You’ve written a guest post for another website and want to share it on your own blog. But how can you do it without getting dinged for duplicate content and do it right when it comes to SEO? Here’s how!
Republishing Your Guest Post the Right Way
You can recycle content, get more mileage out of your work, and keep your audience happy by republishing guest posts you wrote. But republishing a guest post on your blog without considering SEO can have a bad effect on your website. Republishing can even destroy relationships you’ve built with the website where you guest posted too.
It’s important to follow these steps if you want to republish a guest post on your own blog.
1. Get Permission to Republish Your Guest Post
The first thing to do is always ask permission of the original blog that published your article. Not all websites have the same policies on reposting. Some websites allow guest authors to republish portions. Other websites allow entire republications. And others don’t allow republication at all.
Either way, you want to keep your relationship you’ve built up with the other website intact too. If you really want to ensure you can republish your guest post, ask upfront if you can republish your post.
2. Use a Canonical URL on Your Republished Guest Post
You take one extra step if you plan on republishing your entire guest post on your blog and add a special meta tag. This meta tag tells Google and other search engines where the post was first published. It is basically like a citation, much like you had to do in book reports for school. It’s called a Canonical URL.
Related Post: What is a Meta Tag?
Canonical URLs not only prevent you from getting dinged for bad SEO but also give credit where credit is due. Canonical URL tags also ascribe any SEO value your post gets on your website to the original post. Republishing your guest post won’t benefit your website for SEO but it’s still a great tactic. You’ll be able to better serve your own audience through content you’ve already created.
What happens to the SEO value of a post with a canonical URL pointing to another website or page? All the SEO value gets counted for the original source. In other words, Google views the original source as the definitive version that should rank higher in search results.
All the same, using a canonical URL eliminates duplicate content problems. Google isn’t able to tell who published the post first so it has to rely on canonical URLs to be certain. If you republish a post without a canonical URL, Google might decide you’re stealing content. And that might negatively affect your site.
How to Use a Canonical URL
WordPress makes is very easy to add a canonical URL if you use the Yoast SEO plugin, my number one recommended SEO plugin for WordPress users. (Don’t know how to set up Yoast? Get the free Yoast tutorial!) Here’s how to do it:
- After you copy your post over into your editing pane, scroll down to the Yoast SEO settings.
- Click the Cog to get to the Advanced Settings Tab.
- You’ll see a field at the bottom that says “Canonical URL.” Copy and paste the URL of where your blog post is originally published in this field.
- Publish the post when you’re ready and it’s all set! That’s it! In two simple steps, you’ve successfully republished your guest post without negative SEO effects or destroying relationships you have with other website owners.
p.s. Squarespace, on the other hand, does not allow you to control canonical URLs in their interface at time of this post! Which is one of the many reasons I do not recommend Squarespace. Read more about my thoughts on Squarespace.