Curated Content's Blog

Content marketing articles from our agency

20

Sep 2011

Why Curated Online Magazines are the SEO Future

Posted by / in Blog, Copywriting / 20 comments

Whether you’ve noticed or not, content curation is getting a lot of attention lately.

Thanks to cool sites and apps like paper.li, Pulse, Zite, News.me and of course the one that started it all Flipboard, users are now curating topics of interest to them and displaying them in a nice clean user wonderland.

And it’s happening outside the app world in the old-fashioned browser environment too. Thanks to emerging curation tools able to source the web’s seemingly infinite content pool for articles, images, blogs, news, videos, infographics relevant to just about any topic, Curated magazines (think microsites) are becoming ‘go to’ resources and online industry hubs. If this is sounding a little out there – check out the mind-mapping way of curation via pearltrees or the visual (video + images) method complete with automated voiceover thanks to a startup called Qwiki. Oh – and Google’s offering ‘Google Propeller’ is just around the corner…

While this all sounds pretty out there, it really just makes simple sense. Friends of Curated Content will know that we’ve been talking up and using content curation as the way forward on the web for ages. We curate the good content we find, and we’ve had our own unique content curated by plenty of other sites, which means our articles turn up all over the place.

We also spend a lot of time talking and listening to agencies about content. And we still think the best and most affordable solution is a mix of mostly curated with limited unique content into the mix. Here’s some of what we’ve discovered from our discussions.

Brands need to produce content so they can continue to engage their existing audience and reach out search in the hope of building a new one. (Right)

With information travelling at the speed of light and being shared by more people than ever before, thanks to social channels like Twitter and Linkedin,, high quality content is essential for Lead Generation in today’s overcrowded digital landscape.

Unique content needs to be relevant, up-to-date, engaging and SEO friendly. (Right)

Yep, content does indeed need to be all those things. With over 19.31 billion pages making up the entire World Wide Web, (and that number is growing at a staggering rate) your content needs to hit its mark and do its job, which is to standout in a highly competitive environment for the attention users. Not only do companies believe that task is expensive, they see it as pretty overwhelming. No single company can be expected to keep on top of everything all the time and write about it all – that’s plain crazy talk.

Company websites can no longer just be a digital business card. (Right)

Correct. Those days are long gone. They need to be content hubs – digital magazines specialising in content related to their industry and brand – content that potential new customers are looking for. The digital business details are for the formality of connecting.

Companies believe ‘Feeding the Content Beast’ needed for a digital magazine is cost prohibitive. (Wrong)

Lots of brands feel they simply can’t afford to allocate resources, budget and time to content creation. It’s just too expensive and time-consuming to research and keep coming up with new topics of interest. Wrong. Most of the information is already out there in amongst those 19 billion pages on the web. It’s how you find it, gather it and share it that counts.

Google will punish us for curating content already published on the web as well as the originator of the content. (Wrong)

Nope. Google loves contextual links – SEO starts with good content, not you or your company name. And authors of content love being curated and pointed to. It grows their brand under the umbrella of your brand. For example, say you owned a cheese shop and you curated an awesome blog on how to choose the perfect soft French cheese. Firstly, you are saving yourself the trouble of hiring a writer to replicate that blog. Why not just point to the original version? Secondly, you’ve given your customers access to an expert in cheese that they would have otherwise not known about. That’s providing value without demanding anything in return – that’s the sure fire way to customer loyalty. We’re not saying you shouldn’t hire writers to write unique content – that’s important, but to hire writers to continue to populate your site with only unique content just isn’t a realistic long-term proposition.

In essence, for companies to succeed – by that we mean reach new audiences and customers and grow revenue – they need to create content that potential customers are looking for. It takes a lot more than a company blog that is often out of date and corporatized to death. Customers, on the other hand, are overwhelmed by just how much content there is out there, and the time it takes to search, find and filter rather than consume it.

Curated online digital magazines provide a one-stop-shop. A fantastic hub of information and news on a particular topic that can be updated as many times a day as you like! These magazines are go-to sources on the web – because the curation – the sorting, filtering and finding – has already been done. Consumers just need to engage with the content and learn. Google plays its role too. It loves high quality content that is up-to-date and refreshed – and plenty of it.

And guess what? It’s a lot cheaper than feeding the Content Beast with unique content alone.

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