What is content curation and how can it help my SEO?

December 24, 2014

What is content curation and how can it help my SEO?

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Content curation is a growing trend in the world of content marketing.  Curation refers to finding, organizing, annotating and sharing the best and most relevant third-party content for your target audience. Their are a number of concerns surrounding the practice, putting doubts in the minds of marketers before they’re able to fully understand the benefits of curation done right. This was something we at Triple Moons Design were concerned about when we first started curating.

Why does curation help?

  • Search engines need signals. When you curate content from credible sources it shows that you have a trusted site.
  • It adds life to your website. Search engines love content! When you curate effectively, you are typically adding 4-10 posts a day. More content means a more fresh and active website.
  • It keeps your website relevant. Typically you’re curating things that are relevant to your market, typically sharing the latest trends, news, and tips. The search engines pick up on this and see your site as relevant to the market.
  • Curation helps build authority. The more authority you have, the more trusted your digital content becomes.

Most of the curated content that we compiled includes a few sentences from the original article, commentary of a few sentences  and a link back to the original source.

Curation Pros and Cons

Pros: Content curation allows websites to publish new, relevant content at a higher volume than a typical content creation strategy would allow. The variety of articles able to be published gives readers diverse viewpoints, which makes your content more credible and positions your website as a go-to resource. Additionally, it will save you time and money; and avoids burning out your copywriting staff!

Cons: You may be concerned that content curation means duplicate content – which could potentially hurt your search engine optimization (SEO). If content is duplicated, it could compete for search rankings or cause the search engines to not index the page. They’re also concerned with too much outbound linking, sending readers away from a website. When done right, however, outbound links and curated content can actually improve SEO.

Curation Do’s

Curate for your audience and not for the search engine engines. Always keep the target audience at the top of your mind. If they like your content, they will link back to you as a resource, and help your search engine ranking.

Be selective about your content. Make sure to consistently provide value for your readers. Content you curate should be relevant to your topic and include your own insights and opinions. This increases the value of the content and provides alternative perspective for your audience. Share curated content on multiple channels (newsletters, social media, etc.) to ensure it gains as much exposure as possible from a wide audience. The more popular your content, the more likely it will appear in search results.

Add your feeds to Google Blog Search index. You can submit RSS feeds to Google Blog Search so that they’ll consider you a credible source of information and know when you update content. Most importantly, Google will consider you as a dynamic “blog” source, rather than just a static website.  This means they’ll recrawl more often and your rankings will improve.  In addition, you will not only show up in Google Search results, but Google Blog Search as well. Click here to get started.

Post your curated content to Google+ and link back to your website. Google considers activity on their social media channel, Google+, when determining ranking moreover other channels such as Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin.

Annotate your curated posts and add your viewpoint. First and foremost, make sure the content you’ve written to go along with your curated post is longer than the excerpt you’ve used from the original article. With curation, it’s best to give more than you take. There are two reasons for this: ethics and SEO.  You want to ensure you are ethically curating when you are relying on someone else’s work. With regards to SEO, annotating with your own insights or opinions will allow for search engines to pick up the piece as a separate source of information from the original article. This ensures you’re not just taking and reposting content from other sources.

Retitle all of your curated posts. New titles ensure you’re not competing in search results with the original article. Titles can be taken into consideration by search engines over body text. and you should use this to your benefit.

Prominently link back to the original article in your curated piece. From an ethics standpoint, this makes it easy for readers to click to the original post to read the full text, and gives proper credit to the author. Outbound linking also improves SEO as links to quality content show search engines that your website is a credible source for information.

Curation Dont’s

Don’t repost the full text of articles. This is not only unethical, but it will hurt your website’s SEO. If you’re reposting too much of a curated article, especially without adding your own insight, search engines will have difficulty determining which content to index or where to rank them in results. If you are excessively posting curated content inappropriately, Google may consider you a spam blog and all of your efforts are wasted.

Don’t curate from single source. Readers, and search engines, rank variety as value. If your website has outbound links to a wide variety of websites, Google will know your content efforts are credible.

Don’t use duplicate full size images. When curating content, use only a thumbnail size of the original image or use your own. Best practices include altering the image alt text, adjusting size and creating a relevant image name. These are all things Google takes into consideration when ranking images within written content.

Content curation is an effective marketing strategy to increase credibility, drive leads and improve search engine optimization. But as with anything else, you have work at it to curate content. Annotate your curated content with your own insights, change titles, link to credible articles, publish from a variety of sources and always give more than you take.