Content Curation Explained

Curated content is a powerful tool that can help improve your search engine results. The following article, which appeared on QuickSprout explains it all. You can have fresh, relevant content posted to your web site or blog every weekday for a very reasonable fee by subscribing to Golko Consulting's Content Curation and Syndication Service.

We all want it…that top spot on the search rankings. And the sites that are getting those top spots are sites that publish fresh, relevant content frequently. That may sound like a fairly easy thing to do…just hire a bunch of writers and start publishing. That was the content marketing strategy that Mint.com and American Express used to drive traffic to their site.


As you can imagine the competition is tough. And creating all of that content is time consuming, and can get very expensive. You need a simpler solution.

This is where content curation comes in. With the right strategy and the right tools you can deliver the right kind of content that your audience wants and search engines love…in half the time.

Let’s first look at what content curation is and some of the benefits behind it.

Content Curation Explained

When you hear the words “content curator” you probably think of someone who works at a museum. Their job is to collect items and arrange them in a meaningful way, then put them on display for people to look at.

That’s kind of the same thing when it comes to online content curation. You are collecting and then arranging items in a meaningful way.

The most basic and popular content curator is the person who publishes a post with the day’s or week’s best articles on a particular topic. This is called aggregation. Think of news aggregators like Feedly, Fark or Pulse.

But there are other ways of looking at the content curator:

Distill – This content curator is looking for a way to clear the fog on a certain topic to give readers the essence of the story. Take therecent Penguin update, for example. There was a lot of noise and rumors building before, during and after the update…somebody needed to come in and publish a clear case of what was going on, quoting credible sources and delivering the best content on the update. There were a range of posts like that after the update…Pierre Zarokian’s Insights from the Recent Penguin Update & Panda Updates being a good example.

Mashup– This content curator blends several different and original pieces of content to create something original in itself. While most people think of music videos when they hear mashups there are endless variations you can create: Business mashups are applications that are created out of a combination of data, applications and outside web services…usually into a visually rich web app that allows users to see and access actionable information.

Consumer mashups takes data from multiple sources and combines them into a single source…for example, when developers combined Google Map with a Wikipedia API they created Wikipediavision…which shows you when and where edits to Wikipedia are made.

In a sense infographics are a mashup…compiling data from multiple sources…and then turning that data into a visual like theAnatomy of a Perfect Landing Page.

A mashup could be as simple as a compilation of interviews as Jason Acidre did with his 30 SEO Experts Share the Most Compelling Content that Influenced Their Works.

Chronology – This pulls together information to give you a historical timeline of an event or product. The Center for Rights created a timeline of SOPA and PIPA…explaining how these laws went from being inevitable to ending in mass protests by Internet organizations and web companies.

Elevate – This content curator will curate a post out of his daily reading and on-going research of a particular subject…giving you a new insight…in other words elevating your understanding. This is easily the most original of content curation. An author might pull together tons of resources and links to prove his point like Aaron Wall does on his post Google Bowling, Negative SEO and Outing. Also, White Board Friday’s over at SEOmoz are usually created by curating all the recent information surrounding a topic, and then synthesizing all that information to reach a new insight, which helps elevate your understanding of that topic.

Now that we’ve looked at different types of content curation, let’s look at the benefits.

Benefits of Content Curation

There are a number of good reasons to curate content. Here are 6:

Discover great content – Just the simple act of looking for content will expose you to a tremendous amount of great ideas that can lead to really cool posts. I can’t tell you how many times I was just researching for a particular topic and found dozens of great posts, videos and photos to use for a current project…as well as to save for future projects. In a lot of ways discovery is replacing search.

Increase inbound links to your site - Naturally when you are publishing curated content you will link out to the source of each curated piece of information. That link will notify the author and draw his attention to your post. He or she may then link back to you…sharing your content with his audience via blog, Twitter, Facebook or all of the above. This is a great way to get high-authority links back to your site. Plus, when you create valuable content by curation…whether it’s a mashup, distillation or elevation…your readers will also link to your post on their own blogs because of its value.

Generate social signals – You probably know by now how important social sharing is to the promotion of your content in the search engines. While it’s been a theory for quite some time thatshares on Twitter impacted search, nobody knew how much until this recent study by branded3 proved that tweets do affect rankings. That means if you can create content that goes viral, you will get a rush of social signals pointing to that content, and pushing you up in the search rankings.

Optimize for short-tail keywords - When you start pulling in content on a particular topic you will start to pick up the most popular search terms in that area. For example, as I curated stuff forThe Marketer’s Guide to Pinterest I was using high quality short-tail keywords like “marketing” and “Pinterest.” That has allowed me to sit at the number two position for those keywords.

Optimize for long-tail keywords - Putting together a good aggregation or elevation piece will naturally target long-tail keywords to help draw traffic for that narrow range of searchers. You can see this when you are focusing on a particular topic like the Penguin update. Valuable long-tail keywords on that topic could be “recovering from Penguin update” or “ways to recover from Penguin.” Curated content will give you plenty of opportunities to use those terms.

Update more frequently - Content curation allows you to create a post quickly, without having to pour all of your mental energy into original content. This means you can actually produce content for a Saturday or/and Sunday without the extra work…or you could use a curated piece to fill in during an emergency. Some sites take it a step further and publish more than once a day…publishing original content in the morning and curated content in the afternoon. The wildly popular blog Brain Pickings publishes about 3 times a day, but it’s basically all curated content.

You can read more at http://www.quicksprout.com/2012/06/07/how-content-curation-can-improve-your-search-rankings/



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