How Stacker.com Earned 1M+ Natural Month-to-month Visits Via Content material Syndication [Case Study]

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The writer’s views are completely his or her personal (excluding the unlikely occasion of hypnosis) and will not at all times mirror the views of Moz.

Be aware: Amanda Milligan collaborated with Stacker’s search engine optimization specialist, Sam Kaye, to create this case examine.

When a marketer is requested in regards to the worth of content material syndication, they’ll usually listing two predominant advantages:

  1. Elevated model consciousness, as you’re reaching a wider viewers.

  2. Improved engagement, as folks can share and remark throughout a number of variations of the story.

However one advantage of content material syndication that entrepreneurs often overlook is the potential to enhance a website’s search engine optimization efficiency.

Whereas paid syndication (like press launch distribution) can’t carry search engine optimization worth, creating sturdy content material that’s interesting to publishers and their readers can generate large quantities of hyperlink authority again to a publishing area, and drive important natural progress.

However it’s tough to check and implement a complete syndication technique, so there aren’t many sources about its search engine optimization affect.

On this case examine, we:

  • Define the processes utilized by Stacker to syndicate content material.

  • Look into natural outcomes on Stacker.com on account of content material syndication efforts.

  • Talk about how content material syndication can be utilized as a part of a long-term natural progress technique.

The content material creation and distribution strategies used for Stacker.com are the identical as these used for Stacker Studio model companions, making Stacker.com’s natural success a superb case examine for the long-term effectiveness for content material syndication methods.

The proof of syndication’s affect

Earlier than digging into how syndication works for search engine optimization, let’s start by proving that content material syndication works.

Stacker.com has no proactive digital PR or backlinking methods. Our progress technique has been using content material syndication as a mannequin to achieve new audiences and drive precious area authority. The consequence has been Stacker accumulating 20K “dofollowed” referring domains and over a million distinctive backlinks during the last 4 years.

Natural visitors progress

Natural visitors: Google Search Console

Over a interval of 16 months, Stacker.com noticed a major acceleration in natural progress, growing by roughly 500% — from fewer than 10K natural entries per day to greater than 50K entries per day. (Our website was once TheStacker.com, and you’ll see the exponential progress on that area as properly earlier than migrating to Stacker.com.)

Google Search Console traffic overview for Stacker.com

Backlinks

Backlinks: Google Search Console

Backlinks that seem on pages together with rel=canonical tags are processed and valued by serps, as evidenced by the 8M+ hyperlinks created by this technique & recognized in Search Console. Nearly all of these hyperlinks are in-text dofollows from syndicated article pickups with rel=canonical tags. This is a wonderful indicator that Google is crawling and valuing these hyperlinks.

GSC top external links overview for Stacker.com

Backlinks: Moz Professional (domain-wide)

Backlinks created through content material syndication are additionally being picked up by Moz Professional and different third-party reporting instruments.

Moz Professional stories a gradual progress within the variety of referring domains that correlates properly with GSC hyperlink reporting metrics:

Moz: particular person hyperlinks

Along with monitoring account-wide backlinking progress, Moz additionally picks up particular person cases of hyperlinks created through content material syndication, resembling these syndicated SFGate pickups.

Area Authority: Moz Professional

This accumulation of hyperlink authority over time has allowed Stacker to extend our Moz Professional Area Authority rating from 56 to 59 over the previous 12 months:

Natural efficiency: Abstract

In 2021 alone, Stacker.com noticed a 500% improve in referring domains, a 380% improve in natural visitors, and an enchancment in area authority from 56 to 59 due largely to our content material syndication efforts.

These long-term traits of natural progress, paired with the truth that syndicated hyperlinks are being picked up by each Google Search Console and Moz Professional, are a transparent indication that content material syndication is an efficient strategy to drive natural visitors.

How content material syndication improves search engine optimization authority

Stacker’s syndication method offers hyperlink authority in two methods: in-text dofollow backlinks and rel=canonical tags.

An in-text backlink acts as a sign of supply attribution, telling serps {that a} explicit piece of knowledge or content material has been taken from one other supply. A canonical tag does the identical factor, besides that it attributes the whole article, not only a piece of it, again to the unique writer. Each are indicators of supply attribution, and each point out {that a} writer trusts your content material sufficient to characteristic and share the article on their web site.

When a bit of Stacker content material is syndicated (re-published in its unique type on one other writer’s website), the syndicated model features a rel=canonical tag again to the publishers’ hosted model, in addition to an in-text dofollow backlink within the content material intro:

Example rel=canonical tag from a syndicated piece
Instance rel=canonical tag from a syndicated piece
Example of an in-text, dofollow backlink attributing authorship in a syndicated piece
Instance of an in-text, dofollow backlink attributing authorship in a syndicated piece

When a Stacker article is rewritten as an alternative of syndicated, (e.g., a writer creates a locally-focused variant utilizing Stacker supply information), we request a backlink citing us as the unique supplier of the examine.

