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Colin Newcomer

Colin has been using WordPress for over a decade and is an expert writer and product review expert, testing well over 150 products and services.

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Effective Content Curation: Understanding the Dos & Don’ts, SEO Tips, and More

Implemented well, content curation can help you position yourself as an authority, develop mutually beneficial relationships with sites in your niche (and backlinks!), and make Google happy at the same time. Learn more about it all in this post.

Is curated content good for SEO? Short answer – yes. Long answer – that’s what this post is about!

Implemented well, content curation can help you position yourself as an authority, develop mutually beneficial relationships with sites in your niche (and backlinks!), and make Google happy at the same time.

In this post, we’re going to dig into everything about content curation and SEO. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What content curation is
  • The benefits of content curation
  • The best way to curate content for search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Why you don’t need to worry about duplicate content (as long as you implement things right)
  • How to start curating content for SEO using the WP RSS Aggregator content curation tool

What is Content Curation?

The word “curation” evokes images of exhibitions and galleries – groups of objects selected because they’re significant, because they go together, or combine to create a coherent whole. Online content curation is similar – selecting different pieces of content and combining them into one site that creates a bigger-picture overview of whatever it is that the site is about. 

And just like museum or art gallery curation, it’s not a random process. The key factor in content curation that provides value to the user is the knowledge of the person doing the curating. Anyone can find articles about new cars simply by searching “new cars” on Google. But how can they know which of the 17 billion results to trust? That’s where content curation comes in! 

As a content curator, it’s your job to do the leg-work of sifting each relevant piece of content from the dross; keeping abreast of the state of the field you’re creating content from, spotting which new blogs are on the ascendancy, knowing whose social media feeds contain more than just cat videos, and discerning which infographics are shareable and which are simply pointless. 

Content curation, therefore, involves becoming a trusted repository of quality content from a range of reputable sources

Different Types of Content Curation

The simplest form of content curation is the “roundup” blog post. If you have an existing blog on a topic, from time to time you might publish a post that summarises other content from your niche that you think would interest your readers. 

Some content curators might take this a bit further: say, a weekly roundup blog post or a regular newsletter with links to articles from a variety of sources on specific topics around your niche and commentary on each article. You might also set up a dedicated social channel solely to boost and retweet content across a range of social media platforms, or cultivate twitter lists of important influencers in your field. 

From there, it’s not an especially big leap to the logical endpoint of great content curation: a complete content curation website. 

Content curation sites exist for the primary purpose of being a one-stop-shop for readers interested in a certain niche, providing a source of great content whenever they want it. They’re also great for content creators themselves, as your site will drive traffic to theirs without requiring any additional SEO efforts on their part. 

Seven Big Benefits of Content Curation

To answer the burning question of “is curated content good for SEO?” let’s start with some of the biggest benefits of content curation:

  1. An Instant Source of Quality Content – instead of needing to build up your own original content, curating content instantly provides you with a wealth of quality content to attract an audience.
  2. Become an Authority in Your Niche – by curating relevant content for your audience, you position yourself as an authority and thought leader in your niche.
  3. Share Content That’s Unrelated to Your Brand – instead of only sharing sales-focused content, curating content helps you provide value beyond your own products/services/offerings.
  4. Generate More Backlinks to Your Site – by becoming an authority, you’ll start generating more backlinks from both readers sharing your content with others and your curation sources publicizing the fact that you thought them valuable enough to curate.
  5. Build a Relationship With Other Sites in Your Niche (Your Content Sources) – by creating a mutually beneficial relationship with other sites in your niche, you can expand into other collaborations, like guest posts or business opportunities.
  6. Grow Your Social Media Following – by becoming an authority, you’ll boost your social media following, which helps you promote your own social media content or other offers. In turn, this drives more eyeballs and backlinks to that new and trending content. This makes it a great social media marketing tool.
  7. Generate Ideas for Your Own Original Content – by analyzing how different pieces of curated content perform, you can better understand what types of original content you should focus on.

