How tT Leverage Natural Syndication Networks To Earn More Links

A content marketing strategy is the key to success. As a webmaster, you must understand how networks work and use them in your favor. Syndication–the process of posting links on other websites–is one way major companies are earning huge amounts of backlinks for their sites

As a content marketer, I feel that earning a big number of links from high-authority sources is the greatest method to build domain authority — and hence search engine ranking. To be effective at this, you must provide high-quality, relevant, and entertaining material that journalists will want to cover.

In my most recent Webinomy piece, I discussed how digital PR professionals may enhance their outreach emails, using an internal review of my team’s successful pitches as proof of what works. I went through several key aspects, including subject lines, pitch length, closing, and follow-up best practices.

You already know how to compose an effective email pitch if you read that piece. We’ll talk about who to pitch in this article. When it comes to content marketing outreach, which publications provide the most bang for your money (or the best ROI on your pitch)?

For our client content marketing efforts, our media relations team received 41,545 news mentions in 2018. These press references emerged across all verticals on a range of top-tier, national, international, and local websites. Note that 1,135 of those news mentions came as a consequence of one of our media relations professionals reaching out to a journalist directly.

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So, where did the remaining 40,000 tales originate? Natural syndication in two words.

What Are Publisher Syndication Networks, and How Do They Work?

Over three years ago, I had my first experience with a publisher syndication network when I got my first placement on USA Today, which was a fantastic start for someone new to media relations. It was back to business when the first thrill of witnessing the scenario I proposed come to life worn off. I kept presenting the material to other publications. However, when I was compiling my list, I stumbled across the identical USA Today item — written by the same author — on various websites with different names. How is it possible?

Gannett Company, which owns more than 100 daily newspapers and almost 1,000 weekly publications, owns USA Today. While the piece wasn’t syndicated across all of Gannet’s domains, it was picked up by around 20 other web publications.

So, a single email proposal landed on 20 different sites, each with its own audience? If you ask me, that’s a very good return on investment.

This impact is not exclusive to USA Today. Other publications serve as hubs or influencers, writing items that are either automatically syndicated (as in USA Today’s case) or organically “picked up” by other journalists on their beat.

So, which publications have the most influence over content distribution?

I’ve acquired a profound understanding for which domains have the greatest syndication potential for our customers’ material after three years of pitching content to practically every online publication in the United States. My crew, on the other hand, was eager to learn more.

Kristin Tynski, a co-founder of Fractl, looked into the link networks of the top 400 most visited American publications online using Webinomy. She then used Gephi, a strong network visualization tool, to decipher this massive web of interconnections. Essentially, the image below depicts the interconnections between each individual publication.

How-tT-Leverage-Natural-Syndication-Networks-To-Earn-More-LinksTo interact with the visualization, just click on the image.

Webinomy and Gephi are two tools that help us better understand how online news outlets and important niche blogs interact. Through link networks, we were able to acquire insight into how material is spread and syndicated.

We can notice several immediate correlations merely by scrolling around on the visualization:

  • Publishers who often connect to one other are crowded near each other.,, and are all excellent examples. All of them are owned by the same person. Heavy interlinking and story syndication have resulted in the close proximity of these nodes.

  • Some news providers with similar political leanings are clustered together. Conservative publications Breitbart, The Daily Caller, and BizPac Review are grouped together, whereas liberal publishers Politico, Salon, The Atlantic, and the Washington Post are grouped together.

Why Knowing About Syndication Networks Will Help Your Campaign A Lot

Which would you pick if you had the option of submitting a pitch and getting a placement or sending a pitch and earning 20 placements?

You’ll be able to favor high-syndication articles over publications with a smaller reach after you determine which news sites have the greatest syndication networks.

After all, not every position is created equal.

It all boils down to making a list. While both a PopSugar travel writer and a Reuters travel writer could like your data-driven vacation material, the Reuters writer just has more clout.

As a consequence, the information you’re presenting will be picked up by a far larger number of people.

You may easily find the best publishers for list-building by utilizing the graphic above. They are unsurprising: CNN, The New York Times, BBC, and Reuters come to mind right away. The New York Times has won the most Pulitzer honors in history, which should indicate why they are a reliable source for other journalists looking for trustworthy article ideas.

If your article is picked up by one of these sites, you will almost certainly get dozens, if not hundreds, of press mentions from other websites without having to perform any more marketing.

How to Expand Your Reach Using Natural Syndication Networks

Step 1: Create content that is newsworthy, relevant, unique, and shareable.

There’s a reason why landing a spot in the New York Times is so tough – it’s famously difficult. You can’t start with a drab piece of content if you want to get organic exposure on prominent content hubs like the New York Times, Washington Post, or CNN.

So, what makes material noteworthy, relevant, distinctive, and shareable? “Quality content depends on exact analytics and reliable data,” according to Webinomy. When content isn’t backed up by analytics, it’s impossible to know whether it will directly address the audience’s pain points.”

“Data-driven content marketing is what delivers the most high-quality backlinks we get for our customers,” I fully concur after years of experience. Here are some suggestions for locating data sources that might serve as the foundation for your content strategy: 

Once you have your data, use these three qualities of high-quality content to figure out what makes material deserving of high-authority placements.

