Natural Syndication Networks - Exploiting How News Spreads [Newsstand]

The Engineer

Aegis Jaeger
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Jun 15, 2014
Kristin Tynski, the Vice President of Creative at Fractl has published a great piece of content at, not only explaining how to tank advantage of natural syndication networks, but showing how it works in the process, as evidenced by it spreading here and gaining another link.

The basic idea of the article is that the fastest way to build serious domain authority is to earn links on the sites of high-authority news sites and blogs. Any other way of trying it is too expensive and too risky. Create content that is so interesting and newsworthy and relevant to the sites you want links from that they can't avoid writing about it and referencing you.​

The Key to the Whole Thing
That last sentence is critical and something not gone into in the article itself. Your content needs to have assets in it that can't be stolen or easily duplicated, and is "source bait" in the sense that they have to link to you. Like original data or interactive graphics.

Exposure Hubs
The idea is that there are Exposure Hubs, as I'm calling them, where countless other high profile sites mine for stories. Nobody is trying to do original work any more. So you do it and land in a big hub and then everyone else spreads your work because it makes their life easier.

Here is a graphic she made based around the

If you follow current events or politics, you'll recognize every site on there. It extends out to celebrity gossip and more.

It works the opposite way too. If you land in one of the minor hubs, you can use that as validation and pitch your story to the higher hubs, like Ryan Holiday mentioned in 'Trust Me I'm Lying.'

Kalev Leetaru at Forbes did a similar graphic for Google News sites:

That's the basic information in the Moz post, which I absolutely recommend you read for the depth of explanation.

How Do You Seed the Initial Exposure?
None of this matters if you can't get the first link in the network. So how is it done? Kristin says that Fractl does it using "high-touch, one-to-one outreach to major publications." Yes, you'll have to get your hands dirty. This is good, because no matter what your site and content is about you can likely find an editor on all of these sites that focuses on your broad vertical. Like I said, if you do their job for them, your chances of getting the first story published rises exponentially.

She even gives an example of a piece of content that worked for them: Branded in Memory for

That is an incredible piece of work. How would this NOT get written about once people know it exists?

My suggestion is to also seed it on sites like Reddit and try to get it to the front page. Because once you pull that off you'll get some big publications writing about it but also lots of little ones. More links, covering the spectrum of domain-authority in your niche.

Here's the results to this piece of link bait:

The orange hub links directly to their client's sites. All of the others link to the sites in the orange hub, and have their own clusters. Yes, they built the most monumental tiered link campaign possible with this method.

Our Discussion
The real question becomes one of taking a self inventory. Are you willing to go this distance? This kind of work can be the entire difference between having a site that struggles to rank versus one that ranks for nearly any content you post, simply because you got one of these campaigns to work out. Imagine what happens after you get 2 or 3 or 5 done?

Has anyone done anything like this? How did it work out for you?

Anyone willing to start a campaign like this now and share how it goes here?


Staff member
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Sep 3, 2014
I've managed to do this twice before I got distracted. I consider both a success for different reasons, even though the end results were much smaller than what is shown above. I'll share the results here.

Tightly Niched, Broadly Interesting

My first attempt at this was a success, but could only go so far due to the nature of the content itself. But the end result was that if you search this single word pronoun or any long-tail variation, you will see my post in the top 10, if not top 5.

Here's the page currently. Note the "historical links" too:

That may not seem that incredible to you, but let's look at the DR of the sites linking in (these are Ahrefs metrics):
  • 75, 68, 68, 59, 59, 53, 50, 42, 40, 37, 33, 27, 27, 27, 2, 1
That's some serious juice from mostly dofollow links. Once you score like that, you can drop an internal link to a post you want to rank and really do some damage.

How did I do it? I dropped this on the right sub-reddit and it hit #1 on r/all. I dominated Reddit for about 24 hours and got what I recall being around 250,000 pageviews. I also made an easy $800 or so from it. Could have been far more but I was just dropping random Amazon cookies and had Adsense up.

Interactive Charts, Graphs, & Data

Another one I did was more like the example for above. It was tangentially related to my niche, where it was about my topic but targeted at another niche, like... "Firearms sales per country during war time," which was marketed at sites about war but my site was about firearms.

I went all out, spent about 2 weeks putting the post together. Then I paid an outreach team to get me around 15 links. At the end of the day you can see it ended up hitting 39 domains historically. So because the content was so good and the outreach on point I got ~2.7x the amount of value out of what I paid for.

Again, 29 domains still live, big whoopty, except look at the juice, with Domain Ratings of:
  • 79, 62, 60, 56, 50, 43, 42, 40, 33, 32, 32, 31...
It goes on and on. Every one of those above is dofollow, and all 29 live links minus 1 are dofollow. I dropped a link at the very bottom to one money post and it ranks well, earns money, and is on the verge of first page for a very lucrative term. One day I'll circle back around and try to drive it home.


So yeah, I haven't had a huge home run but that's due to the nature of the content I'm producing and the niches I'm targeting. If I wanted to get silly and do some celebrity or political stuff, it could go much further (and I probably will do this eventually).

It definitely works. You mentioned Ryan Holiday, and I've been seeing more instances of people flat out creating hoaxes (most recently was Justin Bieber eating a burrito sideways). Who cares if it's a hoax, you still get the links. Then you write about how you ran an "experiment on fake news and how nobody cares to verify anything in your industry" and get even more links.
Nov 6, 2014
A+ thread, thanks!

I can definitely relate to the "get into authority sites by using your first authority mention" trick. About a year ago I pitched a piece of content on my site to a non-profit authority resource page that the whole niche knows and loves. The site placed my link because they liked the way my content was organized (just a table). Mention of that link is now my outreach punchline, and I get way more responses with it.

Who cares if it's a hoax, you still get the links. Then you write about how you ran an "experiment on fake news and how nobody cares to verify anything in your industry" and get even more links.
Yep, exactly the way to look at it all! :D
Aug 27, 2018
So basically great content with interactivity like javascript then outreach.

Not sure how I can apply this to a Best article, maybe an industry analysis showing industry growth and interactive sliders showing google trends charts of each brand and product? Hell that sounds interesting to me, now im getting excited. :happy: