Why Curated Content on Your Website is an Ineffective Waste of Time

by Marcus Sheridan

I’m going to be short and sweet with this post.

Content_Curation

Not too long ago I was shown a tool at a marketing conference that automatically curated/syndicated content for businesses within their industry, allowing them to post (on their website) “valuable” pieces of information that that prospects and customers could learn from.

As soon as I saw this tool, which there are actually many variations of, I thought to myself, “Why the heck would I want to post other people’s content on my website??

Content curation is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest. Services or people that implement content curation are called curators. Curation services can be used by businesses as well as end users.   -Wikipedia

Granted, I get this when it comes to social media. It makes sense to me to share great stuff on Twitter, Facebook, and other outlets. Such is the way we’ve learned to use these platforms, but my website??

The Soul of Your Business

Someone once said (wish I had attribution here) that the content on a company’s website was like the soul of their business—a statement I strongly concur with and try very hard to maintain here on TSL and with all my clients (no matter their size) on their sites as well.

But when your website consists mainly of articles from other sites, how in the world will that establish YOUR company as the trusted and expert voice at what you do? How will it generate leads? How will it help you earn new customers?

Furthermore, can you imagine anyone ever saying, “I came to your site and I loved everyone else’s content so much that I decided to do business with you…”?

Pretty crazy, right?

Yes, maybe for 1% of the businesses in this world there is value to slapping their website full of “other people’s content,” but for the majority this simply isn’t the case. And if a company wants to focus on content curation and syndication from others, the only reason should be so they can add their opinion and further thoughts on the subject, making the outside content not the center piece, but rather a side element to the theme of the page.

Keep in mind here I’m NOT talking about leveraging quality guest posts from others within your industry on your site, as that is not the same as curation or syndication.

Google Doesn’t Like Content Curation on Your Website Either

Some of you reading this may strongly disagree with my take here, but Google themselves—the Internet’s Gatekeeper—isn’t a fan of curated content either when it comes to building a great business website. The following clip isn’t very long, but it certainly  merits our attention:

YouTube Preview Image

As you can see from the video, the speaker from Google referenced the word “value” multiple times throughout the segment, which brings me to these final three points I think we must all remember with our content marketing strategy:

  • Value is now required by the search engines, as well it should be.
  • Value is now required by searchers (consumers), as well it should be.
  • And when it comes down to it, other people’s content (on your website) simply doesn’t provide *enough* value—at least, not anymore.

Your Turn

A couple of questions folks. What’s your opinion on businesses using content curation for their website? Do you think it works? (Again, we’re not talking about social media or guest posts here.) And if you do feel it adds value, reference an example or two for readers…

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

40deuce October 7, 2013 at 10:32 am

I couldn’t agree more, Marcus.
I see this all the time and never understand why people are posting other people’s content. It usually just makes me want to find where the content actually came from, as I’m more interested in the original writer(s).
Expanding or commenting on other’s content, however, I think is a great idea. You can take some very interesting content and then use it to show your opinions/thoughts/ideas on the subject and wow your own readers (or maybe even readers of where the original content came from). We do this all the time on the Marketwired/Sysomos blogs, and it works.
Just copying other people’s content to try and up your traffic just doesn’t work.

Cheers,
Sheldon, community manager for Marketwired

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Marcus Sheridan October 7, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Sheldon, good hearing from you man, it has been a while.

Your points about expanding on other people’s content is a great one, and it’s one that I don’t think enough companies do–unlike Sysomos, which is certainly on the ball w this stuff.

Stay well brother,

Marcus

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Eric Wittlake October 7, 2013 at 10:59 am

Agreed! The clamor for curation has gone too far, even for social media sharing IMO.

The only case to carefully select and present content on your site is when it supports your solution (and this isn’t what the new breed of curation tools do). Testimonials, reviews posted off-site, analyst perspectives of your product, etc are valuable on your site in part because they are not from you. IMO, this is the only strong case for limited curation on your own site.

– @wittlake

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Marcus Sheridan October 7, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Good points Eric. If the new breed of curation tools went up a few notches, then I think the value could be quite strong.

Appreciate you stopping by!

Marcus

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Joel Capperella October 7, 2013 at 11:28 am

Marcus,
I certainly agree with the principle here but I do think there is room for curation in a way that might not deliver value to google but absolutely will deliver value to those we seek to serve. Curating some content allows us to do some of the digging for our audience on their behalf, and they in turn will continue to turn to us in order to ‘keep up to date’ with what might be relevant.

