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What is Crossposting?
Crossposting is when you post the same content in multiple places.
For example, suppose you post an article about a special service at your new Chicago-based day spa on your website, but then you’re invited to contribute a guest post at the local newspaper website or on LinkedIn. You use the same content for both articles. That’s crossposting.
When you crosspost blogs, you can theoretically use the exact same content since you are the original author.
But that’s not how search engines will view it. Whenever you crosspost, there is a risk that Google will view that content as a plagiarized post. This can have adverse effects on your website’s SEO.
Crosspost Blogs and Boost Your SEO
This article aims to help small medical practice owners crosspost their content effectively. First, we’ll discuss the basics of cross-posting and why search engines seem to penalize crossposted content.
Then we’ll go over 4 tips to turn you into a bona fide crossposting wizard. These include internal linking, the ‘evil twin strategy’, and more.
Though we’ll mainly be discussing Google in this article (because of course), all these tips apply to other search engines like Bing as well.
Is Crossposting Bad?
Not at all! At least, not if you’re careful about it.
For a busy medical professional such as yourself, knowing how to crosspost blogs can be a huge timesaver.
Suppose you’ve just written a blog article on the benefits of the HydraFacial MD® resurfacing procedure. It’s informative, compelling, well-cited, and really sells the service. Nice job!
Because not all your clients visit your website on a daily basis, you want to crosspost that same article to your Medium page. And you should! All your followers deserve to see your cutting-edge spa services and clever wordplay.
So, what’s the catch?
The Catch: Plagiarism and SEO
The catch is that you can’t just crosspost your content and be done for the day. The reason has to do with how search engines react to plagiarized content.
Plagiarism is bad. We all know that. Plagiarizing web content can hinder your SEO rankings and potentially get you into legal trouble.
Google and other search engines have gotten very good at detecting plagiarized web content and filtering it from their search results.
Google knows that users don’t want to see the same article duplicated a zillion times in one search results page. So, it determines the original source of that content, displays that in the search results, and hides the rest. Click here for more on Google’s duplicate content guidelines.
Contrary to popular belief, Google does not impose a “penalty” for plagiarism. It filters out duplicate content simply as a way to optimize search results.
When all you need to do is hit Ctrl + C and then Ctrl + V to copy/paste, digital plagiarism runs rampant. Google is just trying to show the original post that users were probably looking for.
Yes, You Can Plagiarize Yourself
You’ve probably guessed the problem here. Google doesn’t care who posted which piece of duplicate content.
Even if you are crossposting something that you yourself wrote, Google still treats that as plagiarism and filters it from search results.
Let’s return to our day spa business in Chicago. Say you just posted your awesome HydraFacial article on Medium, then kicked back and waited for the clicks to start rolling in. Diligently checking your website traffic on Google Analytics (see here for more info on that), you don’t notice quite the boost in clicks you were hoping for.
Turns out, Google identified your Medium post as content duplicated from your website’s blog page.
How to Crosspost Effectively
Good crossposting is something of an art. It’s tricky at first, but the more you do it the easier it becomes.
Here are a few tips for effective crossposting. These will help you maximize your SEO and draw in new patients to your medical practice.
1. The Evil Twin Strategy
This term comes courtesy of Neil Patel, a New York Times bestselling author and major web influencer. Basically, you crosspost your content but reword the second post just enough that Google doesn’t recognize it as plagiarism.
Use the same ideas, topics, and concepts, but adjust the tone and perspective. For example, take your blog post on the HydraFacial and transform it into new article titled “5 Reasons Why HydraFacial is Right for You.” Post that one on Medium.
Tweak it again and write a LinkedIn article called “The HydraFacial: What Spa Owners Should Know.” You get the idea.
Honestly, calling these articles “evil twins” seems a bit harsh to us. There’s nothing evil about retooling content to fit the platform it’s posted on. That’s not just good for SEO; that’s a good writing technique in general.
2. Internal Links
If you’re smart about it, you can control your crossposted content using internal links.
Internal links go from one page on your website to another page on your website. Like this! They are distinguished from external links, which direct users to separate web domains.
Google uses internal links to determine the original source of crossposted content. If page X backlinks to page y but not vice versa, Google guesses that page y is the original post and picks it to appear in search results pages.
Knowing this, you can use internal links to tell Google which pages to prioritize. If you don’t have time to tweak your crossposted content as suggested in tip #1, make sure to backlink the less important pages to the more important pages.
Internal links are like road signs directing Google to your most important pages. They let you duplicate content while maintaining control of how pages appear in search results.
3. Staggered Crossposting
This one is similar to tip #2, in that it’ll help you tell Google which pages to focus on.
This tip is very simple: publish your most important pages first. Wait about week, then add your crossposted content.
It takes Google a few days (usually) to “crawl” a website. Crawling is when Google scans website text, indexes keywords, and decides how to include it in search results.
And big sites like LinkedIn or Medium get crawling priority over an up-and-coming spa website like yours.
To prioritize your medical practice website in search results, post content there first. Let Google crawl it and index the content. Then crosslink to other platforms.
In short, stagger your content. Post the crosslinked articles in stages, not all at once.
4. Canonical Tags
This one is a bit more advanced and won’t be possible on every platform. However, for places like Medium and WordPress, you can use canonical tags to tell Google exactly which page is the original source of the content.
When backlinking from a crossposted article to the original article, add the tag rel = “canonical” directly into the HTML code of the link. Google will understand that that link goes to the original or “canonical” page.
Then, if your post pops up in search results, Google will automatically replace it with the canonical page.
This only works on platforms that let you modify HTML code directly. Facebook, LinkedIn, and other major social networks don’t want users messing with their code.
But if you can do it, canonical tags are the quickest and easiest way to control your crossposting and keep your website SEO intact.
Writing compelling blog posts and status updates is hard and time-consuming work! Trust us, we know. Crossposting is a handy technique, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to double-dip your content.
These tips will help you crosspost intelligently, with a clear SEO strategy in mind.
Need some help with SEO for your medical practice website? Check out our SEO services here!
Need some quality, SEO-friendly blog content? We do that too.