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.


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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