Article spinning involves the alteration of existing articles found on the web so that the search engines do not flag the articles as duplicate content. Search engines actively filter out duplicated content found on the web by reducing the ability of an article with duplicate content to rank well.
Article spinning is basically a lazy way for site owners to rapidly add content to their web sites while trying to avoid the duplicate content filters that may prevent the articles from ranking well. While this can be done very effectively if done manually, most article spinning is performed by scripts that target an existing article, identify the nouns, verbs, adjective and adverbs, and then substitute variations of these sentence constructs.
A good article spinner will assemble a new sentence that is different than the original, yet still very readable. Most article spinners, however, produce a sentence that is unintelligible, but may still fool the search engine algorithms. The ultimate goal of a site owner utilizing this technique is to defeat search engines’ duplicate content filters and hopefully end up with an article that will rank well and drive traffic to a web site.
The current “acid test” standard to determine if the content is significantly different is whether or not it passes a Copyscape test. Copyscape is an online duplicate content identification service commonly used by web site owners to determine if someone is stealing content from their site.
Here is an example of an original paragraph.
Article spinning software might dissect the sentence like this:
The article spinning software will then randomly choose words to substitute in the sentences. But poor article spinning software cannot tell the difference between nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and cannot make a “best choice” for word selections. A poorly spun paragraph may end up reading like this:
You will probably agree that this paragraph is mostly unintelligible, but it most likely does slip fast duplicate content filters and would pass the Copyscape test. We are seeing more and more of this type of garbage content with blogs, many of which are autoblogs that steal content from other web sites and spin it into something that they hope will prevent them from getting caught.
Does spun content violate copyrights?
Perhaps. The original content was probably copyrighted, but the resulting spun content no longer resembles the original. We are seeing more and more poorly spun content, particularly with blogs. There are several blog plugins available that will take an original article and spin it into something quite different from the original.
Is article spinning a good idea?
In our opinion, it is a quick-and-dirty method for building content strictly to fool search engine spiders. That would make it a black hat SEO method. Beyond that, who would actually want to read unintelligible content? Any serious web site owner wants to attract visitors by offering something useful that may tempt them to return. Whether your offering is products, services or information, the key to prosperity on the web is to offer something of value to your users.
So if you stumble upon a web site with very poorly worded content, the problem may not be due to an illiterate writer; the issue may be that the content has been spun.