After Google raised the standards for quality content with the Panda Update and integrated social with search, the message was delivered loud and clear to the search industry: only quality content can help your website sustain its search presence. This has grown the demand for content writers.
Will content published just for the sake of adding words via blog posts suffice and help your web presence survive? No.
On the World Wide Web it's the survival of the fittest. Your blog content has to face this Darwinian test and prove that the content meets the quality standards of Google and is worth sharing.
Publishing quality content regularly will help future proof the search visibility of your blog or site.
Usually, people appoint content writers and ask them to churn out blog posts. If this "thin content" doesn't meet the quality standards enforced by Google, however, then it is of no ranking value and won't improve your site's search visibility.
If the content is …
- Written by an expert
- Not duplicated with other variations on the same site
- Free of spelling and style errors
- In sync topically with what the readers want to read about
- A valuable addition to the topic
- Checked for quality standards to provide good user experience
- Unbiased and gives both sides of the story
- On a site with domain authority
- Not mass produced
- Edited well
- Reflecting brand authority
- Complete and offers an overall view about the topic
- Stating facts or discussing the topic with insights
- Worth sharing
- Not secondary to advertising
- Worth being printed
- Long enough to be informative
...then Google considers it as quality content and has the potential of ranking high.
If creating such content on a regular basis isn't possible for your business, then the other option for your blog or web presence to get correlated to the topical content of your industry is to curate content.
Content curators are basically people who do the search activity for you and present the results in the form of "Ready To Eat" food packages. If you can't become a creator, then become a curator.
Content curation is about finding the most relevant content about a topic online and listing all the relevant links found on that topic after a thorough research on the web.
Now, content curation isn't the easy way out and it doesn't mean just sharing what others are creating. Just as a content creator has to meet the quality standards to stand out the curator too has to carve a niche for himself by setting high standards of quality for himself.
The Art of Curating Content and How to do it Well
Curating content is a bit of an art. Here are some tips on how to do it well:
- Plan and decide the related topics that you would like to curate.
- Research the web for authority sites related to those topics.
- Think and organize content like a librarian.
- Focus on the niche audience.
- Curate all types of content related to the selected topic (e.g., images, videos, podcasts, news, discussions, infographics, whitepapers, ebooks).
- Be consistent.
- Add your own comments and opinions before sharing the resource.
- Have weekly lists of curated content which people would like to read over the weekend.
- Follow the curator's code.
- Have a strategy and train the team to understand and execute the mission for sharing quality content.
Benefits of Content Curation
The content curator benefits online just as a content creator would benefit. Actually, curation has an edge over creation as the curated resource is like a library of the related topic which goes on getting updated with additional content from all over the web.
Curation has the potential to:
- Add the authority factor to your web presence.
- Enrich the curator’s knowledge. Keep you on par with the latest trends and developments in your industry.
- Generate natural inbound links.
- Add magnitude to the social signals for your social media presence.
- Help the Internet solve the information overload issue by filtering quality information and offering it on one platform. As Clay Shirky put it simply: "It's not information overload. It's filter failure."
- Help the created content have an amplified outreach.
Content Curation vs. Content Creation
Curation can't exist without creation, but quality created content gets more visibility and outreach because of curation.
Creation is a creative process but curation is a logical and a scientific process. Curation involves assimilating content, filtering unwanted content, adding own opinions, and sharing the content.
Curation isn't the easy way out, but a different approach for getting correlated to the niche content of your industry. Curating helps the curator create an identity, get connected to the community, reach out to an audience, gain trust, and establish online authority.
Content curation and content creation aren't competitive, but complement each other. It wouldn't be surprising if Google comes up with a curatorship markup to give content curators an identity the way Google has implemented the authorship markup for content creators.
Curate or create content, but get correlated to the topical content of your industry and meet the quality standards to become fit enough to survive the evolving World Wide Web.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!