Content Curation: Avoiding Plagiarism

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

Content curation is the practice of gathering information from various digital sources such as websites and presenting that information in a unique manner to your target audience.  Why do we have to make things so complicated in the world?  Essentially, you’ve been doing this since you were in school.  Every time you wrote an essay or a book report, you took that information and produced it in a uniquely written way for your teacher.  That is all the world is, really.  No matter what the content entails, you are simply providing a new wording to the same facts as before.


Is this a scam that has gained momentum as people who operate blogs are constantly looking for additional content for their websites?  Some data miners will “sell” you means to gather this information en mass.  It’s probably not a scam per se, but it’s definitely taking advantage of someone’s laziness from conducting the research and information gathering themselves.  But, we have so many other devices that do the same thing so who am I to judge what value someone has on this data collection.

Adding a unique spin on the words regarding the subject is how writers avoid plagiarism.  You don’t want to copy and paste the exact wording, but it’s ok to manipulate the sentences in a way that changes the structure while providing the same information.  This isn’t a negative practice, however.  Without this “content curation” by authors, there would be far less reading subjects in terms of information providing material.

From all of these curation tips that are on the Internet, most of them follow the same guidelines that teachers present to students when it is time to write his or her first essay.  Take the facts of the subject matter and disregard the other fluff.  Is it something more that we are simply not seeing?  Not really.  A prime example of this is the blog by Eileen Mullan regarding content curation.  So closely was her explanation of the subject that it emulated my college courses back in 2001 for writing essays.

What does this mean for creating content for your own websites?  Nothing.  As long as you base your content in facts, truth, and relevancy your website will shine.  However, many will speculate that adding links back to relevant content makes your site more appealing to Google search engine rankings.  As this is a common belief, there may be some truth to this.

Citing your information is a way to make your website more professional and provide the links Google wants to see between relevant content pages.  These links can be within your own website or aimed at another.  As long as you can cite your information, your page looks more trustworthy to Google and to the visitors who find your page.

As for content curation, it seems like it’s nothing more than a glorified term we put on material in order to make it more than it is.  As humans living in the past few decades, it’s a politically-correct world we live in and everything needs a “friendly” sounding label.  It just means you are taking the time to make sure your content is factual.

The bottom line is that content curation isn’t plagiarism.  Copy and pasting content from one website and calling it your own is.  As long as you put a conscious effort into rewriting the content in your own words, your website will be successful.  At that point, all you need to do is work on adding more pages full of informative and uniquely written content.

Michael Brockbank
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