Lost in Algo-land: Are Content Syndication & SEO Still Symbiotic?


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Between the time of the first sentence of this first drafting being written and you actually reading it, Google and myriad other bot-producing overlords of Algo-lands across the vast dark corridors of the interwebs will have changed, unchanged, then changed again the way their bots respond to and interact with webs of sophistically built SEO and content strategies that companies large and small have devoted countless buckets of blood, sweat, tears, and dollars on. 

But chasing these bitty bots that run in spades seemingly faster than the speed of light at the whims of their overlords has seemed growingly impossible. By the time teams of experts have caught up with one change, the bots are out again, tearing down webs of well-researched and well-tested theories of how SEO and content strategies are supposed to work. 

These overlords keep us in the dark, only offering crumbs we’re supposed to follow like Hansel and Gretel, piecemealing together what we’re supposed to do to get content to rank: cryptic updates about “spammy low-quality content” that seem like they could target syndication; Google saying links aren’t that important to build SEO; and an uncertainty surrounding how AI-generated searches will affect links and how users interact and find them in the future. 

So, where does this leave the fate of SEO and content syndication? Is it all doom and gloom, or is this powerful duo still a tried-and-true method for getting content out into the interwebs and in front of the eyeballs and screenreaders of millions of readers, users, clients, and potential customers? 

Back to Basics: SEO, Meet Content Syndication

Content syndication companies often focus on the marketing and distribution aspects, but many acknowledge the SEO benefits of their services. Here’s a breakdown of their potential stance on syndication and SEO:

  • Increased Visibility: Syndication companies highlight how they place your content on relevant websites, expanding its reach beyond your site. This increases the chances of search engines finding and indexing your content, boosting SEO.
  • Backlink Potential: Some syndication platforms may allow backlinks to your original content. These backlinks act as votes of credibility for search engines, positively impacting your SEO. However, it’s important to note that not all syndicated content allows backlinks, and the quality of the backlinks can vary.
  • Content Promotion: Syndication companies promote your content to a wider audience, potentially generating organic traffic to your website. This increased traffic can be a positive SEO signal for search engines.

However, there are some nuances to consider:

  • Duplicate Content Concerns: Search engines can see syndicated content as duplicate, potentially harming your SEO if not appropriately managed. Reputable syndication companies should address this using canonical tags and clear disclosures to indicate the source.
  • Platform Quality Matters: Your content’s SEO impact depends on the quality of the platforms where it is placed. High-authority, relevant websites provide stronger backlinks and SEO benefits.

Content syndication can positively influence SEO through increased visibility, potential backlinks, and website traffic. Done correctly, it can also increase reputation and visibility online. It is important to syndicate to relevant, high-authority sites, only syndicate high-quality content, and be proactive to avoid duplicate content issues on the onslaught of syndication.

Great. But Back to the Question: Are Content Syndication & SEO Still Symbiotic? 

Unfortunately, this isn’t as straightforward as “Do bees fly?” or “Is Eurovision the best thing humanity has ever created? (if you don’t know that the answer to this is yes, then you, one, must be American, and two, must watch it on Peacock now. We’re not sponsored, truly, but it’ll make you feel better after spending your day imitating that Charlie Kelly from “It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia” meme.) 

So, I’ll put it to you like this: As of writing, on May 21, at 14:39 (because the algo-overlords may change their mind later today, who knows?), the answer is yes, but with some caveats. Have you seen “Venom?” Yes, the superhero movie-comic book thing. Content syndication and SEO are symbiotic in the way Venom, and Eddie Brock are symbiotic: Venom gets to live, and Eddie Brock gets to be a cool superhero. Rad, right? But Venom occasionally also eats people, and that’s no fun for Eddie, just like it’s no fun for Venom that Eddie’s the main dude in charge of their shared human body most of the time, meaning he gets to call the shots. 

In the same vein, SEO benefits from content syndication from things like backlinks, brand authority-building, and all that other human-eating-analogy-adjacent stuff we mentioned earlier. But its no-fun, boo part of the relationship is the potential ding for duplicate content and things like Google’s new spam guidelines, which could potentially target syndicated links. 

