Don't cannibalize your content

DEC 28, 2021, 1 min read

Whether you're a website working on content marketing or an individual writing posts for your personal website, we all want our content to reach the biggest audience possible.

The easiest solution while you're starting out and don't have an audience is to crosspost. While this is great and will surely bring many new eyes to your post it probably won't be on your site, which is fine. Most of the time.

See, the problem when crossposting content is that search engines will rank whatever popular site it happens to find your post on, as the one true source. This is not what you want, ideally you'd like to still get the benefits of crossposting to a large audience, without the negatives of cannibalizing your content.

The simplest (only?) solution is to use canonical tags. These tell search engines, which website the content is originally from. Most popular blogging platforms, where you're likely to crosspost anyway, have options for selecting what the canonical link is. Some websites do not have cannonical tags, I'd stay far away from those.

My personal experience with using Medium. While canonical tags are supposed to tell search engines that "no, Medium is not the source, please don't promote it". Google does it anyway. And googling the title of your post will probably result in seeing Medium as the top result. This most likely happens with new domains that don't have a lot of content.

While in the long term it will probably even out and result in your website eventually getting higher in SEO. Be wary that using these sites (even if you use cannonical tags) will still cannibalize your content.