The SEO Implications of Content Curation

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With the explosion of online content driven by SEO, unlimited 'shelf space' for content and the rise of content marketing, curation of online content is going to continue as a way to give better content a longer lifespan and more organic visibility. 

When done well, content curation is also a way for website or blog owners to add value for their readers while saving time for themselves.

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What is Curation?

Curation is the collection and sharing of items. Often the phrase is applied to art (museum, art gallery), books (library), wine (sommelier) or music (DJ). 

Curation implies sharing the best items or items that are part of a central theme. Remember, museums and galleries often have huge stocks in the warehouse and show only a portion of their works at any given time.

What is Content Curation?

Content curation is the collection and sharing of content such as articles, videos, pictures, tweets, songs or other pieces of digital content.

A related term, content aggregation, uses automation to collect content versus curation, which is done by a person. Obviously, you can curate non-digital content, but let’s keep it to digital content for the purposes of this article.

Content curation usually involves the collection of content relevant to a topic, then sharing short portions of them (on a blog or website or other platform), while linking to and giving credit to the original source. So, to make it really specific, here are some examples:

  • A blog post about Twitter strategies, where articles are gathered from some of the top sites around the web. I would display the headlines, the first line or two of the article (or a summary), possibly a thumbnail from the article, and a link to the original article. I’d probably group related articles into sections.
  • A blog post with the best pictures of winter pulling great pictures from sites such as Flickr or other photography sites and linking to and crediting the photographers (check licenses).
  • A review of top SEO advice on video could include several YouTube videos with some highlights, analysis or summaries of each.

Who Uses Content Curation?

A lot of sites use content curation either as an occasional tactic or as a primary strategy. Examples include:

  • Moz, which collects weekly SEO news from around the web and sends them in an email called the Moz Top 10
  • AllTop.com, which curates a set of top blogs by category. It also curates and shares out specific content on its blog and shares out a lot of this content via Twitter and Facebook.
  • News sites such as Techmeme, which gather and display content from around the web on specific topics. In this     case the article selection is done partly by algorithm, partly by human editors
  • Barry Schwartz’s video recaps of the week discussing news and popular threads from the SEO community

Keep your eyes open and you’ll see lots of examples of content curation on some of your favourite sites.

How Can Content Curation Help SEO

There’s an endless amount of content out there – much of it bad, some of it very good. Part of your SEO strategy can include curating some of the best articles for your niche as a way to add value to your customers.  This can also save you time (versus content creation) and you can get SEO value with the addition of the new fresh content. Here area few options:

  • Be the best source of top or recent news in your industry: This is the ultimate goal of any SEO strategy because once you become the source, you can stop building links.
  • Supplement your original content with occasional curated posts to keep your blog always fresh and up-to-date. You can create articles that link to several key posts (on other sites) on a certain topic, allowing people to see various viewpoints or details about the essential steps in a process
  • Diversify your content and hence dominate other search elements, beyond organic listings, like video carousels and Top Stories. You can curate video, graphics or picture posts to add interest to your blog
  • Add a section on related articles within your posts to give readers further reading and for you to build social capital with other bloggers
  • Keep your content fresh for higher rankings and click-through

What to Be Careful About

Some things to watch out for in content curation:

  • Not giving credit or linking to the source: This is a great way to become known as a content thief in your industry. Always link generously! That also ties you closer to other known entities in your niche.
  • Taking too much. I’ve seen some 'curators' who pull basically a whole article, put it in quotes and source it. That’s too much, and that’s where you are facing a duplicate content problem.
  • Quantity over quality – make sure you focus on quality versus getting as much content as possible.
  • Automation – automated curation ('content aggregation') can lead to low quality and, again, duplicate content issues. Consider having a human hand in your process.
  • Going 100% curated. A mix of original content and curated content is better than 100% curated in most cases.
  • Having the same style of article each time – try to be creative with your curated posts.

Tools for Curation

There are tools to help you curate content for use on your blog. I’m not focusing on the plethora of tools that allow you to create magazine-like pages hosted on another site.

Drumup

Drumup allows you to search blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Google News and more for recent content by keyword. It allows for easy content sharing of that curated content to your several social media profiles.

Google Reader (or other RSS readers)

For curation from a set of known blogs, an RSS reader (like Feedly) is a great way to collect, track and select articles for use in a curated post.

Google Alerts

Another way to find relevant content for a specific search term is to set up a regular Google Alert which will deliver recent articles that mention that term.

AllTop

A curated set of top blogs by topic area, All Top also includes the five most recent posts from each blog on the same page. A great way to find blogs and posts.

Wakelet

Wakelet allows you to drag and drop social media content into a post, such as tweets, videos, blog post snippets and more. This is hosted on Wake let, but It can also be embedded into a webpage as well. 

The SEO value may be lower than straight posting of content into your blog and there may be some limitations.

Content curation helps you gain more knowledge of your niche, become a knowledge hub in your niche and publish news worthy content. All of that is great for SEO.

 

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