Online Review Syndication – What Does It Mean?
September 27, 2014
I get asked the question “do you syndicate my reviews?” quite a bit, so I want to dig in and unpack that idea a bit.
When a vendor promises to “syndicate” your online reviews across the Internet, it’s important to understand what that means.
Usually, it means that your reviews are published on their web property (not yours), and in many cases it means these reviews are shared as a data feed to other websites.
Where are they syndicated to?
But where are your reviews being “syndicated” to? No one gets to place reviews inside of Google+, Yelp or Facebook except for authenticated end-users – like your customers. So they are not syndicating your reviews there. This means they are probably syndicating them to a tertiary review site like CitySearch. In this case, the value is very low because people do not frequent that site or check there for reviews.
Time after time in the search industry, we’ve seen syndicated content, duplicated content, guest blog networks, article posting sites, and anything but unique content – end up with penalties or loses value quickly. History shows anything that is not unique, original content gets aggressively devalued by Google.
What happens when you quit using the company’s services?
Additionally, since the reviews are placed on the vendor’s website instead of yours, you will lose all of them if you ever cancel your subscription. You do not own the testimonials and reviews that your customers leave for you. Why would you want to give away ownership of this unique, original content from your customers?
A better approach – own your reviews
We believe in a business centric approach, putting you at the center of the universe. When customer feedback and testimonials are captured using our service, we place those reviews on YOUR website in a format that Google crawls and understands. Google recognizes them as reviews and this content provides SEO value on your website, not someone else’s.
And if you ever leave our service, we provide a full export of all your customer testimonials that you can take with you – you own them.
We also make it easy for your customers to leave you authentic reviews on the major review sites like Google, Facebook and others by providing direct links to these services on your feedback thank-you pages.
This approach provides much more lasting value than a “syndication” approach, which may have worked many years ago but is certainly outdated now.