Publishing on LinkedIn: Does Google See Duplicating Articles on LinkedIn As Bad?
As a social media manager and content creator, LinkedIn’s publishing tools have become one of my favorite tools. I can get my articles out to more people by publishing them on the LinkedIn Pulse network, which has the potential to go viral and be seen by thousands more people than are in my own personal network. But, as I started making this part of my personal content strategy, I started to wonder about it Google would get confused and hurt my website rankings somehow.
What’s The Potential Problem?
Google doesn’t like duplicate content. And, let’s face it…plagiarism is illegal, so it makes sense that duplicating content would be a big no-no. If you are duplicating the exact same content, Google will look at who had the content first and where it originated from to help understand who is the original author. They’ll also look at the established authority of the sites to see which one is more legitimate. If you aren’t the original author, your site could get hurt big-time with rankings with Google. And, no one who is building an online presence wants to be blacklisted by Google.
So, as you look at re-publishing an article on something like LinkedIn Pulse, it makes sense that we’d want to question if this is a good practice or not. This one question led to a series of discussions with various experts in social media, LinkedIn specifically, and SEO and learned quite a lot.
The argument FOR duplicating articles on LinkedIn Pulse:
Reach – Let’s face it: publishing on LinkedIn allows your content to get seen by more eyeballs than simply posting about it on the LinkedIn newsfeed or even on other social media sites. People ARE engaged with content on LinkedIn and they’re paying attention, so why wouldn’t you want to exponentially increase your exposure for your content?
Notice – When you publish articles, your immediate network is notified and it’s much easier for them to see that you’ve published an article compared to notice of a new post to your newsfeed. If you’ve built up a strategic network, it is only natural that you would want these connections to see that you have expertise in certain topics. It’s another simple way to put your face and name in front of your network.
Time – This is a rather lazy excuse, but often people want to republish their blog articles on LinkedIn’s Pulse section but don’t want to rewrite the entire thing.
The argument AGAINST duplicating articles on LinkedIn Pulse:
Laziness – We just mentioned that taking the time to rewrite an article is something many people are just not willing to do. We’re all busy people, so it makes sense why people think this way. However, if your audience is closely tuned in, they may realize that you’re simply slapping the same message in every possible place you can. If you aren’t strategically crafting your messages for each platform, you run the risk of losing engagement from your audience.
Duplicates – Remember our original question at hand? Duplicate content could be seen as a detriment in many situations in the eyes of Google, and when Google doesn’t share their secret sauce, it’s hard to know if republishing on this site will hurt you.
So, let’s get back to the original question? Is it bad to republish your articles on LinkedIn Pulse without rewriting them?
We asked around and survey says “no, BUT…”
Here are a few thoughts on this topic that we got from various experts:
“In a technical sense, yes, this is duplicate content and could negatively affect you. The theory is that at the very least, sites like LinkedIn have a higher authority than your website, so if Google finds two articles that are exactly the same, who is more likely to rank higher? LinkedIn. Thus, it can crowd out your website. With that being said, there are options around that, such as writing summaries that link back to your site. There are also others who have reported that there hasn’t been a negative effect of doing so. My opinion is this – the more original content, the better.”
“If I’m going to republish on LinkedIn, I’ll publish articles on my blog first and let them index with Google first. Then, a few weeks later, I’ll publish them on something like LinkedIn. My hope is that my site, though smaller than LinkedIn, will show the earlier timestamp, indicating that I’m the original author. This also lets me stagger content releases and recycle content topics in different ways.”
“Write an article that takes the opposite perspective from the original article on your blog. If your original article is about “The 5 best ways to promote your blog post,” you might write an article for LinkedIn/Medium about “The 5 worst ways to promote your blog post.””
“Google doesn’t view sites like LinkedIn as a competing site to regular websites. Instead, links from these sites and citation from them could potentially help your site out. Just make sure you’re linking properly to the original article or original website.”
“I haven’t seen republishing on LinkedIn hurt (nor has it hurt me, quite the opposite). If someone is nervous then change the title a bit and rewrite the initial intro.”
So, while the experts can’t really agree, it’s clear that most digital marketers are willing to take the risk and republish on LinkedIn. Obviously if you had the time and energy, reworking your content is always ideal, but I KNOW from working with my clients that almost all have no time to focus on rewriting every single piece of content they write.
A Few Tips:
- Write an original article title or hook for an article you publish on LinkedIn. Rewrite the intro if you can, but at least rewrite the title. If your audience follows you in other places, they may already be numbed to how you spoke about this topic prior.
- Always include quality and engaging graphics. Don’t miss out on this chance to use visuals within a published article on LinkedIn.
- Always link back to your website or the original blog for people to learn more about you as a thought leader and your expertise.
- Be consistent with your publishing. The more regular you are with publishing, the more your network will be reminded of your expertise AND you’ll gain more followers the more you publish as well!
- Publish quality stuff. Don’t be spammy and publish a 3-5 sentence thought that could have been just a post on your newsfeed. That’s spammy and annoying to people who are taking LinkedIn seriously. This can actually tarnish your reputation more than it could help!