Curated Content's Blog

Content marketing articles from our agency

30

Apr 2011

Good Content vs Bad Content

Posted by / in Blog, Content Management Services, Copywriting / 2 comments

Lately there’s been a lot more talk than the usual well deserved critique aimed at crap content on the internet, or more specifically, crap content delivered in search results.

However, before we give weight to the crap content debate, it might be worth providing a an excellent example of content we’ve identified as doing a terrific job of giving content a bad name.

Here’s what happened when we googled ‘How to catch a fish’

Catching fish for food or pleasure is a timeless activity. For many, following a passed on tradition, catching fish is just an easy activity they are used to. There is some level of skill required and these useful tips to help you catch fish would be dependent on the type of fish desired and the fishing site.

Is that content really worth the click? Does that that content inspire, engage, educate or – most importantly of all –achieve the goal of actually being helpful? Was it really necessary to stuff those four lines of content to the gills with the key word “fish” (that’s the dark side of SEO) Seriously, if we wanted to know about timeless activities, then that’s what we’d search. In this instance, we just want to know how to catch a fish.

“…it’s up to you to make the decision around quality content when you commission it.”

Sure the internet is swimming in lousy content – that’s a simple reality of the DIY nature of digital. We’re OK if Charlie Sheen can’t spell, or gets the current President mixed up with the previous one, or mentions his tiger blood 1000 times a post…because hey- that’s the Charlie the world knows – that’s our expectations met. But when it’s a company employing people to create meaningless and deliberate drone in an aggressive play for our well-intentioned click  exercised in an attempt to get help on a search engine…well that’s when things start getting really fishy.

The thing is that it’s up to you to make the decision around quality content when you commission it. Sure you can pay non-writer writers to come up with catchy fish copy like the example we googled, or you can hire a writer to come up with something that ticks those essential boxes: engaged/inspired/useful. We think those four lines should read something this:

There are plenty of ways to catch a fish, but here let’s focus on the ones that live in water. If you’re a newbie angler, there’s key areas we’ll cover: essential equipment, bait, location, when to fish and how long to wait between bites. Then we’ll move to hooking the fish, reeling it in and removing the hook with the least amount of trauma possible.

If you can’t see the difference is value, then hey – this isn’t the blog for you, but if you can notice the difference here between good content and bad content, then we’re getting somewhere.

The good news is that the monolithic search engine, (and most of the others too), is working hard to penalize the crap content – usually spawned from entities called ‘content farms’, by changing its search recipe (tech alert: algorithms). This has come in part, as a result of feedback from frustrated users on a mass scale, and hopefully by punishing crap content, a counter effect will be allowing good content to naturally bubble to the surface.

This is a good thing for fisherman everywhere.

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