content spinning

Article Spinning – How Does it Impact Your SEO?

If you want your website to rank well in the search engines, you need to produce high-quality content for it. Google and the other main search engines like to see websites that are updated regularly with fresh content. Producing a steady stream of interesting, informative articles for your site can be a challenge, especially if you’re not a professional writer.

Some webmasters can be tempted to cheat and purchase content in bulk. One strategy that used to be popular with webmasters who struggled to write their own content was article spinning. The practice is a nice idea, in theory, but it can easily backfire. In case you wish to check your content quality – we are here to help you!

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What is Article Spinning

Article spinning is the practice of taking content that already exists and changing it so that it appears to be unique. This is done by taking several words from each sentence, and changing them for synonyms, using a markup language known as ‘spintax‘. With a little thought and some careful markup, one article could be turned into five or six articles, that all say the same thing in slightly different ways.

The Importance of Fresh Content

On paper, this is a great idea. Let’s assume it takes two hours to mark up a post with spintax so that you can put it through a spinning tool and generate six posts from it. Assuming those posts were of high quality, that would be an amazing work rate. It would be impossible to find a writer that could produce six high-quality blog posts in two hours!

Having fresh content is essential. Whether you are using those posts for blogger outreach, press releases, article marketing, or sponsored posts, fresh, high-quality content is the cornerstone of every good content marketing campaign. Google looks at the age of content, how unique it is, the keywords that are present and how they relate to each other, and how long humans spend reading the content, as well as other metrics. For instance, a health and wellness website with fresh content should be consistent with their content by posting articles within their niche and the articles are periodically updated. Another example is a 24/7 virtual receptionist service that produces content for business owners and operators to help them increase efficiency and productivity.

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Why is Article Spinning Bad for SEO

The complexity of Google’s algorithm is one of the reasons that article spinning falls down as an SEO strategy. While the content generated by article spinning is mostly readable, it’s easy for a human reader to tell that there’s something “wrong” with it. If you show a spun article to a random person on the street who doesn’t run their own website, they probably wouldn’t say “That article looks spun”, but they might say “Was this written by someone who isn’t a native English speaker”.

Spun articles are difficult to read, and because they’re difficult to read, people aren’t likely to read all the way through. They won’t share the articles, and they won’t want to link back to them. Google will spot that the content is spun, and punish your site for it.

How to Recognize Spun Content

We’ll start with a simple phrase:

“It’s important to have high quality, unique content for your blog”.

Now, let’s try to spin this phrase:

What else can you say for “important”, well, synonyms for “important” include “vital”, “crucial”, “essential”, so we can mark those up.

“It’s {important|vital|crucial|essential} to have high quality, unique content for your blog”.

We can do this for each word, so high quality could be changed for “top” quality “the best” quality, and so on.

At first, this doesn’t seem too bad, but the spin tools don’t know how each set of words will look when paired together, so our simple phrase could turn into something like:

“It is crucial to have the best quality, distinctive articles for your publication”.

Compare those phrases. The original phrase is easy to read, flows naturally, and is easy to understand. The second example looks like something that has been put through Google translate a few times for a joke. That’s because, in effect, it has!

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It’s easy to understand why people try spinning. Being able to get unique content, cheaply, and quickly, is a seductive idea. Spinning, however, is an outdated practice. In the early days of SEO, it worked because the search engines couldn’t understand the context that surrounded links. They just looked at the keywords on a page and counted the links. SEO doesn’t work like that anymore, and article spinning can actually harm your ranking.

Summing Up – Alternatives to Article Spinning

So, if spinning is bad, what should we do instead? Well, the answer is to focus on quality, not quantity. The good news is that now that search engines are smarter, you don’t need thousands upon thousands of posts to improve your rankings. The impact from a handful of posts that are well written and posted to authoritative sites can be bigger than you think. Furthermore, if you engage in partnerships or other affiliate marketing, you can create a network to help your content grow.

Stay away from those Internet marketers that promise you thousands of backlinks and mass-marketing campaigns, and focus on making a real impact with some targeted outreach. It will pay off.


Mary J.


I am a passionate blogger and the chief editor at my own content marketing company PRable. Since college, I was interested in break-through technology and technical writing about innovative products and services that change our everyday lives for the better. I am also interested in web design and photography.