I’d like to ask the opinion of you, my friends and readers about something I’ve been pondering this past few weeks.
Longer term readers will remember back in April when I asked your opinion about whether I should allow some of my posts to appear on WebProNews.
At the time I was a little torn on the idea. On one hand I could see it might help build profile, would bring some inbound links and would get some of my posts into Google News but on the downside it would lead to offsite readership and duplicate content. In the end I agreed to enter into the arrangement.
Since this time I’ve carefully watched to see what impact being a part of WebProNews has had and now am wanting to review it and would love to hear your perspective as readers of this blog and as wise bloggers yourself:
Here is some of what I can report back:
• Since April they’ve used just over 155 of my posts (you can see them listed here). In that same period I’ve posted 650 posts here at Problogger (so they’ve used about 25%).
• The posts that they’ve linked to have been a real mixture of posts including newsy short posts through to my longer, original content tips pieces. The filter out some of the less important pieces (like this one I suspect!)
• Probably my biggest concern is that the articles that appear on WebProNews almost always outrank the articles as they appear on ProBlogger. I searched for the exact titles of many of these articles on Google and in the vast majority of cases the WebProNews version (or one of their syndicated sites) came up as number 1 for the term and I came in second or third. As they usually pick up my best posts – this means my bread and butter posts are not being picked up as highly as they could on Google. The good side of this is that I’m at least getting my content ranking highly – the downside is that WebProNews are doing better from my content than I am myself – I also worry that this will make my site look like a scraper site in Google and could mean I am penalized for duplicate content.
• I’ve noticed only the occasional direct referral from the links within these articles and their signatures.
• Many of the articles that they link to appear not only on WebProNews directly – but also on a variety of other sites that they syndicate content to (for example they come up here, here and here to name just three sites).
• Articles that I write are often picked up and linked to by other bloggers but often the links point to the article at WebProNews as this is where the content is found.
• I have had one or two readers tell me that they have found my blog via articles on WPN but have little other evidence of it raising my profile. Of course I have not sought out feedback on this and it could be helping more than I know.
• My signature on all 150 articles has links back to four of my blogs. While this has brought virtually no traffic it must contribute to page ranking to some extent – although the pages they appear on are not really relevant content and have a page rank of between 0 and 3 in most cases.
So – my dilemma is whether I should continue to allow WPN to use my content as they have been or whether I should end the association.
Before I make up my decision I’d love to hear the thoughts of others both to find out if having my content on WPN has had any impact upon you as a reader (did you find my site through them? – do you read them there rather than on my feed or blog? etc) and secondly to get your wisdom on what you’d do as a blogger?
Looking forward to your thoughts.