Google Search Results Do Not Always Show Original Source

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Google Search Results Do Not Always Show Original Source

Google’s John Mueller said in the last SEO Google Office Hours video that Google’s “search results are not an indication of what Google’s systems consider to be the original source.” This means that just because Google ranks a piece of content, it does not necessarily mean that the content is the original source.

This came up at the 14:51 mark into the office hours, where the question by Asif to John was:

Why would Google consider LinkedIn Pulse articles as an original publisher even though it was published on our website first?

John Mueller responded:

Hey Asif, thanks for asking. First off, the search results are not an indication of what Google’s systems consider to be the original source.

In general, when you syndicate or republish your content across platforms, you’re trading the extra visibility within that platform with the possibility that the other platform will appear in the search results above your website. In some cases, this might be fine, for example, if you want to drive awareness of your website or business in other locations. In other cases, you might prefer to have only your website appear in Search. Ultimately, this is a business decision on your end.

Glenn Gabe covered this on X and wrote, “Syndicating content or republishing your content on other sites? -> From the latest Google Search Central Office Hours: Why would Google consider LinkedIn Pulse articles an original publisher even though it was published on our website first?”

John Mueller also commented on that share on LinkedIn when Julian Hooks asked, “It would be cool if the syndication sites accepted a cross domain canonical along with your submission. I guess that’s a lot to ask?”

John said, “Yes, like Glenn mentioned, the rel=canonical is not a directive, even within the same site. And if the pages are different, it doesn’t make sense for search engines to treat the pages as being equivalent. If you want to make sure that “your” version is the one shown in search, you need to use `noindex` on the alternate versions. In the end, it’s more of a strategic decision on your side: is it worthwhile to get your content potentially in front of more people (on & through those other sites), or do you prefer to only have it shown on your own site?”

Here is the video embed:

Here is a screenshot from LinkedIn:

Linkedin Comments

Forum discussion at LinkedIn.

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