What is Ethical Content Curation?

Much of what you will do to produce income online is create content.  Recently, there has been a surge in what is known as content curation.  This is a technique where you pull in content from other sources on the web.  But is this type of content "creation" ethical? This article answers the question what is ethical content curation and should you be utilizing it at all?

What is Content Curation?

Probably a great place to start a discussion such as this is to define what content creation is all about.  Essentially, it is the practice of brining in segments of other content from the web.  This is innocent enough.  You find something that supports an argument and you want to pull in that particular piece so that your readers can see that you did your homework.

It Seems Reasonable, No?

I doubt if you pull in a short paragraph from someone else's blog or website, and as long as you credit and link the source, you should be okay.  In fact, the original owner is probably going to be grateful that you recognized their work and have utilized it.  Plus linking back to them is a great way for them to get some extra traffic that they probably wouldn't have gotten, assuming that the page you include that content on gets traffic.

But there is an underlying problem that many who use content creation aren't considering.  Google penalizes websites that produce duplicate content.  As I stated before, a very short paragraph is probably not going to throw up any red flags.  But the trouble is, how much content does it take to get Google's attention (in a negative way)?  No one really knows. 

Another important point: we all know that Google likes to frequently change its algorithm.  What is okay to do today becomes taboo tomorrow.  Just take a look at what happened to guest blogging recently!

You Still Insist Content Curation is Valid

Okay, the information is based on my opinion as well as my blogging experience, so maybe you simply want to disregard it.  You may feel content curation is safe and you wish to either start or continue the practice.  Great!  But at least takes some steps that may help minimize the chances of getting picked apart by Google:​

  • Keep the content that you grab from other blogs VERY SHORT!
  • Always attribute your sources and include a link to the original
  • Make sure you add your own spin on the content to enhance the value of it.
  • Contact the blog owner that you grabbed content from.  Ask them if it's okay.  At the very least, make sure you get them to approve it via email so you have a "paper trail".  What would be even better is to get a formal written agreement but that's tougher to do.  Respect their wish if they refuse your request.
  • Don't make content curation the major aspect of your content strategy.
  • Understand that any copying of code is risky for several reasons.

If after you consider all of these points you still want to move forward with incorporating content curation, then that is up to you.  I personally believe there are better ways to create content than curation and I spelled them out in my article, Do You Have a Content Marketing Strategy.  Go ahead and read that article.  It will show you some ways to map out your strategy so that you won't need to worry about curation.

Why Not Consider Auto Blogging Instead?

To me if you are going to auto blog than I would rather have you curate content.  I think auto blogging is much worse in my opinion.​  This kind of scheme pulls in complete articles from other websites and floods your blog with those posts.  If that isn't duplicate content I don't know what is.  You are begging to be spanked by Google if you do this.

Embedding From Other Websites is Okay​

Now this is different than embedding or RSS feeds.  These are viable ways to include other people's content without worrying about getting the G Slap (Google).  The reason this is viable is that you are not copying anything.  You are creating a mini browser that pulls in the embedded content from other sources.  Consider what happens when you embed a YouTube video.  The video is still being played on YouTube's website.  No duplication is occurring there.​

But even embedding should not be overused.  You won't necessarily get any attention from Google.  But just remember the main reason to have a blog in the first place is to provide value to readers, not to search engines.  If your readers come to your site and all you have is a bunch of embedded YouTube videos, your quality score in their minds has just taken a huge hit to the downside.​

Original Content Will Always Be The Best Content Strategy

If you were to look back 10 years ago at Google's algorithm (assuming you could get to the heart of it), you would find that back then, it didn't penalize anyone's website who created quality content.  In fact, back then, Google let you get away with just about anything you wanted.

If you look back three (3) years ago, you would​ find that a lot has changed in Google's algorithm.  They penalized many sites for unnatural methods of getting search engine attention.  Original, quality content was not one of those that would show up in Google's naughty list.

If you consider the algorithm changes that we have read about currently, you will also find that quality content that is unique will not get any flag under Google (or any other search engine for that matter).

I am willing to bet 10 years from now we will still be able to depend on Google not penalizing websites for original, quality content.

So the moral of the story is that original content that ​readers love will always rank high in Google's eyes and more importantly your readers.  So why not concentrate the bulk of your content creation strategy on creating original quality content?  Makes sense, doesn't it?

To Recap

  • Content curation is a method that pulls segments of text from other websites
  • With limited use, it can be okay to incorporate once in a while
  • No one truly knows what Google considers duplicate content so it still can be risky
  • Even if it's acceptable today, it may not be so in the future
  • There are better ways to create content
  • You can consider embedding content such as YouTube videos or RSS feeds but that should not be overused either.
  • In the end, creating original content will never get picked up on Google's radar for penalty consideration

Hi, my name is Jim. I am here to help you learn how to create your own online business. Never before has it been as easy as it is to do so. I will give you access to the necessary training to make it all happen. Just follow the training and perform the tasks as the come up and at the end of the training you will have a fully working framework with which to start earning money from your online business.

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