Now to be clear I think curating and sharing content makes sense only if a perspective is offered, and I absolutely agree that using software to blindly curate and share is not very valuable. But offering up those we serve some insight that they may not have come across seems like an exercise steeped in value no? Here is an example of an occasional post that we do every now and again that we call ‘good and relevant reads’ we offer up the link and then some perspective on why we found it of value. http://blog.yoh.com/2013/02/some-good-and-relevant-reads-february-12-2013.html

Great post as always! And oh by the way your bold talk at Inbound was inspiring and genuine! well done.

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Marcus Sheridan October 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Well said Joel. I think we’re essentially on the same page here—nothing good happens unless we inject our thoughts, opinions, etc. Assuming this occurs, then it makes total sense.

And thanks for the kind words regarding my bold talk. It’s very much appreciated :)

Marcus

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Neicole Crepeau October 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

I make a distinction, myself, between content “curation” and content “aggregation”. What you’re talking about sounds to me like content aggregation. It’s just pulling in content on a topic and displaying headlines/1st paras with a link to the original source. Boring and, as you say, not very useful.

True curation involves more than that and I think it can be useful. As you say above, it allows you to add your opinions and thoughts. It should also allow you to actually organize the content you’re pulling together in some meaningful way. People curate content all the time, doing lists of the top ten tools for example. I think it can be a helpful addition to your own content. I wrote recently on Jay’s blog about how you can use curation to create living content that is valuable to your readers, as an addition to a blog post. http://www.convinceandconvert.com/content-marketing-2/how-to-create-living-content-to-boost-brand-reputation-and-visibility/ But that’s a really different thing than just letting some automated tool pull in news associated with a keyword.

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Marcus Sheridan October 7, 2013 at 12:39 pm

Neicole, you bring up a very nice distinction here and it’s very well stated. Yes, I’m more leaning towards your “aggregation” method here, as there are certain types of content (that some could view as curation) that are very positive. Personally, I feel like referencing other content, referencing other tools, and referencing the thoughts of others is quite valuable (assuming it’s to make a point), but to me, that takes it out of the class of “curation,” at least as many folks use the phrase.

And I think that’s part of the issue here too–semantics–which is always part of a developing industry, which web marketing certainly is and will be for quite some time.

Again, great having you stop by Neicole.

Marcus

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Jon Loomer October 7, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Up until about a year and a half ago (I think), I had a weekly “best of the web” type curated post. I did it mainly because I was told I should, and I was at the time doing what I was told to do.

My goal was to provide value. And get traffic. But it wasn’t a fan favorite, by any stretch of the imagination. And I’m sure the people who liked it most were those I was linking to.

While I do think there can be value in doing that, part of the process of “getting my own soul” was moving away from that type of content.

I was actually thinking about writing something along similar lines today about not being a hack. I’m so tired of hacks who copy popular concepts for traffic. No soul whatsoever.

Keep it up, Marcus!

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Marcus Sheridan October 7, 2013 at 12:35 pm

You, Jon Loomer, have lots of soul :-)

And I’d love to see you write that post btw ;-)

Cheers brother,

Marcus

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Ryan Hanley October 7, 2013 at 1:24 pm

“Content Marketing is Digitizing the Soul of Your Business.” ~RMH

Couldn’t agree more… I’d rather have bad original content on my site than someone else’s content. At least it’s mine.

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Ruth Zive October 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm

100% agree. Great stuff Marcus. Referring every client to this post when they try to make the case for content curation on their corporate blog/website.

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Wesley Picotte October 7, 2013 at 9:36 pm

OK, I think the meaning of curation and aggregation is an important distinction here. The referenced video talks, essentially, about scraping, as well as aggregation via feeds, etc., both search penalties waiting to happen. The tool you describe facilitates syndication, which I agree wholeheartedly is a thoughtless, no-value approach to populating a site with content, and that from a search perspective might not get you penalized, but that also won’t help you gain traction.

Curation has been around a lot longer than content marketing. Museums curate, for example, and typically do so within the context of specificity (art from specific periods or styles, for example). The word has been borrowed by digital to mean something similar (perhaps) but different from early incarnations. So maybe we need to agree on what it means for digital. For my part, I have always viewed it as essentially what you describe – sharing third party content within the context of a person’s or company’s point of view.