Get Started with Content Curation

Automate as much of the content curation process as you want with WP RSS Aggregator Pro.

Get WP RSS Aggregator Pro

All Those Benefits Will Help Your SEO Efforts

Here’s the thing about all of those benefits above.

While they’re all great by themselves, most of them are also the same things you’re trying to accomplish with your SEO efforts.

For example, if you become an authority in your niche and develop relationships with other big websites in your space, you’re naturally going to get more backlinks, which will help your SEO. Similarly, the sites that you feature can also promote your curation efforts because it benefits them as well.

These benefits will also have a trickle-down effect to boost the SEO of your non-curated content pages.

For example, if you drive links and traffic to one of your curated pieces of content, that will boost your domain authority, and some of those human visitors will move on from the curated content to view the rest of your site. In this way, it enhances your overall content marketing strategy.

Content Creation Done Right: Do’s and Don’ts

If you want to implement the best way to curate content and boost your SEO, there are some important do’s and don’ts that you need to pay attention to.

Let’s go through them…

Five “Do’s” of Content Curation

1. Find High-Quality Sources to Curate

As a marketer, if you want to position yourself as an authority and grow your following, you need to focus on curating quality content.

One of your site’s value propositions is going to be the fact that you bring together the best content from different sources and influencers in one spot. That’s why your audience is going to go to your site (and link to it!).

When you create a content curation site, it’s important to build a mutually beneficial relationship with the sites that you curate content from. You want them to be happy that you’re sharing content they’ve made, as this not only enhances your authority in your niche but also increases the chance that your sources will link back to you.

To achieve this, you want to always clearly credit the original source and use a canonical link so that Google’s algorithm knows the original source as well. Doing this is a great way to build relationships with influencers. We’ll explain canonical links in more detail in a second!

Beyond just crediting the source, it’s also important to include a link directly to the source. When other sites see traffic coming from your site, they’ll see the value that you’re bringing them, which again will increase your authority and the chance of you getting a backlink.

There are two ways to add a link:

  1. Have the post title automatically link to the original source
  2. Append or prepend a custom link to the source

We’ll show you how to automate this later in this post.

4. Add Some Additional Editorial Content

This requires a little bit of extra effort…but it’s one of the key factors of a coherent content curation strategy: adding value. 

Adding some of your own editorial content can be another way to provide value on your site, as well as building your authority and backlinks).

Some easy ways to do this are to:

  • Change the post title to your own unique version. This helps you avoid competing with the original post in Google search. You can use this free headline analyzer tool to create a title that will rank well.
  • Add some unique commentary before or after the curated content. This can further differentiate your curated content.

Content creation gives you more control over your content marketing efforts.

5. Promote Your Curated Content

Finally, don’t be afraid to promote your curated content. Two good ways to do this are to:

  • Send out an email newsletter of the top curated content every week or month (or whatever else suits your content calendar). This has value all by itself and can attract people to join your email list.
  • Share top curated content on your social networks. Or create a roundup of the best-curated content from the past week or month and share that.

Two “Don’ts” of Content Curation

1. Copy and Paste Full Content Word for Word

Remember, you’re curating content, not copying content, so you shouldn’t just include the full text of the original content word-for-word straight onto your site.

By copying content wholesale, you make it more of a one-way relationship than a mutually beneficial relationship, which can hurt your efforts to build authority and backlinks. Always mix things up with some content creation of your own.

Additionally, a lot of spammy sites copy the full text of other posts, so your site might get lumped in with those other spammy sites.

The only possible exception to this rule is if the original source has given you permission. Even then, it’s still not ideal because of the reasons above. As a digital marketer, you should add some original content to the curated material. For example, you can share your point of view at the start or at the end of the curated content.

2. Curate Content from the Same Source All of the Time

One of the big value adds of content curation is that you can bring together content from different sources in one spot. That’s why visitors will come to your site instead of going to your sources directly.

