The value of attribution links on syndicated content is huge for SEO, but as is so often the case in SEO, some go way overboard and overdo to the point of spamming. Others correctly see the value as an incremental addition to their SEO toolset. I’ve long been an advocate for attribution links on widgets, video embeds, article syndication resource boxes and any other type of syndicated content.
Both of these use keyword focused attribution to the originating source of the content. If the content was unrelated to the keyword text links following those embeds, that would be the abusive and spammy approach I suggested above. The spammy approach has been used widely with web page counters prevalent on early web sites which linked back to spammer sites with entirely unrelated link text. But when the video embed points to highly relevant and useful resource entirely related to the attribution link, it scores well in SEO.
The best approach is always to link to topical and relevant content, preferably, the source of the actual piece of content featured in order to score well in search engine relevancy and landing page quality.
I‘ve consulted with several video and widget vendors who look at me through quizzical sideways tilted gazes when I make this point, like I’m speaking Martian. That attribution link is highly valuable to the content provider. It offers the visitor a link equity to the content source and justifies the content provider bandwidth in delivering that valuable content to others who use the providers resources to display the content external to the provider. Why make your content available to others without that link-back?
Relevant, interesting and useful information of interest to a highly targeted audience, with an attribution link to related information is the key concept for valuable inbound link acquisition.
I‘ve proposed this approach to link-building to easily a dozen client sites as they were about to launch major initiatives of distributed content. Most of them think the video or widget is a cool idea and respond to that, but many ask why that attribution link is necessary – a couple even removed it after development because they didn’t like how it looked outside the player or widget. Great, that would mean that you are providing useful and interesting content – for free – on your bandwidth – with no return on investment – the link is worth it’s weight in SEO gold.