Publishing to Medium, worth it?

Feb 20, 2020 | Social Media, SEO

Heard of the Publishing Outlet ‘Medium’?

Here’s a brief overview of how and why to make it a good er… medium for your posts.

Isn’t Medium just another social media outlet you would need to allocate your valuable and scarce time to? If that’s your initial thought then I confess it was mine too. I’ve already got the usual suspects of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram covered, why add another?

Why is it different?

OK, I know, all these social media channels claim to be ‘different’, ‘unique’ etc. It is, after all, just an outlet for publishing articles. So your whole article goes on their site rather than just * characters or the like. But why should I post there rather than my own blog or website? This is where the difference comes in. You can and should post to both. When Medium publishes your article on their site they put a link back to your site utilising the rel=canonical attribute. This essentially tells passing bots that the copy of the content on your website is the original. Thus when search engines ‘value’ the article, that value is allocated to your version and not shared between the copies.

social media publishing outlet Medium and rel=canonical links

As Wikipedia puts it;

“A canonical link element is an HTML element that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues by specifying the “canonical” or “preferred” version of a web page as part of search engine optimization…

…Search engines try to utilise canonical link definitions as an output filter for their search results. If there is more than one URL with the same content (duplicate content) in the result set, the canonical link URL definitions will likely be incorporated to determine the original source of the content.”

Pros:
  • It’s free,
  • There are no ads,
  • It is designed for long form, content rich articles,
  • If you have a WordPress website/blog then there is a plug-in available that allows you to push any of your posts automatically to the Medium site at the same time as you publish them on your own site,
  • You are doubling up your outreach with the same content without the risk of being penalised by search engines.
Cons:
  • In terms of number of members, Medium does not come close to the major social media players,
  • That’s it.
Conclusion:
  • Given that Medium specialises in article length / long form postings, if that’s the form you prefer to write and publish in, then I would recommend trying it out if you want to reach beyond the limits that the usual echo chambers provide.