I generally feel curation is a good thing, but hedge by stating that it depends on the audience and objectives. I do not see a negative effect of referencing quality content that’s on point and useful for my audience to read. In fact, I see a positive effect if I provide awesome nuggets on a regular basis. People come back for awesome nuggets. In counterpoint, doing this exclusively, or to the exclusion of creating original ideas is, obviously, a waste of everyone’s time.

I receive a couple emails that exist solely of curated content. They’re provided by credible sources that do include their own (albeit brief) points of view, and the content they reference is almost always very good. As a result, I pay attention to those emails and it has in no way diminished my interest in the original content these sources create. So, take it from my focus group of one, “curation” has great value! In addition, it certainly doesn’t hurt the referencing blog in terms of creating relationships with other blog authors.

Thanks,
Wesley

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Nicholas Wells October 8, 2013 at 11:14 am

Wesley makes a very valid point. Curation is a great thing if it means you are adding value through selection, arrangement, collation, summarizing, or commenting on content of others.

But if we’re talking about merely referencing someone else’s material, or worse, having someone ghost write for you who doesn’t know the industry, then the value add is very questionable.

I would suggest that true curation of content as Wesley posits it requires as much effort–as much study, evaluation, critique, etc.–as creating something entirely new. When that type of effort is expended, the value of the curation is obvious to readers.

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Akbar October 8, 2013 at 1:57 am

Hey Marcus, once again worth reading a fantastic topic on content curation…….. To be frank I was not aware of so many things about this, I’ve learnt a lot today……….

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Michael Bowers October 8, 2013 at 8:25 am

I used to do a curated post every week. Not only was it a curated post it had a “cute”title that really had nothing to do with what I was trying to accomplish. I thought I was being clever (all cardinal sins for SEO). However, it wasn’t until I was working through an online course of Chris Brogan’s did it hit me. Others in the course community started asking me what I was doing as it was confusing them as to my site’s intent.

Since then I have simplified and worked to be much more clear and to the point of the site.

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Laura Click October 8, 2013 at 9:41 am

When I first started blogging, I created round up posts with some of the best content I found and with some of mu thoughts on each. I think that kind of thing CAN work, but I found I was getting very little traction with it. I think people want to see original thought on a blog, not a regurgitation of other stuff. If you want to see those other posts, that’s what the social channels are for.

I’ll be really curious to see how the changes at Google impact syndication of content. I think this is slightly different than what you’re talking about here, but with them cracking down on duplicate content, I wonder if it no longer makes sense for people to syndicate content to sites like Business2Community or Social Media Today. Because they are quality sites, that might be fine, but I do wonder. I always wondered if syndication made any sense and now I think there’s even less of a reason to do it than before.

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Sheryl Kurland October 8, 2013 at 9:51 am

You commentary is right on, Marcus. Listen to this…. I was on a local pet store’s website looking for something natural as a flea repellent for my dog Bongo. There were some good article on the website, which I clicked on, and I found a product that I liked. So I called the pet store to see if they carry it…NO!!!!… Can you believe this?

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Nicholas Wells October 8, 2013 at 11:08 am

I admit it. I was tempted. It sounds so easy. Pay someone to do the hard work for you. But Marcus is correct as usual.

I’m a lawyer. (One of those boring fields Marcus has written about that benefit so much from high-quality content.) When I tried to use ghost writers, I quickly discovered that I spent more time correcting drafts prepared by someone else than if I had written them myself. And I still felt too embarrassed about their quality to post them on my trademark law site (www.wellsiplaw.com). The ghost written material seemed vacuous. So a year ago I stopped even trying and just started writing everything myself.

Then I read a piece that made me extra glad I did: Ghost written blog posts on lawyer sites, without a disclaimer, are a violation of lawyer ethics. It’s official in Virginia (and should be everywhere else): http://ridethelightning.senseient.com/2013/08/is-ghost-blogging-ethical-without-a-disclaimer-not-in-virginia.html

This ethics issue goes to the heart of what Marcus is saying. People want and expect YOUR expertise, not some unknown third party pretending to be you.

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Adam Dukes October 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Great post and I couldn’t agree more. Last fall I started doing content curation on my site as that was the “hot” thing to do. Traffic soared big time, but after a month or so I thought to myself: this isn’t mine? Why am I doing this?

I kind of felt “dirty” and was doing my audience wrong by “cheating” and grabbing other people’s content. In actuality, I was just being lazy.