In the Uno Reverso, content syndication benefits from SEO indirectly by using it as a tool to determine what content to syndicate, such as stories close to ranking on Page 1 of Google or stories that are just out of striking distance of the Top 10 for a specific keyword. The nasty rotting human flesh of it all comes down to, yes, duplicate content concerns again, but also concerns that brands will misunderstand the balancing act that needs to happen when using SEO for syndication and begin poor practices like keyword stuffing and developing low-quality backlinks in the name of trying to inflate the rankings artificially, strategies that may backfire of the algo-overlords catch onto them. 

To summarize, take a look at this super high-quality, professional chart I made that daftly illustrates the above: 

Venom-SEO Chart

Alright, Nutso, But What Do the Experts Say?

I know, I know. I don’t even like superhero movies! I was the younger sibling; I was forced to watch them. What can you do? Not-me people also have some things to say about this whole debacle, if you can imagine. So, to build my ethos here, let’s bring in the reinforcements:

  • Search Engine Land: Acknowledges that syndication can create duplicate content issues but highlights solutions like rel=canonical tags to ensure search engines understand the source. This proper attribution can help transfer SEO value from the syndicated content to your original piece.
  • CognitiveSEO: They point out that backlinks from syndicated content can benefit SEO but emphasize the importance of link quality. Backlinks from high-authority, relevant websites carry more weight with search engines than low-quality ones.
  • HubSpot Blog: The blog mentions that syndicated content doesn’t inherently hurt SEO, and proper practices like including a link back to your original content can help.

Further, these actual humans (as opposed to blog collectives) and SEO experts are also big proponents of the symbiotic relationship between SEO and content syndication. Here’s just a tiny sample of what they’ve got to say, plus links to more info if you’re a nerd like me and want to learn more:

1. Brian Dean: Backlink Magnet

  • Focus: Backlink building at  Backlinko.
  • Alignment with Syndication: If done well, content syndication helps generate more backlinks to your original piece. Having your syndicated content republishing on high-authority relevant sites will allow for inclusion of backlinks as confirmation votes for search engines to elevate your ranking potential. 

2. Rand Fishkin: Content is King

  • Focus: Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz and advocate for high-quality content
  • Alignment with Syndication: Syndication success rests on the quality and strength of your content. The more informative and utility-rich your content is, the greater its resonance with your audiences, likely engagement, and, most importantly, its prospects for sharing and attaining backlinks. Syndicating poor content across multiple properties is unlikely to generate SEO dividends.

‍3. Neil Patel: Measure and Adapt

  • Focus: Neil Patel, focuses on a data-driven approach to marketing at Neil Patel Digital
  • Alignment with Syndication: Measuring Success When syndicating content, how do you track whether it was a success? Neil Patel suggests that a Code of the Virgin Code syndicator should be regularly tracking how their syndication impacts website traffic, lead conversions (example: sign-ups) and sales, and, over time, whether syndication can elevate a brand’s awareness. Reviewing these metrics helps a syndicator refine their strategy and understand ways to place content for better leads.

4. Danny Sullivan: Algorithmic Insights

  • Focus: Danny Sullivan, Public Search Liaison at Google, provides valuable insights into Google’s search algorithms
  • Alignment with Syndication: Danny Sullivan is Google’s Public Search Liaison What makes a site? Google’s search algorithms are the secret behind Google’s rise to prominence. Focus obliged. Our interview with Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Search Liaison, reveals that Google’s algorithms are still relatively new and simple.

5. Aleyda Solis: Technical Expertise

  • Focus: Aleyda Solis, founder of RankBrain, technical SEO specialist
  • Alignment with Syndication: Technical SEO helps format your content for syndication so that it’s optimized no matter the platform it appears on At the technical level, Aleyda Solis argues in favor of optimizing syndicated content for each platform on which it appears: In particular, you should make adjustments such as tweaking meta descriptions, title tags, image format, etc, so that it aids in maximizing discovery through each platform’s search, such as Google News.

If you synthesize the SEO best practices outlined by these experts, you’ll have a content syndication strategy that can attract strong backlinks, amplify the power of substantive content, track meaningful metrics, avoid algorithmic pitfalls, and stay true to the technical aspects of SEO across platforms. This type of thinking is why content syndication is the secret sauce of much better SEO.

