Meta January 6, 2021

Cross-posting on IH, canonical links and SEO

Steven Kim @stevenkkim

I've noticed that many people cross-post content from their own website/blog to IH.

Is there a way on IH to set the canonical link to the original source? Like how Medium does it? https://help.medium.com/hc/en-us/articles/360033930293-Set-a-canonical-link

If not, are people here concerned about getting an SEO penalty for duplicate content?

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    hey @stevenkim! shoot me an email and i can share a canonical link option with you.

    cc @mjgs

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      Hey, @channingallen.

      Why don't you share this info publicly?
      I'm sure @stevenkim is not the only one interested.

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        Why don't you share this info publicly? … I'm sure @stevenkim is not the only one interested.

        we're testing the relevant features with a small group of users before publicly launching. (we do this with almost all new features.)

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          Alright.
          I thought it was an old feature, but hidden. ;)

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      Cool, will do. From IH's point-of-view, is cross-posting an entire article (assuming it's quality content and not spam) encouraged? Or would you prefer a modified or summarized version?

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        is cross-posting an entire article (assuming it's quality content and not spam) encouraged?

        easy: quality over everything. we don't mind cross-posts one bit.

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          While that's an amazing approach. As a writer I would be concerned:
          Most of my blog posts are 10 minutes long (2K) words, I've seen that as a reader I lose interest in IH about the 500-word threshold.

          So, while a long shot, I would be more open to trying a service that summarizes high-quality posts into a 2-3 minute read using AI. Again is a long shot but we are all hackers here and can make it happen!

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          That’s good to know - thanks

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    I posted about this exact topic a few weeks ago but there were no comments.

    Apparently there used to be a canonical_url feature on IH but it was removed. Weird feature to remove, weirder that there was no uproar from the community.

    On dev.to there is a way to add a canonical_url using post fontmatter.

    I only post links to posts on my blog now rather than copy/paste the post to avoid SEO issues.

    Be a bit careful about self posts, there is a wide variety of tolerance levels, it’s different in every community, as I found out recently on HN and Reddit.

    Make sure you are also commenting on other people’s articles if you are self posting.

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      Thanks for sharing the second link, there was some helpful discussion there. If canonical urls aren't available, I think modifying or summarizing the original post is probably a good idea.

      I understand the desire to prevent spammy posts, I don't want that either. But some posts are really helpful. For example, I recently read this post: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/how-to-finish-what-you-start-816fff4738 by @samjulien - it was a great article and I checked out his website looking for more and found that it was a cross-post of this https://www.samjulien.com/how-to-finish-what-you-start and then started to wonder about the SEO duplicate content issue. I would think that IH would probably want quality cross-posts like this one.

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        I really like cross-posts too, it’s a great way to discover interesting blogs.

        Because a cross-post has the look and feel of the community site, I think people perhaps are a bit more open to the ideas presented since they are used to the style and vibe.

        Personally I then like the ‘jump’ to the source site, it’s like ‘I wonder what this person is like’, then you discover more about them on their site and get a better idea about their style and who they are.

        I usually click around a bit on their site, looking for a category / tags page to see what else that person has written.

        The only issue is remembering to check a post’s source when you read something you like. It’s not too much of an issue if the source is clearly visible on the cross-post.

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          I do the exact same thing 👍

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