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Content curation and SEO, a surprising friendship

Do you think that your company has to create all content itself to improve your Google ranking? Are you hesitant to place external links to curated content on your website because you could lose visitors? We’ll show how content curation can increase the value of your website and also boost your rankings.

You probably already publish and promote your own content via your blog, social media and newsletter. It should stay that way! But even if you deliver a lot of added value here, sometimes your readers may want more than just your perspective. Which is where content curation comes in.

Because your readers want a comprehensive overview of a topic, and are therefore also interested in the perspectives of other specialists – which is why they also follow the channels of your competitors. Content curation starts right here: you research additional content that could be interesting for your target group, thereby completing the topic.

The journalist and Internet pioneer Jeff Jarvis deftly sums this up with the phrase “Do what you do best and link to the rest.” It is by no means just about collecting as many links as possible, but about filtering out the best information on the subject from the sea of ​​publicly available information, and expanding it with your own knowledge.

Branding through content curation

Content curation marketing is a great way to demonstrate state-of-the-art expertise. A wide range of content helps your readers, and therefore means that they are more likely to recommend you to others, which in turn improves your visibility on the web.

The presentation and evaluation of subject-specific contributions underlines your competence and also sharpens your image and that of your brand. You’ll show that you think outside the box, you follow current trends and discussions, and you establish yourself as an expert.

A sports shop that specializes in mountaineering and trekking will not only write about equipment in the narrower sense according to the modern rules of content marketing, but will also deal with topics related to mountaineering, trekking, hiking, etc. more comprehensively. There is nothing wrong with linking to route recommendations, training tips, weather pages, apps and much more on external websites – for example, sending people to an article about the differences between hiking vs. trekking.

How content curation affects Google rankings

As you know, links are essential to achieve a good Google ranking. Links are so valuable to search engines because they show readers the way to more background information.

And since its founding with the invention of PageRank, Google has based its rankings on the usefulness of a page for other users.

Three types of website links

As you probably know, Google distinguishes between several types of links:

Internal links: These point to additional content on your own website; these are important and conducive to ranking well on Google, because Google “understands” the structure of your own website better.

External links: These point from your content to third-party websites, and offer external expertise and insights (“read and selected for you”).

Backlinks: When other websites point back to yours, these are known as backlinks; they show Google that your site is credible and authoritative.

Everyone knows backlinks, because they’re widely believed to make up the lion's share of “Link Juice” that a page can earn. The benefits of a strong internal linking structure are also well known for SEO.

However, we often have the feeling that too little is known about the benefits of external links! A good mix of internal and external links makes all the difference. When they work together, they help site rankings by providing users (and Google) with added value and in-depth information about the displayed content.

Of course, as already mentioned, you shouldn't link to just “anywhere”. The following three points are important for external links to provide your SEO boost:

  1. The linked sources must be trustworthy.

  2. The link must be contextual, i.e. relevant.

  3. Links should be given meaningful anchors: in other words, don’t link “Read more”, but rather link the appropriate keyword in each case.

Different types of content curation

Curated content can be presented in a variety of forms. For example, you can choose from:

  • Listicles: Typically a best-of. For example, the “10 best links on topic X” or “Our reading recommendations of the week”. Each link included is briefly commented on in your own words.

  • Further reading: External links are inserted in the article to deepen the topic. A good rule of thumb is three to four external links per blog post.

  • Embedded content: You could find the best tweets or Instagram posts on a specific topic, and embed them on the website or in the blog post. It also works, but requires a clean implementation of an embed plugin on your own website so that it can be displayed properly.

All three types of content curation can be used in blog posts, white papers and newsletters. For embedded content in newsletters you have to do some tricks, for example sharing an image of the tweet or post, since real embedding usually does not work.

What’s the best way to start content curation?

It's very easy to start curating, because when you create content, you start with research anyway: you look at what's already out there, what others are writing, and where you cam add a meaningful and up-to-date contribution to the discussion.

In addition, there are various tools available for finding content on a given topic. One useful, free tool is Google Alerts, which scans the internet regularly for keywords and notifies you when new content is published.

However, Google Alerts is a bit unreliable, and has a limit of 10 items per day. Not ideal! Therefore, check out the following content curation tools, which may meet your needs better:

Anders Pink: This tool curates content via an AI-based algorithm. Search hits can be rated, and the results adapt accordingly to your own preferences.

Content Studio: Curated content can be filtered in Content Studio and distributed, for example, in the form of articles, videos and quizzes in a blog or on social media. Publishing can be automated based on schedule and frequency.

Curata: Recommends content that is appropriate for the target groups to its users, based on predefined keywords. Users can rate the recommendations, select content and publish it on specific channels.

Crowdfire: A social media management tool that unearths relevant articles and offers them for sharing on social media.

Elink.io: Makes it possible to curate content on-the-go. Content can be converted into a website, embedded in a blog or sent as a newsletter. Elink doesn't have search though – the content must be inserted manually via URL.

NewzSocial: Offers social media news curation.

Paper.li: Automatically creates a daily edition of a "newspaper" from specially-defined search terms and sources. Relevant social media channels can be searched, and the results can be embedded in a blog.

Scoop.it: The community functions of Scoop.it allow you to follow other users. In addition, the tool suggests additional topics for the defined keywords. The functions for social media monitoring are particularly noteworthy.

Scope: Scope allows publishing of your own content, as well as curated offerings, and handles the entire process from finding third-party content to compiling a newsletter to delivery. Scope also offers content curation including newsletter sends as a service, and supports companies and organizations with little experience or limited resources. [disclaimer: I work for Scope]

SmarterQueue: Has a strong focus on social media.

Sociallymap: Focuses on automating the distribution of content.

Fig.2: Screenshot from thescope.com

The legal limits of content curation

If information from other sources is quoted or reproduced, the topic of copyright is always an issue. The exact restrictions depend on the country you’re operating in (the UK’s copyright laws differ from EU countries, for example).

A good rule of thumb: complete reproduction of content is always forbidden unless you have explicit permission, and the same goes for very long quotations, quotations without a source or uploading works produced by other people on your own website.

However, these problems can easily be avoided, as our customers prove every day.

Content curation is safe if you limit the amount of material curated, write your own comments and always link the external website. When using short quotes from the original source, you mark them as a quote and publish them with the appropriate copyright notice.

We’ve been aggregating content for ourselves and for our clients for ten years and we’ve not had a single legal issue or even a single complaint.

Final thoughts on content curation

Content curation offers many opportunities to provide your readers with additional benefits, increase your credibility and also improve your Google rankings. In addition, when looking for interesting articles for your target group, you’ll always come across inspiration for your own content.

On days when you can't create "unique content", content curation helps to keep your channels busy, which both your users and the search engines will like.

In addition, the analytics of your users' clicks on third-party content also give you good feedback on which topics your users are most interested in. Overall, you increase the quality and relevance of your own site!

Finally, here are our three tips on how curated content provides an SEO boost:

Topic focus: Maintain your own topic focus even with curated content. Google registers what you publish about and can thus better assign your site. The sharper your content focus, the better.

More content: Those who use curated content publish more often and faster. Google rewards fresh content and therefore ranks you higher.

Backlinks: Curated content offers the possibility to place internal links. Whenever a curated article fits your own piece of content, there is an opportunity to link them to each other.

As you can see, content curation helps to establish expert status for you and your team, sharpen your brand image, retain customers and fans, and increase relevance and visibility on the web. So let's get curating!

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Published on Mar 4, 2022 by Dr. Peter Hogenkamp