ARTICLE SPINNING: SEO Do or Don't?
Though I’ve heard the phrase “content is king” so many times lately it no longer sounds like a word, it is so true that I feel compelled to repeat it again (forgive me). There are few more effective “white hat” methods of boosting web traffic and inbound linkage than creating high quality content and effectively spreading it across the web. But, as most SEOs know, this process can be both arduous and time consuming.
In an effort to find a loophole through the content crafting and distribution process, the SEO efficiency-boosting technique “article spinning” emerged a few years back. For Internet marketing neophytes out there, “article spinning” refers to the automatic substitution of words and phrases in an original piece of writing to generate multiple versions of the same content. This “spun content” then gets distributed to numerous online directories and blogs.
At first the practice of creating “spun content” worked quite well. Article spinning tools’ synonym substitution capabilities and sophisticated comprehension of grammatical rules enabled them to modify the language of content to produce numerous duplicate versions. It could also take multiple original versions of an article and swap specific paragraphs in one version with paragraphs in another version, spinning the mixed pieces into numerous additional articles. People could use different spinning rules or spin syntax for different parts of each article in order to make it difficult for search engines to detect the unoriginal content. The practice gave article directories a continuous source of varied content, which captured different varieties of keyword traffic, and ultimately drove advertising revenue through impressions and clicks. Therefore, the multiple submissions of similar articles benefited the article directories AND drove website traffic for the user.
BUT the old adage, “if something seems too good to be true, it probably is” began to apply as search engines started employing more sophisticated filters to get rid of “duplicate content” (ie. Content created more for the purpose of boosting traffic and links than adding value to the user). Search engines have become more focused on semantic recognition, making them better able to spot pieces of text with similar structure.
Not only has article spinning become fairly ineffective, the practice is potentially pernicious to the long-term success of a site’s position on the SERP. Search engines will often either penalize or ignore websites that have a high number of inbound links from duplicate content. Thus the creation of incomprehensible and grammatically incorrect spun content, and in turn thousands of low-quality web pages, can spoil the reputation of a website with both its audiences—the human user and the search engine.
So is article spinning an absolute SEO “no-no”?
Well…it depends. If spinning tools are designed and developed in an intuitive and intelligent manner (ie. They generate unique content from a given set of keywords or small sentences) AND they are combined with human review, there is potential for this technology to successfully provide beneficial content to users. That said, in the long run quality usually trumps quantity, so my advice would be to power through and continue creating and distributing high quality content…the old fashioned way.
By Divya Kaushik