I scrapped that idea and now my site is 98% my thoughts, thinkings, findings, advice, case studies, and an occasional guest post here and there.

Great stuff, Mr. Sheridan!

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Adam Dukes October 8, 2013 at 12:11 pm

Great post and I couldn’t agree more. Last fall I started doing content curation on my site as that was the “hot” thing to do. Traffic soared big time, but after a month or so I thought to myself: this isn’t mine? Why am I doing this?

I kind of felt “dirty” and was doing my audience wrong by “cheating” and grabbing other people’s content. In actuality, I was just being lazy.

I scrapped that idea and now my site is 98% my thoughts, thinkings, findings, advice, case studies, and an occasional guest post here and there.

Great stuff, Mr. Sheridan!

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Kathleen Booth October 8, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Amen! So funny that you posted this because I’ve been approached by two companies with content curation tools that have offered me demos (which I’ve taken) and have pushed hard for us to join their affiliate programs. The tools are interesting, but they are just no substitute for original content. I agree with you that curation is great for social media (but I wouldn’t have that be my ONLY strategy for posting), but I always tell my clients that their websites are the only place online where they have 100% control over how their brand is portrayed. Why you would introduce someone else’s content into this mix and risk diluting your brand is beyond me!

Best,

Kathleen Booth

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Mark W Schaefer October 8, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I somewhat disagree (could be a first!)

I agree with you that there probably is not a place for this on a website. However, curating could be a value-add for customers in other ways.

An example would be a pharma customer I work with. They are restricted by the FDA from publishing their own content to the point where it is very difficult, legally. However they can curate. So this is great for busy doctors when they receive a newsletter with the top industry news on “diabetes” or “Alzheimers” or whatever the subject is. It’s something they look forward to and respond to.

I suppose it is possible in some ways that they could drive traffic to a website this way too. Depends on the industry and the strategy.

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Andrea T.H.W. October 9, 2013 at 2:16 am

It all comes down from the success of sites like The Huffington Post and the need to have always something new to sell to people to keep businesses alive. The curation thing is the new trend after using Facebook for business has been abandoned.

In the net there is the need to have always new nuggets to sell but most of it are legends when not simply fluff.

Like plastering the web with your social things on every site which seems fake and leaves little time to do anything. In reality to work readers have to do it, not writers. Imho. :)

And actually being that after a couple of year or so it’s hard for a blog to have something new to write about without reinventing the wheel it can be somehow understood. Up to a certain point.

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Ajith Edassery October 9, 2013 at 2:43 am

Marcus,
I have one question. Is aggregating tweets or social shares related to your topics considered content curation as well? I have seen people having big widgets of related topics or social signals.

Thanks, Ajith
PS: By the way, are you somehow related to the Sheridan of the great Sheridan Grid control components. Remember using them extensively during my initial software life.

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Rick Boerebach October 9, 2013 at 7:33 am

Just adding others’ content to your own website of course doesn’t add value for your customers. Though, I do think that curating content online brings a lot of value, when it’s done properly. The scope of your definition of content curation in this post is a bit limited in my opinion. A search engine, like Google, by definition is a content curator. A newspaper, at its core, is a content curator. These two are just a selection of proven business models -that bring value to its users- based on content curation. The difference between these two models is that the first one, Google, is curating content (semi-)automatically. It’s based on the concept of one website linking to another website, indicating that the first website curates the second website as a website that brings value to the first websites’ customers. Based on this concept (without categorization), semi-automatic curation is achieved because the curation is done by algorithms, while the linking between websites itself is human curation, because websites are maintained mostly by people. A newspaper on the other hand is based on manual curation only, since a human selects content he or she thinks brings value to the newspaper’s customers and reports about just that content. At ZEEF.com, we believe crowdsourced content curation by passionate experts (humans) is the future of finding quality information online and supporting a consumer in his or her decision making process. By ranking and categorizing links to content online at ZEEF, you are giving your opinion about content instead of just plain re-publishing content. As a company or blog, you can never cover every aspect of a subject yourself, but by curating content on other blogs you add additional value for your customers even when you can’t provide the content yourself at that time. This will help grow your authority on a subject, by curating others’ content and not just creating your own content. Blocks of categorized links on ZEEF by other curators can be embedded on your own blog as well, like AdSense blocks, but with much more value and relevance than AdSense does, because ZEEF links are curated (hand-picked and categorized) by an expert (human). Selecting blocks of links on ZEEF for your own blog is a form of content curation as well.