Well, That Last Bit Was Actually Informative At Least. What Now?

The real question isn’t how to chase the bots. Because that’s impossible unless you yourself believe you have the ability to become one of them, infiltrate their network, learn the secrets, and somehow manage to come back to the human world while still somehow also simultaneously still being a bot so you can tell us what’s the latest scuttlebutt. And until Keanu Reeves develops a sudden interest in content syndication, I think we just may be out of luck there.

If you ask me, my credentials include being a researcher of this article, owner of a super expensive piece of paper that says master’s degree in editorial journalism, user of SEMrush (plus MOZ of that one month and SE Ranking for a whopping two-week free trial), and six(ish) years MediaFeeding at this here establishment, your best bet is have faith. In that, meaning have no faith that the algo-overlords will change their ways any time soon, and that instead of driving yourself crazy trying to get your “broke the code” moment (a Eurovision reference I’m sure everyone and totally, not just me understood), focus on what you know.

Just ask the basics you already know you need to ask yourself; don’t try to over-complicate or over-”algo” this: Who’s your audience? What are you trying to do? Who are you trying to reach? What are your goals? Do you know what keywords you should be focusing on? Do you know what your pillar articles are? Do you know which syndicated articles drive the most referrals back to your site? 

The bots may be spinning new silk for webs all the time, but they’re still silk at the end of the day. It’s all still SEO, and it’s all still content syndication. Yes, who’s controlling the bots and what they’re telling them to do does matter, but it’s also important to remember that they’re still making the silk. So just because the overlords are changing how they spin the silk doesn’t mean you stop making webs. 

Sure, your web may not look like the one Midwestern folk put in their yards during Halloween right now, but a web is still a web. If you’re trapping organic traffic, backlinks, domain authority, brand recognition, or whatever else it is you’re trying to scoop up in that little web of yours, then by all means, web it up.* 

*Unless you’re trying to catch human flesh. MediaFeed does not condone cannibalism. 

Algorithm webs for SEO

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.us.

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The 20 Most Iconic Infomercials of All Time

The 20 Most Iconic Infomercials of All Time

Washboard abs, stain-free carpets, and the ability to dice a tomato with a playing card: Do these promises sound familiar? 

These are just a few of the claims made by some of the world’s most recognizable infomercial products. Many of these seem too good to be true. 

Remember those late-night TV ad legends like ShamWow, which could soak up an entire spilled milkshake? This extended content has become a fixture of American TV, selling everything from kitchen gadgets to workout routines.

So, what exactly are infomercials? They’re longer-form advertisements that act as mini-programs that give more details about a product or service.

Infomercials have been around since the 1940s, but while you might think they’re a relic of that time, take a look at the Squatty Potty: Infomercials increased the brand’s sales by 600% and went viral on YouTube with 40 million views.

Squatty Potty

The iconic blanket Snuggie, the amazing bullet-shaped food processor, and other unforgettable infomercials have burrowed in our memories and found their way to our homes! 

Here are 20 of the most successful and memorable infomercials.


Proactiv is an American brand of skincare products developed by two American dermatologists, Katie Rodan, and Kathy A. Fields, and was launched in 1995 through a deal with the infomercial company Guthy-Renker. This deal opened the door for celebrity endorsements, making Proactiv one of the most popular skincare brands ever.

In 1999, Judith Light was featured in the first celebrity-endorsed Proactiv ad. Since then, Proactive ads have featured such stars as Alicia Keys, Julianne Hough, Kendall Jenner, Jessica Simpson, Adam Levine, and Justin Bieber.

And these celeb-backed infomercials seemed to have paid off: In 2021, Proactive raked in $27.5 million in sales.


Standup comedian-turned-personal trainer Tony Horton is laughing his frighteningly toned 54-year-old body all the way to the bank. Since 2005, the seemingly ageless creator of the hardcore P90X workout DVDs has been reshaping bodies—and the infomercial industry—one confused muscle at a time. 

