Regurgitated Content is Bad Content – Here is How to Avoid It

Published on

June 21, 2023

Regurgitated Content is Bad Content – Here is How to Avoid It

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Picture this: you have a problem, and you need to find a solution online

You scroll through the first search results page (let’s be honest, we rarely go farther than that), but every other article you find is just repeating the same information in different ways. 

The internet is so vast, but you can’t seem able to find a reliable source of information.

So annoying, right?

This is what it feels like to deal with what we call “regurgitated content.”

What is Regurgitated Content?

“Regurgitated content” is a term Vince came up with to describe copycat and, let’s put it frankly, “bad” content. He started using it one day and is now always mentioning it on LinkedIn or during sales calls.

regurgitated content
Vince shares his thoughts on regurgitated content on LinkedIn.

Recently, I realized that this expression kinda became internal jargon because of the lack of a better word for the phenomenon it describes.

Its meaning is deep and points out a recurring problem in the content marketing industry: the fact that oftentimes, blog articles all repeat the same information available online, without adding any unique insights or expertise.

💡 What is regurgitated content? Regurgitated content is bad quality content that simply synthesizes information from the competition without choosing an angle or adding unique information.

It happens because a lot of websites follow a poor content creation process. 

Instead of taking the time (and effort!) to come up with helpful and unique articles, they save time and money by simply rewording what already exists on the internet.

Some do it intentionally — all they want is traffic to drive revenue from ads — others because of the absence of a good content production process.

Either way, regurgitated content is problematic, for several reasons:

  • It transforms the internet into an ocean of trash
  • Users struggle to find solutions to their problems online 
  • Such poor content production ethics can easily spread misinformation 

Search engines like Google hate it because regurgitated content makes their service less effective.

Google doesn’t want similar content all over search results. 

Here, it’s clearly written in Google’s content quality guidelines:

bad content
Google outlines its content preferences.

Google is fighting regurgitated content.

Which, from a long-term perspective and in terms of SEO, means that regurgitated pieces of content will eventually stop ranking.

But that’s not even the issue.

Regurgitated is bad for business for many other reasons — we’ll touch on that a bit later. 

Bad Content Alert: Examples of Regurgitated Content

The best way to help you understand what content regurgitation is and why it’s so bad is by simply showing you what can be found on Google.

I googled “email marketing software” and clicked on an article from the first page.

This is the level of quality I’m exposed to:

	 bad content
Here's an example of regurgitated content in the SERP.
  • It’s fluff
  • The only thing this paragraph says is that email marketing is good for small businesses and it can do things
  • There is no expertise, no explanation, no insights, no examples 
  • One random statistic is mentioned but with no link to the source
  • These 12 lines could have been summarized in one sentence. I’m not exaggerating — here it is: “With the right tool, fitted to your small business needs, email marketing can become one of your most cost-effective marketing strategies and drive a high ROI.” I don’t think I’ve missed any valuable information
  • And even summarized like that, it’s pretty useless — everyone knows that already.

The rest of the article from wpbeginner.com (not giving you the link because it doesn’t deserve a backlink) lists the 7 “best” email marketing softwares.

As is usually the case for “x top tools for y” type of articles, you simply have a list of the most popular tools — the same 7 tools you’ll see on all the other articles — with no expert insights from someone who actually tried them.

fluff content
Fluffy content doesn't add new or insightful information.

All decent email marketing software offer automation features, email analytics, and email templates — it’s not a differentiating factor …

This entire paragraph doesn’t say anything about what types of businesses are best suited for this tool, what features are unique to the software, what disadvantages should be kept in mind, how good the workflow is, etc. 

The article simply reworded the features page of Moosend’s website.

A great example of regurgitated content — content that brings nothing new to the table.

You want another roast? 🍗

Ok, here it is:

regurgitated content
Here's another startling content example.

This is Dux-Soup trying to write about keyword research.

To be honest, I’m not even sure I understand what they are trying to say. 

The person who wrote this clearly didn’t have any expertise in SEO, and the rest of the article not only confirm this, but also highly alerts me: 

bad content
Dux-Soup is sharing misinformation.

This is just really, really bad advice. This is misleading in so many ways.

This bad content is spreading 3 pieces of false information:

  • That you can just mass produce content based on a list of keywords only
  • That content creation is easy and can be done in minutes 
  • That you can solely rely on AI to write you content.

Actually, this is a great guide on how to produce regurgitated content. 😆

Follow these instructions, and you will be 100% sure to hurt your business.

How Regurgitated Content Is Impacting Your Business

Such regurgitated content will do your business no good — it’s problematic in three ways.

You don’t achieve your business goals

Content regurgitation happens when a company creates content just to rank on Google for the sake of abundant traffic on their website.

We call it “producing content as an afterthought”: “Oh, we need content, so let’s do it for cheap.”

It might rank, but then what? 

Even if you attract thousands of visitors to your website every day, you won’t stay in your readers’ mind if your content is regurgitated. 

Because:

  • It won’t solve any problems for your audience, which means readers will see it as useless 
  • Your content won’t stand out, thus readers won’t feel nor remember your brand
  • Remember: being memorable works better than being different.

This all means that your content marketing program will not contribute to your bottom line.

