6 Facts About Content Curation and SEO You May Not Know

If you struggle with providing a steady stream of fresh, relevant content for your website, you’re not alone. Perhaps one of the best ways to overcome this challenge, while also increasing the value you provide to your audience, is through the process of editorialized content curation.

But while we know that this process (when done right) is beneficial in terms of driving traffic, extending reach and providing interesting and valuable content, what does Google think about content curation?

Following are 6 facts about content curation and SEO you may not know – but that you really should if you’re going to use content curation as part of your own content strategy.

 1. Curated content that is combined with original content can rank just as well as original content alone

In tests performed over the course of several weeks, internet marketer Bruce Clay and his team decided to test various combinations of curated and original content to see how curation affected search engine rankings.

They removed a post that, at the time, ranked #1 for a long-tail keyword phrase, and then replaced it with 3 different ones (one at a time):

  1. A post with curated links with automatically-generated summaries
  2. A post with editorialized curation with 200+ words of original annotation
  3. A post with an actual excerpt of the original post and links with editorialized curation

Of the 3 posts, the one that was essentially duplicate content (a) dropped significantly in the rankings, whereas the post with editorialized curation and 200+ words of annotation (b) only dropped a little bit to #2 in the search engine results. The one with the most original content (c) managed to match the rankings of the original post, achieving the first spot.

The lesson here?

Curated content can perform just as well as completely original content, as long as it’s carefully chosen and accompanied by original content that adds value.

2. Publishing curated content can result in inbound links to your site

When you source content from well-respected sites (and properly cite the source), you often gain the attention of the original content creator(s). This means you not only get on their radar, but you potentially attract inbound links to your site as they extend the reach of your content by sharing it with their audience, either on their blog or through their social media channels.

This may mean links from the original content creator, and it also may mean increased links from others who hear about your curated content from the original content creator.

You may even want to consider personally contacting the creators of the content you’re using, letting them know how you’re using their content and thanking them. This can go a long way toward establishing trust in your industry and building relationships with other industry professionals.

3. The quality of the sites to which you link is extremely important for SEO

An important part of curating content is including links to your original sources. However, as with all outbound links, it’s critical that you’re linking only to ‘good neighborhoods’. If Google sees you linking out to websites that are known to be untrustworthy or part of spam networks, you stand to lose far more than you can potentially gain.

Another good rule is to ensure you’re not over-linking to particular sites, even high-quality ones. Google wants to see a wide range of diverse links, indicating that you’re offering a variety of content and not just sharing from one site over and over.

4. ‘Link hoarding’ will damage your relationship with other marketers and with Google

Some webmaster, in an effort to retain all their ‘link juice’ on their own website, will “nofollow” links to the source content. This means that while the original source website may benefit from referral traffic from your post, the PageRank benefits will not pass on to them.

There are a couple of problems with this. First, nofollow links do not properly pass on the search benefits that are due to them. This is not only unethical, but could damage your relationship with the content creators. Second, if you consistently nofollow all your links, there’s a good chance Google will find out about your ‘link hoarding’ – and penalize you for not sharing the love.

5. Content curation increases your ‘freshness factor’ while requiring LESS work

We know that creating high-quality, original content takes time and money; and these are resources that most businesses don’t have. Content curation helps to solve this problem by allowing marketers to find and share valuable content with a much smaller investment of time and resources.

According to a recent survey by Curata, some of the top marketing challenges business owners faced were limited staffing, budgets and difficulty creating enough content on a regular basis. Content curation is one way businesses can overcome this challenge.

Research by the Content Marketing Institute confirms this. In fact, according to their survey, 64% of content marketers report producing enough content as being their #1 challenge.

Content curation allows busy marketers the ability to consistently add a steady stream of content to their blogs; and we know how much Google likes to see new, ‘fresh’ content.

6. Curated content gets you ranking for both long and short-tail keywords

When you’re aggregating content into one place on your site, you’re not only adding something of value to your readers, you’ll also increase the chances of ranking for keywords in your niche. This means the more curated content you add, the more potential keywords for which your website will appear in search results. To use a fishing metaphor, it’s like dropping more hooks in the water. I go into this concept in more detail in my article, “Why an Active Blog is Necessary for a Successful SEO Initiative.”

This effect can be multiplied by the proper organization of your curated content. One way to ensure you rank for more keywords is to create sub-topic pages where you aggregate curated content on specific topics. For instance, if your content is largely centered around parenting, you can create sub-pages like babies or toddlers, or dig even deeper with pages like organic baby food or toddler activities.

When done right, content curation has the potential to streamline your marketing strategy, provide value to your readers, and increase your organic search engine rankings, all at the same time.

Through giving proper credit to your sources, ensuring you spread the ‘link love’ to a variety of high-quality sources, and through using your curated content to build relationships with other marketers in your niche, you’ll organically reap SEO benefits, while having to spend less time overall on content creation.

What other SEO benefits do you see when it comes to content curation? What’s the biggest benefit you’ve seen on your site? Leave a comment and let me know!

About Jayson DeMers

Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.