And he’s got plenty of powerful converts in his corner, from professional athletes (NFL quarterback Kurt Warner) to would-be vice presidents (Romney running mate Paul Ryan). Now, Horton’s got a highly profitable business that has generated some interesting (albeit less-advertised) offshoots, such as the Christian-themed Body Gospel, Tony & The Folks for senior bodybuilders, and Tony & The Kids for pint-sized musclemen.

And the payoff? Some big muscles and an even bigger annual revenue of  $400 million!


Reshaping your body with 10-20 minutes of daily exercise? Yes, please!

This celebrity-endorsed product contains more than 80 exercises. And to top it off, Chuck Norris, known for his muscular physique, has sponsored Total Gym for over 30 years.

This Total Gym exercise system has led to more than $1 billion in sales.

Total Gym/YouTube

Who else remembers that iconic Super Bowl ad line, “I grill with George!”

Sure, Boxing legend George Foreman didn’t invent the iconic George Foreman Grill, but he did lend his namesake to the product in what proved to be an outstanding business decision.

Since its launch in 1994, over 100 million grills of various sizes have been sold worldwide, and in 1999 alone, he earned a staggering $137.5 million from the deal. 


“The key to discovering your inner potential” is just 33$ away! Sounds tempting, right?

This all-in-one gym system was introduced in 1986 and is still very much in business. Over 2.5 million units were sold to households seeking high physical fitness. The company’s revenue in 2012 reached $193.9 million, reflecting a significant 7.5% increase from the prior year.

AnalogIndulgence /YouTube

Surely you remember the iconic catchphrase, “Set it, and forget it!”

Then you have most certainly seen the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie and BBQ infomercial.

Ronald Popeil started his company, Ronco, in 1964. In 1998, The Showtime Rotisserie took Ronco to the next level, becoming a “must-have” item. 

Over 2.5 million units were sold, with total sales reaching $1.2 billion.


No more “potato peeling tools” for your cracked feet; you’ve probably heard that before.

The Ped Egg was one of the most successful products ever launched by television marketing company TeleBrands. First airing in 2009, the Ped Egg ads were in a way “gross.”  They mainly showed a sequence of people scraping dead skin onto the floor. 

And yet Ped Egg made nearly $450,000,000 during its TV run and continues to be one of the best products of its kind.


The Snuggie-sleeved blankets are a cozy solution to stay warm while watching TV without putting down the remote!

Snuggie outsold all its sleeved blanket competitors, even though similar products have been around for a while. More than 20 million Snuggies have been sold to date.

This success is primarily attributed to a wave of infomercials launched in 2008. These ads were a throwback to classic infomercials of the previous era, playing on classic infomercial tropes: unconvincing actors, wooden voice-overs, and smiles.

What also has helped push those numbers up is that the product is big with groups; bar crawls and sporting events are just a few of the Snuggie-required group activities.

In April 2010, Los Angeles Angels fans set a Guinness World Record when more than 43,000 spectators showed up to watch the game in their Snuggies.


We all remember Richard Simmons’s late ’80s dance-aerobics program: The series’ infomercials were epic displays of people dancing to a live band in a balloon-filled room.

With Simmons signature afro, short shorts, and special smile, he created a hit that continued until he closed his studio in 2016. The series raked in over $200,000,000 and is now available on Fuse Sweat, an offshoot of Fuse TV.


This simple exercise tool is placed between the knees and squeezed. That’s pretty much it.

But thanks to Suzanne Somers’ famous shot of her sitting on a couch, squeezing a butterfly-shaped exercise device between her thighs, adding some personal testimonials, and a realistic-looking doctor, Thightmaster was a big hit.

Somers now owns Thighmaster outright. When Thighmaster initially launched, the price was $19.95. And now you can have yours for only …  $79.99.

To date, Thighmaster has earned over $100,000,000 in revenue.


This knife claimed it could cut through a tin can and then slice through a ripe tomato like butter!

Well, Ginsu wasn’t that extraordinary. It wasn’t even Japanese!

