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?

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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          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 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: 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 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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