However, if you only curate content from the same source over and over, you’re not really adding that value. At that point, why wouldn’t your visitors just go directly to the source’s website?

Avoid this by ensuring that you add value by curating content from multiple sources.

Case Study: Personal Finance Blogs Grows to 16,000+ Monthly Views in Four Months

is curated content good for seo? It worked for Personal Finance Blogs

As the name suggests, Personal Finance Blogs aggregates content from blogs in the personal finance space.

Using WP RSS Aggregator and some of the tactics that we’ve discussed in this post, Personal Finance Blogs was able to quickly grow from a brand new site to 16,000 monthly page views in just four months.

Beyond offering a ready source of content, Personal Finance Blogs has also leveraged their content curation efforts into mutual promotion and backlinks via Personal Finance Blogs badges.

We have a full case study about how content curation helped Personal Finance Blogs grow and improve its SEO –  I highly recommend checking it out.

What About Duplicate Content Penalties With Content Curation?

Google understands that duplicate content is going to exist on the Internet – syndication is a long-standing tactic used by both news organizations and small businesses.

In Google’s own words:

Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar. Mostly, this is not deceptive in origin.

The last sentence of that quote is probably the most important part.

In fact, Google has been saying that the idea of a duplicate content penalty is a myth since all the way back in 2008.

As long as you’re not trying to use your duplicate content to manipulate Google, then Google doesn’t have a problem with it.

So how do you make sure Google doesn’t think you’re trying to be manipulative?

To help you be transparent with the origins of your content, Google supports something called canonical URLs.

Essentially, a canonical URL tells Google (and other entities), “hey, the original version of this content is at xyz.com, not this page”. Basically, it communicates to Google that you’re not trying to steal credit for content – you’re just curating it from the original source.

There are different ways to implement canonical URLs, but some of the most common options are:

  • rel=canonical <link> tag
  • rel=canonical HTTP header
  • Sitemap

WP RSS Aggregator can help you automatically set up canonical URLs without lifting a finger, which we’ll show you in the next section.

How to Implement SEO-Friendly Content Curation on WordPress

WP RSS Aggregator offers the best way to curate content for SEO on WordPress. Despite some claims, RSS isn’t dead, and this tool can be especially potent when you tap into RSS feeds for SEO. Not only does WP RSS Aggregator make it easy to curate content on your WordPress site, but it can also help you implement the content curation SEO best practices that we discussed above.

For example, it can help you automatically:

  • Credit the original source with a link
  • Add canonical URLs to avoid duplicate content issues in Google
  • Ensure high-quality content by filtering out certain content

With WP RSS Aggregator, you can also import curated content pieces as actual WordPress posts (or other post types) using the Feed to Post feature.

While you can purchase individual add-ons, the most affordable option is to purchase the Pro plan, which gets you access to all the add-ons for one price.

This bundle not only lets you import sources as actual WordPress posts, but it also gives you access to other tools to improve your SEO, like moderation and keyword filtering.

Here’s how to set up content curation with WP RSS Aggregator and optimize it for SEO…

1. Find RSS Feeds for Quality Sources

To get started, you’ll need to find the RSS feeds for the quality sources that you want to curate.

This help article provides some tips for finding a site’s RSS feed.

2. Install WP RSS Aggregator and Feed to Post Add-on

To set this up, you’ll need to install and activate at least the:

3. Create a New Feed

Next, go RSS Aggregator → Feed Sources → Add New to import your first content source. Give it a name and paste the RSS feed URL into the URL box:

How to add a good curated content source for SEO

If your RSS feed is valid, you should see a preview of the five most recent feed items on the right.

4. Optimize Feed for SEO

WP RSS Aggregator gives you a number of options to control how your feed imports function, but we’re going to zero in on the most important settings for optimizing your content curation efforts for SEO.

Feed to Post – General Settings

First, choose the Post Status.

