If you’re familiar with RSS feed readers as a tool for your online business, then you’ll probably benefit a lot from content aggregation.

RSS has emerged as an unexpected contender in the productivity world thanks to its improved and new content discovery, filtered feeds, wide search, browser extensions and integration with apps and platforms. Marketers can achieve a lot from social media listening to competitor research all through their RSS readers.

What does content aggregation mean?

Content aggregation is the process of syndicating posts from different sites and displaying them in one place. Aggregation usually is centered around one topic such as coronavirus updates or fresh, new promotional offers through online retailers. Any type of content published on the Internet can be aggregated and that’s what makes it so appealing for sites, which don’t have the right resources to generate content in high volumes on their own.

Aggregation happens automatically. After the initial setup, you leave the site to do its job and that is all it takes. You might encounter the term content curation, but that’s something else entirely. Curation requires an actual person in charge of selecting what’s displayed, whereas aggregation is accomplished through algorithms. The only downside regarding algorithms is that there’s no one to sort weak content from strong content. If you don’t pay attention, your aggregated page will display the same headlines with little variation and usefulness for readers.

Some examples of content aggregation

Many businesses naturally perform content aggregation by linking their own social media feeds to their sites or display content generated by their customers – usually for promotional purposes. It’s the easiest way to turn your site into a dynamic place without too much effort on your part. You also connect your audiences together and drive natural traffic to your website.

Other examples include Google News and Yahoo! News, which display headlines from other news sites and agencies. They don’t create their own content, but give users a glimpse into what’s happening today around the world. Celebrity gossip sites often aggregate content from different sources to keep readers interested in scrolling and scrolling.

The applications are many and varied.  

Why do companies use it?

Much faster education

One benefit to content aggregation is that you receive information on a given topic without having to go through a lengthy process to search for it. Research is hard as it is given the changes in search results on Google and just how much your online activity informs what information you’re going to receive. The search results page is not what it used to be. You can perform good research via your RSS feed reader, but not many people can devote the time to do this manually.

Aggregators directly feed you with posts all the time. You save time that can go into pressing and important tasks. Aggregators are much faster than a person doing research on their own. You’re bound to miss out on links and articles that are relevant to your interest. So you’re able to keep up with everything that’s being published – all you have to do is scroll down!

For SEO purposes

Google loves sites that actively post content and will send its bots to crawl your site regularly. The aggregators are also a guarantee that you syndicate relevant content, which would be of interest to your audience. Relevant content + frequent updating = good Google reputation and higher ranking overall. It’s a little bit subjective whether the publication of non-original content will be harmful or not in the long run, but as long as you credit your sources you’ll be fine overall.

Another benefit to your SEO strategy is the addition of backlinks. Google algorithms value strong links to your domain. We don’t really know what factors affect your ranking to what degree, but high-quality backlinks can make up around 30% of your Google ranking score. Through content aggregation you might get into the good graces of some of the publishers you syndicate from and have them link back to you in the process. I can’t promise you that’s going to happen. All I can give as advice is to be as transparent as possible about the fact that you aggregate content and give due recognition.

Get to know their customers better

Aggregation might be important for SEO purposes, but in the end – your customers are going to be the judge and jury on what you publish and whether they like it. This doesn’t necessarily happen through social media interactions (unless you’re trying to source opinions or pictures with your product). This is where you have to turn to data analysis. What are numbers and views? Are there any interactions? What are the bounce rates and click-through rates?  

Gut instinct is only the beginning. Data should lead you towards new horizons. The easiest way to make aggregation work against you is to let it sit stale. You want to regularly fiddle with settings and filters to breathe some fresh air into the content you source. Additionally, this will teach you a great deal about what entertains your customers and brings value to them. These are all valuable insights with direct application in your content creation – what are popular topics, what formats work best, what headlines peak interest, what are the major turn offs.

Better overall performance 

What we ultimately end up with is an improved performance of your site and the business attached to it. Digital businesses are popping up in big numbers this year due to worker dissatisfaction with low paying jobs. Entrepreneurship comes with quite a few responsibilities and though owners have to take on many hats, there’s simply no time to do everything.

And content generation is not feasible for fledgling businesses. That’s why content aggregation is a good substitute while you’re able to get your business on its feet. Over time you’ll come to a point where you’re able to create your own content at a good enough pace and transition out of aggregation in favor of original content.  

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