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Marc Rougier October 9, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Marcus,

I partially disagree with you.

(disc: I’m the co-founder of Scoop.it, a publishing by curation solution for professionals and businesses; but my opinion here is based on customers use cases :)).

First I totally agree with two of your points:

- automated syndication does not add value
- value add is required (from an SEO, from an ethical and, very pragmatically, from a business perspective)

Curation is not only about sharing someone’s else content, but about enriching it (organization, perspective, context…).

Your business audience actually cares: your business audience is not exclusively interested by what YOU create, but by whatever relates to their values and concerns; by whatever makes their life better. You earn reputation by being a reference point for such content; as long, of course, as it also matches your values and relates to your space.

Thought leadership is not demonstrated only by what and how you write, but also by what you know and by how open minded you are about sharing it – especially if you add your value to it.

And Google likes it too, as long as it’s not replicated content, but enriched content, content organized in an original and coherent way (40+% of our traffic comes from search).

Obviously, curation does not replace creation; obviously, automated curation is not a good strategy. We agree! But, fact-based, business audience as well as SEO robots like it when you select, enrich, organize and share ideas that matters – even those written by someone else. It’s a valid complement to a content strategy.

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PJ Jonas October 9, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I agree completely. I also don’t drive people from my website to my social media. I tell them which platforms I am on, but when they arrive on my website, I want them to stay there.
PJ

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Gagan October 10, 2013 at 2:40 am

This is a fabulous post and it is very informative for the newbies who are mostly not aware of this kind of contents. Great work Marcus………

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manojsitosys October 11, 2013 at 5:56 am

very good article….sir keep itupWeb Design Company

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Sarah Salman October 11, 2013 at 6:35 am

agreed with the stuff your projected in any area of sense this give impetus to the targeted service online. but what factors does impede means i would like to ask if topic is nor relevant or the information than?

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Vinish Garg October 11, 2013 at 12:27 pm

Content curation gives us a great option to curate relevant content from multiple resources. Whether we use it to our advantage and align this process with our marketing or content strategy is up to the individual business. I use scoop-it, paper-li and storify and I end up finding great and relevant content for my liking, and it certainly helps me grow my network and get involved with community.

So it is like alcohol. Whether we use it (for medicines) or misuse it (while driving) is up to us.

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Steve Freeman October 11, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I paid for a course that talked about this as a viable way to become an authority. I paid really good money, chasing that shiny thing, to ask the same question you started with.

“Why do I want other curate people’s articles on my site”? It makes no sense. I don’t see how I become an authority that way.

I do host guest posts on my site for a handful of people. It must be original content that fits my guidelines and must fall within their area of expertise. This gives my visitors, small business owners, a host or articles on all things small business. It seems to work for everyone, so far.

Thanks for re-enforcing what I felt didn’t seem right, or is that write??

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Iain October 12, 2013 at 8:13 am

You bring up a great point here Marcus. I mean if you only curate content on your site people will come to your site based on other people’s work.

So in the end they will want to do business with those other companies because THEIR work was good not yours.

Seems a bit backwards to me.

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Ryan Biddulph October 12, 2013 at 10:11 am

Hi Marcus,

Curating is too easy to do.

If it is too easy to do, Google will not like it, because people will try to take advantage of it and post 150 times each day to their blogs, then spam folks with the same repeated, regurgitated updates.

Brand you. Create. Do not curate.

Thanks!

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Jane October 14, 2013 at 9:06 pm

Content curation is overly overrated. Yes commenting on other people’s content is cool. When we find great content we share it in social media and let our followers know about it. Social media serves that purpose. But our blog is not a place for sharing other people’s content. Our blog is part of OUR business. And as you say, people won’t be willing to do business with me just because I am good at curating other people’s content.

At the same time, when I see a great piece of content and if I think I can improve it, add insight, comment on it (agreeing or disagreeing) I can do so by all means by quoting that piece of content. Other than this I won’t go overboard in simply curating other’s content!

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Beatriz Arantes October 16, 2013 at 11:35 am

Hi Marcus,

I work for a content curation tool and I must confess that your blog headline scared me a little. But after reading the post, I could see that we share the same point of view, that without adding value, curation is no good resource.

I even wrote a blog post on this: http://groupiest.com/blog/2013/10/16/content-curation-and-the-lion/

I really appreciate your articles.

Read you!

