Change the publish date on the platform when you have added the new content so links remain the same but the piece contains the new content.

Use rel:canonical

Contrary to popular belief, search engines do not instantly penalise you for duplicate content if you do it properly. Doing it properly entails using rel:canonical URLs. These show the search engines that you are syndicating content, an accepted practice among publishers. By using rel:canonical, search engines know it might see the content elsewhere and won?t take action against you.

For example, say we wanted to republish this very post. We would add a rel:canonical element inside the <head> of every republished page. So in this case it would read:


<link rel=?canonical? href=? />

Republishing work and correctly republishing work can have completely different results. Follow the established best practices and your best work can become even better with no penalties from either your audience or the search engines.

If you need help developing content for your business, contact Coastal Content today. We?d be happy to help!

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