Owned syndication vs. earned syndication

In the identical means the business talks about owned and earned media, you’ll be able to consider two varieties of syndication as “owned syndication” and “earned syndication.”

Owned syndication includes reposting an article on a number of platforms by you. An instance of this is able to be publishing an article in your weblog after which republishing it on Medium, LinkedIn, and different accounts you run. Whereas this may improve the variety of people who see your article, the chance of driving natural visitors from these methods reliably or at scale is nearly nil.

Earned syndication includes the approval from one other writer that your content material is effective to their viewers, so this kind of syndication is tougher to attain. Nevertheless, along with reaching a wider viewers than with owned syndication, you get the authority sign of getting your content material hosted on one other writer’s area. (Somebody determined your content material was price republishing in full, and what’s a higher signal of belief than that?)

Why isn’t everybody doing this?

As a result of it’s not straightforward. For the primary few years of our existence, Stacker did nothing however construct writer relationships and grasp the artwork of newsworthy content material. Getting content material pickups at scale requires constructing belief with giant information publishers, in addition to a big quantity of content material information publishers discover uniquely attention-grabbing and related. Content material syndication is constructed upon a basis of content material high quality, writer belief, and the technical functionality to share content material at scale, and these three parts can take years to develop.

Stacker journalists are dedicated to understanding the protection wants of native information organizations and investing in tales that may drive significant worth for his or her audiences. After 5 years of working with publishing companions, we’ve studied the information on pickups and viewers attain to uncover insights into what tales may be most helpful.

We landed on some key earned syndication tenets:

Contextualization is essential

Any sort of writer you come throughout can have their core editorial calendar established with key subjects they know their viewers cares about. They’re not in search of outsiders to contribute to the guts of their publication, so don’t method it that means. As an alternative, discover subjects they usually cowl and maybe even explicit tales they’ve run and ask your self: What different perspective can I add to this story to contextualize it? Maybe a historic angle or different comparability

Information at all times helps

Some publishers don’t have entry to information analysts, or in the event that they do, they’re engaged on a ton of different tasks and it’s exhausting to scale data-focused content material. In case you’re in a position to present tales based mostly on information that’s been distilled and offered with clear insights, many publishers would admire that. Moreover, simply figuring out your content material is backed by information moderately than opinion makes it simpler to vet (and belief).

Assist publishers attain their targets

Our direct line of communication with a number of publishers, each native and nationwide, has led to fascinating conversations round their targets. To sum it up, each writer has distinctive focus areas with regards to viewers acquisition and engagement. Some are targeted on changing customers to subscription whereas others are targeted on pageviews or time on website. Discover their website, see how they monetize, and think about how your content material will help them meet these targets.

Let’s have a look at an instance story Stacker created.

Feature image for Stacker MLB piece.

This piece makes use of Main League Baseball information to find out essentially the most profitable postseason groups. With information being the premise for the rating, publishers don’t have to fret in regards to the validity of the order, which is a significant benefit in vetting.

This story gives unique evaluation in a means that may complement the native protection of reports organizations. Whereas a sports activities beat author may give attention to the world group’s historical past, present group efficiency, or different native and newsy features of the story—this story gives contextual information evaluation that may work for quite a lot of information organizations to enhance their boots-on-the-ground reporting.

All in all, the article earned greater than 300 writer pickups and greater than 100,000 story impressions. That’s an unbelievable quantity of payoff for one piece of content material, and earned syndication is the automobile that made it doable.

The syndication takeaway

Like so many different search engine optimization techniques, not all syndication is created equal. Potential shoppers have usually requested me how Stacker is completely different from companies like press launch distribution platforms, with which they didn’t see search engine optimization outcomes.

Effectively, when you could have sponsored or nofollow hyperlinks, it’s by no means going to be the identical as earned syndication. Getting white hat content material pickups with consistency is tough — it requires each top-tier content material and the eye of journalists.

So my recommendation? Take into account whether or not there are high-authority publications in your area of interest. Research what they publish and ask your self:

  • Do you already publish content material that they’d love?

  • Are you able to make some tweaks to already current content material to higher match their editorial type?

  • Are you able to create unique analysis/stories that will curiosity their viewers?

  • Would getting model consciousness with their viewers assist us enhance your model attain?

If the reply is sure to no less than two of those questions, think about content material syndication as a technique.

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