What is Medium?
Medium is an online publishing platform, that is host to a massive collection of articles written by amateur and professional writers alike. It is where readers can find insightful stories and articles on the topics that interest them. The platform is also intended to help storytellers find the right audience for whatever they have to say.
Born out of the concept of Twitter by one of Twitter’s founders, Ev Williams, the blogging platform was meant to go beyond the 140 character limit where thoughtful and quality pieces of content could be posted and shared.
Since its inception in 2012, Medium.com boasts that over 7.5 million posts have been published and that it’s its reader base has grown to 60 million unique readers. With that much readership available, it begs the question of whether or not businesses should be publishing content on Medium as part of their content strategy?
Benefits of Publishing Content on Medium
One of the biggest benefits of Medium.com, is that the platform allows anyone to post on almost about any topic, for free. So should B2B companies be taking advantage of this?
Writing content or re-publishing content or Medium can have a benefit for companies, for non-SEO reasons. It can help drive:
Increase brand awareness as you build the number of followers who subscribe to your posts.
Medium.com provides an opportunity for long-form, quality pieces of content to gain exposure, that may not normally perform well in the SERPs. Establish thought-leadership within the space by creating high quality, interesting and unique content around the core pillars of your business.
Drive Referral Traffic
Adding a subtle link or call-to-action at the end your post can help to funnel traffic back to your site.
Medium offers a platform to connect with audiences that you would otherwise not reach via search engines. The platform also enables content to be found via the use of tags, topics and publications, for increased exposure.
Will Re-Publishing Content Affect SEO?
For those short on the resources to write original content for Medium apart from your own blog, there is an option to syndicate content from your site and publish it on Medium. However, the big caveat here is that if not done properly, re-posting an article on Medium can have negative effects on SEO for your own site, as this content will be considered duplicate.
As Medium.com has an extremely strong domain authority, Medium will be the site that will gain rankings in the SERPs over your blog post–even if your blog post was the original publisher of the post.
That’s why when using Medium as a content syndication platform it’s imperative that you use their rel=canonical option that Medium offers in order to signal to search engines that your site is the original authority. Sites that republish a significant amount of posts without using the canonical link, may see a drop in traffic as a result as Google will flag this as duplicate content. To ensure that syndicated content is tagged with a canonical link, be sure to use Medium’s Import Tool, which will automatically apply the canonical link to the post.
That being said, using any content from your site and putting into Medium should be done cautiously, as the risk of duplicate content still applies even with implementing a canonical link. We recommend republishing content on Medium.com slowly in order to determine if Google is adhering to the canonical tag’s request. Google can choose to ignore requests especially if it’s based on a tactic that they might find to be a “workaround” to their algorithm.
Best Practices for Publishing on Medium
Publish Thought-Leadership Pieces with Little SEO Value
If content resources are available, we recommend creating new content specifically for Medium, in order to keep content on your site distinct. As Medium is a platform that values long-form content, Medium can be used as an opportunity to write about the topics that are of interest to you, but may have little SEO value.
Rewrite the content
To avoid any negative SEO consequences, rewriting blog posts before publishing it on Medium or other sites is one way to ensure that the content isn’t duplicate.
Wait 1-2 Weeks Before Republishing
We recommend publishing content on your site first and waiting at least 1-2 weeks before publishing it on the network. This will help to ensure that Google sees your site as the original source of the post.
Also, as mentioned above, it is imperative to use the rel=canonicial tag when reposting on Medium to indicate to search engines that your site is the original source and avoid duplicate content issues.
In summary, posting on third-party networks such as Medium.com can help B2B companies extend their overall reach. However, doing so will not add value from an SEO perspective, especially when syndicating content from your own site and republishing. While rel=canonical links help to reduce the risk of duplicate content and negative SEO impacts, content syndication should still be done with caution.