Especially in the high-ticket SaaS industry, where the sales funnel is longer, and where a prospect has to interact with a brand’s content multiple time before progressively building trust. 

By regurgitating content, you are simply killing all your content marketing efforts and damaging your reputation.

You ruin your reputation

When interacting with regurgitated content, at best, the reader will forget about your brand the next second

At worst, your brand will be remembered as an untrustworthy source of information.

Untrustworthy because it's unable to provide new, interesting information.

But also as a reaction to content perpetuating false or incomplete information.

Dux-Soup has become our go-to example of bad content marketing. Every time I need a bad content marketing example, I go straight to Dux Soup.

I can picture their marketing team bragging about that sweet, sweet traffic they’re getting.

Not sure that’s the example they want to set though.

See, the risk when you regurgitate information, is that you may stumble upon fluff and imprecision. And if you don’t understand a topic enough, you may misinterpret and become one more channel spreading misinformation. 

Believe me, the internet is full of those. 

And in the B2B SaaS world especially, it’s a gigantic red flag. 🚩

Nobody will trust a company that doesn’t get its facts right. 

SaaS content marketing is not just about getting visitors to a website and pushing them to a spontaneous purchase. It’s about:

  • Spreading awareness to stand out as a brand
  • Building trust to become an authority in the market
  • Nurturing leads to convince them to convert
  • Supporting existing clients to reduce churn.

You stop believing in SEO and content marketing

If your approach to content marketing and SEO is producing regurgitated content, then you probably have some traffic, but no ROI

You’re frustrated, because you are spending money without it contributing to top or bottom line.

And you end up coming to the conclusion that SEO and content marketing is BS and you stop doing it.

Except that content marketing is not some sort of tactic that can easily be overlooked.

It’s an essential part of scaling a SaaS business

It’s an important part for any business that wants to become an authority in its industry and find clients beyond their solution-aware audience. 

But because of shady tactics and fast-result driven strategies, it becomes hard to buy SEO and content

But the problem is not content marketing itself. The problem is the mindset. 

There is no use for a SaaS business to do content marketing if your goal is to rank for keywords and drive as much traffic as possible to your pages. 

You’re not trying to be a blogger — you’re trying to sell your product. Content marketing and SaaS SEO will only drive actual business results when it becomes an extension of your company’s positioning, narrative, and messaging, covering topics that truly matter to your target audience. 

In short, when you stop regurgitating content.

Save Your Content Marketing: How to Avoid Producing Regurgitated Content

Let’s try to approach content marketing strategically, in order to produce helpful and unique content that will truly reflect your company, drive brand awareness, and nurture leads.

Start by identifying your audience’s problems

In order for your content to be helpful to your audience, you need to first understand what problems are keeping your audience awake at night.

Once you’ve identified these problems, you can form topics out of them. 

You can achieve that by performing a customer research first, by analyzing your previous customer’s reviews, interviewing your customers directly, and forming jobs-to-be-done statements.

scaling saas
In order to scale your SaaS, you need to understand exactly what problems you are solving

With this data available, you’ll understand your audience better, and you’ll be able to extrapolate key topics to cover.

You won’t blindly follow your competitors’ content on keyword lists from SEMrush, but you’ll start producing articles that actually resonate with what your audience is looking for.

Figure out what you have to say

One old golden rule: “if you have nothing to say, you better say nothing at all.”

Produce content only about topics you are an expert in, where you have something unique to say, something to bring to the table.

Otherwise, you’ll risk writing fluffy articles about subjects you don’t master.

And if you still want or need (because you identified an important matter through your customer research) to touch on topics you are unsure about, then adopt a journalistic approach to it. 

  1. Take the time to do research
  2. Interview experts 
  3. Choose a unique and on-brand angle to approach the topic.

Follow a strong content marketing process 

As often, the secret to success and scalability is a strong process. 

Regurgitation-free content marketing requires commitment, good management, and consistency. It is a time-consuming process requiring a lot of effort that you’ll probably need to delegate to a content manager and several writers. 

To avoid content regurgitation, you’ll need:

  1. A one-year content strategy, listing all the articles you’re planning to produce and when. By preparing the topics you know your audience is interested in in advance, you’ll move towards your goals in a straight line.
  2. Strong content briefs. Content briefs are the best way to decide the structure of your articles in advance, share expertise and/or trusted sources with writers, provide guidelines, etc. I’ve talked about all the benefits of strong content briefs in a previous article. A strong content brief prevents writers from lazily going online and rewording articles from the competition, as they have all the unique information they need in the content outline.
  3. Brand guidelines. To go with your content briefs, brand guidelines help you always stay on brand. 
bad content
And this is exactly what we deliver to our clients: a content strategy, brand guidelines, and finished content pieces based on strong content briefs.

With these three elements, you are prepared to consistently produce unique, helpful, and on-brand content. 

It’s easier said than done, of course, but trust me — it is a better investment of your time and money than regurgitated content.

Was this article unique and helpful to you? 🙂

Kristin Myshkin

I'm a content and on-page SEO specialist here at ScaleCrush. I love when a blog post becomes more than a marketing piece, but an original source of information. This probably comes from my background in journalism.

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