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Pawan Deshpande October 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Marcus,

I’ve seen you speak multiple times and you have inspired and re-invigorated my enthusiasm for content marketing many times.

But… I think you’re off the mark on this one blog post. I’ve detailed my thoughts here: http://www.curata.com/blog/the-sales-lion-needs-to-come-out-of-his-den/

Take a read and let me know what you think.

-Pawan

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Marcus Sheridan October 22, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Pawan, I love you wrote this. Awesome. Not enough folks write rebuttals online.

Marcus

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Justin Harris October 26, 2013 at 11:03 pm

This was funny to me because, I suppose, of my definition of curation.

A perfect example of curation to me is what Marcus did with the video from google in this very post.

I read a few of the comments and I get that the distinction was not made well of aggregated or syndicated content vs. curated content. But I also did not see anybody else note the curated content in a blog post decrying curated content.

Justin Harris

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Cody October 31, 2013 at 8:36 am

Hi there,
I have heard and read somewhat about this curation and content aggregation.

Marcus, going by your analogy, can one safely say that GOOGLE is the ‘professor’ of unadulterated content?

If it works for google why not other sites?

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Chuka Udeze November 4, 2013 at 8:24 pm

I absolutely agree with you and cannot agree more, I never liked content curation in the strictest sense of it, one or two references to similar articles that delivers value to the end user can be helpful even to the webmaster in some ways but using a special software to massively curate content and share will not be helpful or sustainable in the long run

I certainly agree with the principle here but I do think there is room for curation in a way that might not deliver value to google but absolutely will deliver value to those we seek to serve. Curating some content allows us to do some of the digging for our audience on their behalf, and they in turn will continue to turn to us in order to ‘keep up to date’ with what might be relevant.

Now to be clear I think curating and sharing content makes sense only if a perspective is offered, and I absolutely agree that using software to blindly curate and share is not very valuable. But offering up those we serve some insight that they may not have come across seems like an exercise steeped in value no? Here is an example of an occasional post that we do every now and again that we call ‘good and relevant reads’ we offer up the link and then some perspective on why we found it of value. http://blog.yoh.com/2013/02/some-good-and-relevant-reads-february-12-2013.html

Great post as always! And oh by the way your bold talk at Inbound was inspiring and genuine! well done.
Joel Capperella´s last [type] ..Recruiting strategies: Self diagnosis is difficultMy Profile

Marcus,
I certainly agree with the principle here but I do think there is room for curation in a way that might not deliver value to google but absolutely will deliver value to those we seek to serve. Curating some content allows us to do some of the digging for our audience on their behalf, and they in turn will continue to turn to us in order to ‘keep up to date’ with what might be relevant.

Now to be clear I think curating and sharing content makes sense only if a perspective is offered, and I absolutely agree that using software to blindly curate and share is not very valuable. But offering up those we serve some insight that they may not have come across seems like an exercise steeped in value no? Here is an example of an occasional post that we do every now and again that we call ‘good and relevant reads’ we offer up the link and then some perspective on why we found it of value. http://blog.yoh.com/2013/02/some-good-and-relevant-reads-february-12-2013.html

Great post as always! And oh by the way your bold talk at Inbound was inspiring and genuine! well done.
Joel Capperella´s last [type] ..Recruiting strategies: Self diagnosis is difficultMy Profile

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Atei February 1, 2014 at 8:43 pm

I also do not agree with the writer. I actually stumbled upon this article via a content curation app I will not mention. I happen to use quite a number of content curation apps on my mobile devices. We indeed live in a world of information overload and the role of content curation becomes important because we cannot know or follow all the sites that can serve us valuable content all the time. Nobody has mentioned content curation or aggregation apps either but they are indeed very popular.

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David Braybrooke February 24, 2014 at 5:34 pm

Harlan from the Warrior Forum has a different experience with using curated content on his canine site. He states: ‘We got something like 6 million page views last year.

On Facebook, we reach up to 9 million people a week.

The site is still growing.

And here’s the best part….

97% of the site is curated content.

We have done ZERO SEO, ZERO LINKING, ZERO BLACKHAT STUFF.

Just content, content and more content.

Does curation still work?

Heck yes.’

http://www.warriorforum.com/main-internet-marketing-discussion-forum/906795-does-curation-still-work.html

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Marcus Sheridan February 28, 2014 at 10:01 am

Like I said David, it can work at times, but when I say “curation,” I’m talking about posting other site content on your site, which is different than posting other people’s content (ie leveraging writers around the globe) and your site becoming the original host. To me, that is easily one of the best models out there.

