Prior to republishing an article from my blog using LinkedIn Publishing I wondered if LinkedIn includes a Rel=Canonical link option to help publishers avoid duplicate content…
It turns out that the answer is “no”.
LinkedIn doesn’t offer a rel=canonical option, or build it in by default like Medium does1… This a bummer for two reasons:
- Digital sharecropping2 is a really stupid long-term business model.
- Google can penalize you for duplicate content.
However, depending on the age of your blog and your goals, reposting an existing article from your blog on LinkedIn Publishing might still make sense for you.
Here are strategies you can use to minimize the potential for being penalized by Google for duplicate content.
What’s Rel=Canonical And Why Does It Matter On LinkedIn?
Rel=canonical was created to solve the problem of having the exact same content appearing in two places at once on the Internet.
If Google sees two pieces of identical content, it has a problem… Because which should it prefer in the rankings?
Canonical in the case of HTML and SEO simply means “preferred”.
Rel=canonical is a bit of code with an href link that allows you to say to Google:
“Hey Google, I added this rel=canonical link code to this blog post because this blog post is an exact copy of this other original blog post over there… Please give the original blog post, the preferred one, the SEO credit and don’t penalize any of us for having duplicate content.”
But LinkedIn Publishing doesn’t allow you to add this code (as shown below) into a piece of content published on LinkedIn.
This could be a problem because LinkedIn has a very high authority domain.
So if you publish an article using LinkedIn Publishing that already exists on your own website, LinkedIn’s version could outrank your original blog post on your own website.
Or Google could penalize your site because of duplicate content.
Example of Rel=Canonical Code That Would Link From The Duplicate To The Original Blog Post
Below is an example of how you can use a rel=canonical link on a WordPress blog, or any website for that matter (not on LinkedIn).
For example, what if the two URLs below had the same content:
- https://midlifecroesus.com/abc-blogpost/ (duplicate)
- https://midlifecroesus.com/blogpost-abc/ (original)
If #2 is the original content we want to rank on Google, we would add the rel=canonical code to #1 (the duplicate URL) so that it links to the original (the preferred) blog post.
It looks like the example below.
Tip: WordPress users, if you use the Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress, this feature is built right into the plugin. You can easily add the rel=canonical tag using Yoast.
<link rel="canonical" href="https://midlifecroesus.com/blogpost-abc/" />
Cross Domain Rel=Canonical vs. Rel=Canonical
Is there a difference between a rel=canonical link and a cross-domain rel=canonical link?
There is no difference between a rel=canonical link and a cross domain rel=canonical link… It’s just how you’re using them (i.e. if the links are to and from the same or different domains).
A rel=canonical link can be used across different domains with no problem…
For instance you could link to abc.com from midlifecroesus.com if you wanted to.
This is just called a “cross domain rel=canonical”.
Tips Using LinkedIn Publishing To Avoid Duplicate Content
LinkedIn can still be a good platform for republishing content because you may want to build up your authority on that network.
LinkedIn has excellent exposure with CEOs and other C-level executives who may be decision makers in helping you build your business.
Since LinkedIn doesn’t offer a rel=canonical option, here are some tips for republishing your own original content on LinkedIn.
1. Stagger Your Publishing on LinkedIn
You should not publish content simultaneously in two places at once.
To be safe, I would recommend staggering republishing your existing posts on LinkedIn Publishing after they have had time to “age” and get indexed by Google on your own site.
Some sites recommend waiting a few days, or a few weeks. I think it’s probably safer to wait 3-6 months (or longer) if possible.
If the content is “evergreen” content, then the longer you wait, the better, I suspect…
As can be seen in this infographic, it takes forever to rank in Google for anything today. It used to be easy… Not anymore.
2. Add a Link To The Original At The Bottom Of Your LinkedIn Article
LinkedIn does allow you to link back to your original article, and this is very easy.
Google is smart enough (hopefully) to recognize that one article has been indexed weeks, or months, ago on your blog and is now showing up on LinkedIn… By having a link at the bottom that reads “Originally published on… ” it helps Google know that this is a copy of a post of yours from the original.
3. Don’t Republish The Full Original Article
Instead of publishing the full article on LinkedIn, just publish a portion of it.
At the bottom of the article add the link to the rest of the article as mentioned above.
- Medium offers an “import” tool that allows you to easily import an existing article from your blog for publishing on Medium. A rel=canonical link is added automatically so that your SEO doesn’t get penalized.
- Trying to build a business by publishing all your own content on another platform that you don’t control, such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Medium.