Set up a News Aggregator on Your WordPress Blog
If you’re looking for a way to add more content to your WordPress blog, it’s fairly easy to incorporate a Google News-style aggregator into your site.
There are numerous plugins that allow you to syndicate RSS and Atom feeds from elsewhere on the web, and publish the content as posts inside your own WordPress blog.
Why syndicate other people’s content on your WordPress site?
Whether this is a good idea depends on the kind of blog you have. Any kind of news, current affairs or opinion blog could probably benefit from some external content, as long as it’s relevant and complementary to whatever you are writing about. Syndicating content on your blog allows you to:
- Offer your readers a quick reference point for related news.
- Increase the frequency of your blog updates and supply more content than you’re able to create yourself.
- Build your blog’s authority as a credible and comprehensive source of information.
Remember to always clearly differentiate between your own content and someone else’s. It’s always a good practice to link back to the original website whenever you publish a syndicated article.
Beware the menace of duplicate content
Filling your site with recycled content from elsewhere on the web can negatively effect your SEO and drive down your search rankings. If it appears to Google’s all-seeing eye that your site doesn’t offer much (or anything) in terms of unique content, you’re not going to rank well.
Matt Cutts (head of Google’s Webspam team) explains a bit more about duplicate content in this video.
The easiest way to avoid getting penalised is to noindex your syndicated feeds, which hides them from the search engine bots and ensures that Google only picks up your own unique content. There are different ways of doing this, but its best to check the user documentation for whichever aggregator plugin you’re using.
As an afterthought, you should never let aggregated content from other sites overtake your own blogging. People come to your site to read your content, so make sure that remains the focus of your blog. An aggregate source of related content is just a little bonus you can offer your readers, and an incentive to keep them on your site longer.
How to get started
There are a tonne of plugins out there for adding syndicated feeds to your WordPress site. FeedWordPress and WP-o-Matic are two well-known examples. If you want to publish syndicated content on multiple blogs across your WordPress Multisite network, check out Autoblog from WPMU Dev.
Feature picture courtesy of Colleen AF Venable.