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Network Syndication

Network Syndication

Beta feature

This feature is currently in closed beta, so instructions, fields, and properties may be subject to change. If you'd like to apply for the pilot program, contact value@parsely.com.

It's common for large publishers or brands to publish the same content across multiple sites. Parse.ly makes it easy to understand how both the original content and the syndicated versions perform across the entire network.

In order to understand how content is distributed, Parse.ly requires all syndicated pages (and any "original" pages that may be syndicated) to have an additional metadata field that establishes a "network canonical URL." Just as the Parse.ly canonical URL is used to combine data across all URLs from a single site, the network canonical URL is used to group each of those combinations together.

This property should be specified using the schema.org isBasedOn property in each page's JSON-LD as illustrated in the example below.

#Example

<script type="application/ld+json">
  {
    "@context": "http://schema.org",
    "@type": "NewsArticle",
    "headline": "Zipf's Law of the Internet: Explaining Online Behavior",
    "url": "https://blog.parse.ly/post/57821746552",
    "isBasedOn": "https://www.parse.ly/help/post/3387/getting-parse-ly-integrated-with-your-site-2/",
    "thumbnailUrl": "https://blog.parse.ly/inline_mra670hTvL1qz4rgp.png",
    "datePublished": "2013-08-15T13:00:00Z",
    "articleSection": "Programming",
    "creator": ["Alan Alexander Milne"],
    "keywords": ["statistics","zipf","internet","behavior"]
  }
</script>

It's easier to illustrate by example. Let's say you have a network composed of sites a.com, b.com, and c.com. Site a.com publishes https://a.com/great-post.com. That page is syndicated on the other sites at https://b.com/a-post.com and https://c.com/good-post.com. The url and isBasedOn property of each version of the post should be set as follows:

Siteurl value (site)isBasedOn value (network)
a.comhttps://a.com/great-post.comhttps://a.com/great-post.com
b.comhttps://b.com/a-post.comhttps://a.com/great-post.com
c.comhttps://c.com/good-post.comhttps://a.com/great-post.com

Because each of the three pages share the same network canonical URL, they will be grouped together in network rollup and site group screens of the Parse.ly dashboard. Additionally, because the Parse.ly canonical URL and network canonical URL of a.com match, Parse.ly can identify that version as the "original" and use that version of the metadata within network and site group views. Any cases where those URLs don't match are understood to be syndicated versions.

One advantage of this system is that different versions of a syndicated article can maintain their own metadata on site-specific dashboards. For example, it's common for syndicated versions to have a different headline than the original. Within the dashboard of each site, the url value will be used as the Parse.ly canonical URL. This means that on the b.com dashboard, the headline (and any other metadata) provided on https://b.com/a-post.com will be used for the post.

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