This knife wasn’t born of innovation; it resulted from the effort put into creating the infomercial. Ed Valenti and Barry Becher aimed to boost sales of a standard kitchen knife named Eversharp. Their solution? A complete makeover. They rebranded it “Ginsu,” cast a Japanese chef for the infomercial, and a television icon was launched!

Years later, Valenti himself called Ginsu his “greatest advertising success.” The Ginsu infomercial’s impact reached pop culture, even inspiring a parody of John Belushi’s Samurai Deli on Saturday Night Live.


Using smartphone speakers in public, unreliable autocorrect, strange baby names, and other problems, this infomercial declared, “The world is out of sorts. We need to fix it quicker.”

After the ad highlighted some modern societal issues, it suggested  an absurdly satisfying solution to fix it: “Maybe the world just needs a Snickers.”

The ad won the best commercial on Super Bowl 2020.


Purple’s infomercial is based on their raw egg test, which they boldly declared was “a super easy way to tell if your mattress is awful.”

The Harmon Brothers created the egg test to highlight the benefits of this startup’s polymer mattress.

In the infomercial, an actress dressed as Goldilocks adheres four raw eggs to the underside of a 330-pound sheet of tempered glass and then drops it onto a Purple mattress to see if the eggs break. Remarkably, the eggs survive the drop onto the Purple mattress, while they crack when dropped onto traditional box spring models.

With over 100 million views and 158,000 shares, the ad generated massive online buzz and overwhelmed Purple’s manufacturing with the sudden flux of online orders.


Named the “The Greatest Viral Ad in Internet History,” this infomercial launched a little-known toilet accessory company into the worldwide spotlight. Using an ice-cream pooping unicorn, the Harmon Brothers produced an ad that featured a handsome prince discussing the importance of colon health.

In the first four months alone, the ad was watched 66 million times and shared one million times on Facebook.

Squatty Potty

Here’s the story: Mick and Mimi, a couple, invite a few friends over for a party. The following day, they all gather in the kitchen. Their friend Berman is hungover, wearing last night’s clothes. A woman in a housedress named Hazel comes in with a cigarette dangling from her mouth.

So, to amaze the guests, the couple used a bullet-shaped food processor called the Magic Bullet It whips smoothies, grinds coffee, mixes muffins, and scrambles omelets, and everything is perfectly prepared in just 10 seconds.

The $60 Magic Bullet generated nearly a quarter of a billion bucks in sales in just over a year.


Red wine spills on white carpets to coffee-stained shirts. Who doesn’t remember watching those stains just disappear after Billy Mays used OxiClean?

Mays is known as one of the greatest pitchmen of all time. Throughout the advert, he provides evidence of the product’s effectiveness. In the final part, Mays even provides consumers with his contact number for any questions and directions on how to make a quick purchase. 

Two decades later, this product still exists in stores nearly everywhere.


Shake Weight started as a product for women, but when the same product was launched for men, it earned nearly $40 million in annual sales.

Using science, the infomercial explains  how the product works better than traditional weights. with only six minutes a day this product claims that it will work multiple muscles in multiple directions all at once! 

Shake Weight

Turn off your lamps or other devices with just a clap of your hands. Nearly 30 years ago, this device made the way for so many subsequent smart home devices, allowing people at that time to turn electronics on or off by simply clapping.


Remember those bouncy shoe craze of the 90s, advertised relentlessly on Nickelodeon? While parents might not have been thrilled with the constant barrage of commercials (roughly 21 times an hour), at least the Nick-branded versions offered a safety upgrade. These bouncier shoes came with reinforced features, making them a less risky alternative to the sprain-inducing models that debuted in the 70s.


Slap your troubles away with Slap Chop. It’s simply a manual food-chopping device that works by placing it over the food and “slapping” the button on the top, which, according to Vince Offer, makes cooking much easier. 

For more than a decade, The Slap Chop has proved a commercial success. The ad itself sold 50,000 Slap Chops from direct orders and another 50,000 to stores nationwide.

This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.us


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Kaitlyn Farley

Kaitlyn is MediaFeed’s senior editor. She is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, specializing in social justice and investigative reporting. She has worked at various radio stations and newsrooms, covering higher-education, local politics, natural disasters and investigative and watchdog stories related to Title IX and transparency issues.