In order to position ourselves as experts in the Columbus website design industry, we write blogs, or articles, about issues relating to website design and SEO.
Writing blogs helps us understand topics we find of interest, and hope our audience does, in more detail. Because writing always involves research, it’s the best way for us to learn about topics and add to our own understanding and knowledge.
We wondered about SEO and posting articles on LinkedIn.
Whenever we write a 1000-word article on our website, like this one, we also post the article in its entirety on LinkedIn. In addition, we post a teaser sentence about the article with a link back to the original blog post (on our website) on Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
Since the SEO world understands Google doesn’t like duplicate content, we wondered, is posting our blogs word-for-word on LinkedIn benefiting, or hurting, our own website’s SEO.
So we educated ourselves by reading articles on the topic, by those who have conducted their own research. And by those who are smarter than we are in SEO. We turned to those who specialize in SEO more than we do.
As you probably know, there are companies that don’t build websites, but solely focus on SEO. Those were the opinions we sought out to determine if we were helping, or hurting ourselves, by posting the blogs from our website, word-for-word.
Is posting articles on LinkedIn every week helping or not?
Turns out it may not be as helpful as we thought. Not that posting on LinkedIn is bad, it just has to be done correctly. Turns out, for posting on LinkedIn, like everything SEO-related, there’s a right way, and wrong way to do it. And after some research, we think we may have been doing it the wrong way!
What we learned to consider:
- Why does Google penalizes websites for duplicate content?
To make things better for Google's own audience. Here’s what Google has to say about duplicate content.
Back in the day, unscrupulous webmasters took advantage of Google’s algorithms by posting the same article on lots of websites, with links back to their original website. This was in an effort to get traffic back to their website. The problem with that is, Google didn’t want to return search results for either:
a) two websites with the exact same information, and
b) websites that were cheating the system by taking advantage of Google's algorithms
- LinkedIn has a higher “domain authority” than we do.
Of course, LinkedIn has a higher “domain authority” (https://moz.com/learn/seo/domain-authority) than most websites. So why is this a consideration? Because more people might see your article on LinkedIn than on your website. Therefore, Google’s algorithms might assume the LinkedIn article is the original article, and not the article on your website.
And if that’s the case, OUR website might be seen as having the duplicate content, and be penalized.
What is our purpose for posting on LinkedIn? It’s a combination of reasons:
a) to share our knowledge of websites and SEO
b) to position ourselves a experts in an industry
c) reach a new audience, and of course,
d) get on businesses’ radar so when they’re looking for a web design firm, they think of us
e) boost our own SEO
So if those are our (and probably everyone’s) reason to post on LinkedIn, does it really matter if their link to our article ranks higher than ours? Probably not, because the person reading the article will still see it’s from us.
However, just as importantly, we don’t want our website penalized along the way. We work hard researching and writing blogs every week. It would work against our SEO efforts to do something that would hurt our rankings.
- Don’t post the same article on LinkedIn the same day we post it on our website.
According to Hubspot, one of the recognized experts on SEO and CRM, you shouldn’t re-post your content from your website the same day. They suggest waiting a minimum of 2 weeks for your original article to be indexed by Google. That way, Google knows, your article is the original.
- Don’t re-post the article in its entirety.
As we said, one of our goals is to boost our own Columbus SEO ranking. To do that, getting people to visit our website helps. With that in mind, it makes sense to just post a teaser of the article with a link back to our website if someone wants to read the entire article.
So we were essentially, sharing information (which was one of our goals) but not getting people back to our website (another goal). We could do both by only posting the intro paragraph of the article, with a link back to the original post on our website, to read the rest of it.
This is exactly what we were doing on Google+, twitter and Facebook: posting a single sentence with a link back to the original article. So why didn’t we do the same with LinkedIn? Because LinkedIn wants long-form article posts. But by following LinkedIn’s preferences, we might have been hurting our own SEO efforts.
- Don’t post every blog on LinkedIn
We can admit it: not every article is our best. Technically, that’s not even possible. It was recommended that it may be best to only post every month, instead of every week. (For example, we won’t be posting THIS article on LinkedIn.)
By showcasing only our better (or best) articles on LinkedIn, it might better reflect our expertise in our industry. Maybe less IS more on LinkedIn. Perhaps by only sharing only 1 out of every 4 blog posts, we’re sharing the best of the best articles with that audience.
So, is posting on LinkedIn hurting our website's SEO? Nope.
We changed the way we post our articles on LinkedIn starting July, 2017, and at that time, we are at the bottom of page 1 of Google’s search results for “Columbus website design.”
After making these changes:
a) not posting the same day on LinkedIn as our website,
b) posting every other month instead of once-a-week,
c) posting a teaser article instead of the entire article, and
d) linking back to our website to read the entire post
turned out our ranking wasn't affected at all!
Now I have 3 more hours almost every weekend.
That's 3 hours out of every 3 or 4 weekends to hang with family and friends instead of feeling compelled to write a blog. (Or, I'll admit, take a nap!)
So not having to write and post a news article every week turned out to be a huge time saver!
But in the meantime, it would probably be beneficial if you, too, followed these tips for posting on LinkedIn. Of course, if you aren’t already posting on LinkedIn, hopefully this article might motivate you to start.