Web ready copy?

I got an email from an agency today containing some ‘web ready copy’ based on research they’d done for a client, and inviting me to put it on the site I work for. The (very polite) email explained that the copy had been ‘fully optimised for the web to save you the trouble’ and said I could either leave in or take out the link they had included to their client’s website. I just thought this was a bit weird for several reasons:

1. Why would I want to publish content that other sites have? (I’m assuming that they’d sent this content to other sites too). Duplicate content’s not going to help me in SEO. If it was something they’d done exclusively for me, why not shout about it? I’d be more likely to use something and more open to working with them if I knew they’d gone to so much trouble.

2. The client they were writing for and linking to was an insurer and therefore a competitor of the company I work for. Why would I want to link to a competitor?

3. I really try to create good quality content, and I won’t publish something just because it’s free and ‘web-ready’. Why would you want a link from the kind of site that would be happy to publish duplicate content just because it was free and required no effort?

I’d rather they’d just sent me a press release, or better still, got in touch and just said ‘Hey, we’ve done this research your readers might like – could we collaborate?’
Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

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