Step 2: Look for high-authority publishers with extensive natural syndication networks.

Make a list of ideal publishers for your work.

There are four primary criteria you should consider when deciding whether to hire a publisher or a journalist for outreach. 

1. Relevance to the topic 

Choose a few options. writers or editors who specialize in the beat in which your work is relevant.

Although it may seem simple, PR professionals who are more concerned with pitch volume than with their reputation sometimes overlook this important qualification. Irrelevant pitches are high on the list of journalist pet peeves, and they will almost always end up in the trash folder. 


Domain Authority No. 2 

“A search engine ranking score produced by Moz that forecasts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages,” according to Domain Authority (DA) (SERPs). A Domain Authority score goes from one to one hundred, with higher scores indicating better ranking potential.” — Moz

Moz created Domain Authority as a third-party indicator to assist marketers in determining the health of their website. While Google’s ranking algorithm isn’t totally visible, the Domain Authority (DA) is a score system that you may use to compare websites. When developing an outreach list, Domain Authority is an excellent qualifying measure to employ. In general, the greater a website’s DA, the larger its audience and the more likely it is to have extensive natural syndication networks. 

Depending on the material you’re promoting, a decent rule of thumb is to choose publications with a Domain Authority of 60 or higher for your outreach list. You may use the MozBar, a free Google Chrome plugin produced by Moz, to check the DA of the news sources on your list. 

3. Participation in social activities

Any excellent outreach campaign should have the objective of getting whatever you’re presenting in front of as many eyes as possible within your target group. If you’re representing a fitness company and want to promote jogging-related content, who better to pitch than a health and fitness writer at a lifestyle newspaper with a large audience and active social media presence? And where would you look for this journalist? 

Every marketer should have Buzzsumo in their toolkit; I use it every day to help me locate the most effective influencers in any particular area. In only a few minutes, a short Buzzsumo search will help you figure out who to pitch. 


To begin, go to and click on the Influencers link at the top of the page. Then enter your search term.

I used the phrase “fitness writer” in this example. Buzzsumo enables you to filter results, so I chose Bloggers, Influencers, Companies, and Journalists for this query (and left “Regular people” unchecked). I also chose “Active Influencers” to guarantee that this individual is active on social media, as well as “Verified Influencers” to exclude Twitter users that aren’t verified. Click “Search” once you’ve entered in your query and set your criteria.

Here’s one of the first things I found when I searched for “fitness writer”: 


When you look at Amanda Loudin’s Twitter profile, it’s clear that she’d be a great outreach target for a running campaign. Her Twitter profile clearly indicates her authority as a fitness writer for the Washington Post, Outside Online, Runner’s World, and ESPN Woman, and her featured image is a photo of her jogging. She also has 11,000 followers on Twitter and has posted three times in the previous three hours. Who better to promote your jogging campaign to than her? It’s that simple. 


4. The Possibility of a Large-Area Syndication Network

Unfortunately, not every target on your list will be able to take use of large-scale syndication networks. However, you can be certain to include at least a few targets with the ability to automatically syndicate information over the Internet. 

You can simply find top publications with enormous link networks to add on your outreach list by utilizing the one-of-a-kind interactive visualization our co-founder made using Gephi and Webinomy. 

Look at the most central nodes on the graph to see which sites have the most connections from the largest range of sites. You’ll see that Reuters, CNN, and the New York Times are in the middle, with significant quantities of connections streaming in from all around; this simply indicates that these sites are referred to the most often by other sites, often as sources. If CNN covers a story, other journalists may take it up and publish it in their own newspaper. 

You may also see that the closer the cluster of nodes is together, the more interlinking occurs. Publishers that seem to be more closely related are often owned by the same corporation (such as Gannett) or have built-in automatic link syndication agreements. The Gizmodo Media Group is a fantastic example. Deadspin, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku, and Lifehacker are all owned by Gizmodo. The strong interlinking and narrative syndication in this group has resulted in a proximity of nodes.

After you’ve determined which media have substantial linking networks you want to target, you may use Google search operators to find specific journalists at those sites. For example, let’s imagine I want to include CNN to my jogging content outreach list. I’m thinking of typing “ workout” and filtering results from the last year. 

This item appears on the first page of results: “Three advantages of (and three warnings concerning) outdoor winter exercise.” Dr. Melina Jampolis, the article’s author, writes a CNN column and would be a nice match for your data-driven jogging material. Because of CNN’s extensive natural syndication network, a placement with CNN might be the first of many. 

Send a Killer Pitch as the third step.

The only thing standing between you and a big, diversified backlink portfolio is your pitch if you have amazing content and a list of notable journalists and writers in your issue vertical.

There’s a lot of pressure on a single email between the subject line, the introduction, the pitch body, and the closing! In my recent Webinomy column, I discussed how to improve your media pitch.

All placements aren’t created equal.

Using natural publisher syndication networks to promote your content might make the difference between a few dozen links and hundreds of mentions in the press.

I recommend that you use this method in your next content marketing campaign. Let me know how it went in the comments section if you do!

Backlink exports from Webinomy were used to create the link graphs of news syndication networks. You may use the graphic we generated to improve your own content outreach methods for free.

Find out who has mentioned you.

Brand monitoring identifies the most lucrative brand references.

ADS illustration