For trusted sources that always publish quality content, you can publish posts immediately. Otherwise, you should import them as drafts so that you can manually review content before it goes live.

Also, make sure that the Canonical Link checkbox is checked (which it should be by default). This adds a canonical URL to the header of imported posts to avoid SEO issues with duplicate content:

One way to make sure curated content is good for SEO is to manually approve content source

Feed to Post – Images

Here, you can choose whether to add your own feature images or automatically import them from the source:

Image settings

Feed to Post – Prepend or Append

In these sections, you can automatically add a credit link back to the original source, which we mentioned earlier. You can set this up using the dynamic placeholders:

Add a credit to the orignal source

Feed to Post – Extraction Rules

The extraction rules help you filter out unwanted elements, like ads or social media buttons:

Remove unwanted content from feeds

Filter Out Undesirable Feed Items

If you install the separate Keyword Filtering add-on (available on the Pro plan), then you can also filter out certain content to maintain quality:

Keyword filtering

Once you’re finished, you can Publish your feed to start curating content. Then, repeat the process for each additional content source.

Remember, you want to include a diverse set of sources, so don’t stop at just one! Through aggregation, you can deliver valuable content to your target audience and potentially increase subscribers along the way.

Start Your Content Curation Journey With WP RSS Aggregator

Content curation helps you position yourself as an authority, build relationships, and grow an interested audience…all things that are good for SEO.

As a content curator, by crediting sources and using canonical URLs, you can build mutually beneficial relationships and keep Google happy.

To get started with SEO-friendly content curation on WordPress, purchase the WP RSS Aggregator Pro plan today to be able to:

  • Import RSS feed items as real WordPress posts
  • Filter feeds by keyword to help make sure you’re only importing quality, relevant content
  • Import the full text of RSS feeds even if the feed doesn’t support it so that you can curate as much, or as little, content as needed

Get Started with Content Curation

Automate as much of the content curation process as you want with WP RSS Aggregator Pro.

Get WP RSS Aggregator Pro

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10 Responses

  1. Thanks for the advice. It all makes sense and that’s what I’m configuring my sites for using the Pro plan.

    However, what’s the optimal amount of text to publish in a post?

    Given that we can publish anything from a short extracct to the full article is there any advice on this?

    I’ve chosen a 500 word limit with the post truncated but you could argue that it doesn’t need a limit if it’s got a canonical link and the link pointing to the original author’s post prepended to the post.

    1. Hi Ben, there’s no optimal amount of text since the content can vary so much between sources. It depends on how long the content from your sources is, how much value is present in the introduction, and so on.

      You can test out a few different lengths and compare how they work with your audience over a period of a few weeks.

  2. I was looking for this type of plugin. I hope It will be what I am looking for. I am going to buy this for a new website.

  3. I loved the idea of turning on the canonical link option, but I had to turn it off for two reasons, 1. I was getting 404 errors for URLS of my post with /www.sourceurl.com at the end. 2. I share my posts on social media and when shared, the original article on the original source was shared instead. The option to link the post title to the original source was off, so I couldn’t figure out what was happening. I just included the attribution: This article was originally published on source.com and republished here with permission. If the source required I only share the first few articles followed by a link: “continue reading on source” linked to the original article. Other sources allow republishing because their work is under a CC license.

    I would love to add canonical so Google search console doesn’t return some urls as having chosen a different url as the original. I just can’t have the 404 errors and social media shares going directly to the source and bypassing my added commentary. Any ideas?

    1. Hey Serena,

      The canonical link is a URL that is embedded in the page that tells search engines where the original (or canonical) version of the content is. In short, it is generally a good idea to include so that search engines don’t assume plagiarism.

      With that said, if you are having additional commentary on the content, you can safely exclude the canonical link as it’s only recommended when the content is identical.

      As for the issue with the links being 404s, this sounds like a possible conflict with an SEO plugin on the site. I’d recommend investigating this with the SEO plugin team.

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