How Stacker.com Earned 1M+ Organic Monthly Visits Through Content Syndication [Case Study]


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

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

When a marketer is requested concerning the worth of content syndication, they’ll sometimes checklist two most important 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 good thing about content material syndication that entrepreneurs regularly 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 robust content material that’s interesting to publishers and their readers can generate huge quantities of hyperlink authority again to a publishing area, and drive important natural development.

Nevertheless it’s troublesome to check and implement a complete syndication technique, so there aren’t many assets about its search engine optimization influence.

On this case research, 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.

  • Focus on how content material syndication can be utilized as a part of a long-term natural development 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 research for the long-term effectiveness for content material syndication methods.

The proof of syndication’s influence

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 development technique has been using content material syndication as a mannequin to succeed in new audiences and drive helpful area authority. The consequence has been Stacker accumulating 20K “dofollowed” referring domains and over a million distinctive backlinks during the last 4 years.

Organic site visitors development

Organic site visitors: Google Search Console

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

Backlinks

Backlinks: Google Search Console

Backlinks that seem on pages together with rel=canonical tags are processed and valued by search engines like google and yahoo, 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 by way of content material syndication are additionally being picked up by Moz Professional and different third-party reporting instruments.

Moz Professional studies a gentle development within the variety of referring domains that correlates nicely with GSC hyperlink reporting metrics:

Moz: particular person hyperlinks

Along with monitoring account-wide backlinking development, Moz additionally picks up particular person situations of hyperlinks created by way of content material syndication, akin to 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 yr:

Organic efficiency: Abstract

In 2021 alone, Stacker.com noticed a 500% enhance in referring domains, a 380% enhance in natural site 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 development, 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 method to drive natural site 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 search engines like google and yahoo {that a} specific 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 total article, not only a piece of it, again to the unique writer. Each are alerts of supply attribution, and each point out {that a} writer trusts your content material sufficient to function 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 knowledge), we request a backlink citing us as the unique supplier of the research.

Owned syndication vs. earned syndication

In the identical manner the business talks about owned and earned media, you possibly can consider two varieties of syndication as “owned syndication” and “earned syndication.”

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

Earned syndication entails the approval from one other writer that your content material is effective to their viewers, so one of these 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 better signal of belief than that?)

Why isn’t everybody doing this?

As a result of it’s not simple. 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 massive information publishers, in addition to a big quantity of content material information publishers discover uniquely attention-grabbing and related. Content 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 elements 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 info on pickups and viewers attain to uncover insights into what tales will be most helpful.

We landed on some key earned syndication tenets:

Contextualization is vital

Any sort of writer you come throughout may have their core editorial calendar established with key subjects they know their viewers cares about. They’re not on the lookout for outsiders to contribute to the center of their publication, so don’t method it that manner. As a substitute, discover subjects they sometimes cowl and maybe even specific 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 knowledge analysts, or in the event that they do, they’re engaged on a ton of different initiatives and it’s arduous to scale data-focused content material. In case you’re capable of present tales primarily based on knowledge that’s been distilled and introduced with clear insights, many publishers would admire that. Moreover, simply realizing your content material is backed by knowledge moderately than opinion makes it simpler to vet (and belief).

Assist publishers attain their objectives

Our direct line of communication with a number of publishers, each native and nationwide, has led to fascinating conversations round their objectives. 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 take into account how your content material may help them meet these objectives.

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

Feature image for Stacker MLB piece.

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

This story affords unique evaluation in a manner that may complement the native protection of reports organizations. Whereas a sports activities beat author may deal with the realm group’s historical past, present group efficiency, or different native and newsy elements of the story—this story affords contextual knowledge evaluation that may work for a wide range of information organizations to reinforce 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 unimaginable 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.

Properly, when you’ve gotten 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 troublesome — it requires each top-tier content material and the eye of journalists.

So my recommendation? Contemplate 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 present content material to raised match their editorial type?

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

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

If the reply is sure to at the least two of those questions, take into account content material syndication as a method.



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