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Mele March 16, 2014 at 11:12 pm

I couldn’t agree more…….. if, well, how do I explain then Huffington post and the Drudge report? they only have curated content…… sometimes not even that curated. Do they buy traffic? Slave away doing SEO 24 hours a day? I’d really like to know.

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Marcus Sheridan March 18, 2014 at 3:01 pm

As I said in the post, I’m not talking here about news reporting (curation) sites. I’m mainly referring to average Joe businesses, and how they can most effectively build their brand and move prospects to action.

Thanks,

Marcus

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Tom George March 31, 2014 at 1:30 am

Who just wants to be an average Joe business? Perhaps they are average because they never try anything original or unique.

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Marcus Sheridan March 31, 2014 at 9:41 am

This response Tom is symbolic of just how much you’re missing the mark in this comment stream. When I said “average Joe”–I was obviously talking about a normal business. River Pools is an “average Joe” business, so please stop with the “who wants to be average” question. Why do you like to take people’s words out of context? Your arguments about Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc are things we’ve already agreed upon. You missed my points about two different styles of curated content, as well as different types of websites and when “curation” can be a good thing. But I’m not going to explain my opinion any more to you because you’ve talked down to people in the stream here and if you come back again, don’t come across as so arrogant man. It’s just not cool. If you want to talk, then talk. Discuss. Interact. But don’t be a jerk.

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Tom George March 31, 2014 at 10:29 am

First of all Marcus, I don’t think I resorted to any name calling. I just disagree with you. As a matter of fact I have proof that an average business can benefit from curation on their website. I was just saying to aspire to greater things. Small businesses helped build our great nation. I would never talk down to a small business owner. You know it’s funny, in all these comment streams, everyone is just so nice all the time, that is not how the real world works Marcus, we are human beings not machines. I can point out where I actually curated a piece of content for you, and you didn’t give it or me the time of day. If you had of you would think differently. I am sure we both have better things to do with our time. It’s nothing personal Marcus, I just don’t think you know what you are talking about when it comes to curation, but that is just one guys opinion, and to your credit you have done a remarkable job with you business model, which worked so well, and is probably why you feel the way you do. Do what works for you!

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Clive March 24, 2014 at 10:56 am

I just copied a paragraph from one of the stories (entertainment NOT news) on Huffington Post and pasted it into Google in quotes. I got results of over 1100 sites with the exact same content including ABC News, Washington Post, Miami Herald and MSN News to name a few. Does anyone know why if Google really doesn’t like content curation, then why do these sites still do ok in the SERPS? And surely if it’s ok for news, it’s ok for any other topic.

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Tom George March 31, 2014 at 1:27 am

Hi Marcus,

Someone needs to show you the big picture. I have respect for your content and your personal success story, of how you used content marketing to get your pool business going. What do you think Google, Facebook, Twitter, and now LinkedIn do so very well. They get user generated content. I don’t proclaim to have all the answers, but you are right, it takes some big ones to allow a community to build up content on a platform centered around topics on your personal website. How is that any different than guest blogging? Have you ever done one curated post on your site. Probably not. I think the word for this is dogma bro. One thing is constant and that is change. So we all better embrace it, or get left behind. Just a little fatigued about you bashing curation. Why don’t you try some first and then have an opinion.

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Bellaisa May 22, 2014 at 1:58 pm

I have never curated content…but I’m interested in why successful sites succeed by doing it.

I don’t get it. I see websites like ViralNova who are purely taking other people’s content (granted they are videos and pictures), and highly successful with Google. I’m assuming it is because everyone shares their content, and they get at on of visitors, but why does it work for some people and not for others?

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Marc Rougier May 22, 2014 at 2:31 pm

Bellaisa,

There are many factors to the success of a site and I certainly don’t know all of them (I wish…) but I can share some experience on curation (I’m the co-founder of Scoop.it, a curation platform for businesses; my experience is based on 1M+ users and 3000 businesses using Scoop.it to integrated curation in their content strategy).

We generally see curated content works when the curator adds value: i.e. real selection of quality content (not random bookmarking), an editorial line (the collection needs to make “sense”), added context, perspective or insight, frequent posting, etc. And a balanced mix of curation and creation (curation demonstrates your knowledge and your willingness to share it; and creation enables deeper engagement). This works for Google and this works for the real audience. Happy to give more details if needed :)

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