Spinning articles for SEO

by Tim Hill (aka Doodled)

April 27th 2011
Spinning articles works, but for how much longer and could there be penalties later?
Spinning articles works, but for how much longer and could there be penalties later?

Before I start, an explanation.

Spinning articles means taking one piece of text and running it through computer software so it looks like a different piece of text but still on the same theme. This makes it possible for some SEO companies to offer 100 articles for $100 or the like.

In reality the articles spewed out by the software are not always in readable English so they are farmed out to freelancers who correct them for a few cents a piece.

Now there are two very important points here:

  • spinning articles does work
  • it is a practice I have never used and never will

Spinning articles works

Yes, it works at the moment. And this is what leads some website owners astray. They talk to a company that spins and that company can point to real success stories.

But it only works because most search engines can't spot the spinning. However they are fully aware that it happens and, like duplicate content, they are working hard on the algorithms that will recognise such articles.

This means that you could invest a great deal of time and money in the practice today for it all to be worthless tomorrow. This is exactly what happened to the websites that built up their rankings using link farms and duplicate content they are falling like flies from the search engine results pages.

I won't do it

Despite being asked numerous times this is not a practice for me.

Apart from the problems above (which would undermine any client relationship) all SEO work should be guided by a simple principle:

Does this website deserve the link?

This is the route to high long term rankings and gaining future clients through word of mouth rather than Google Ads!

Grey hat today, black hat tomorrow

If a website doesn't deserve a link then at some point crawlers like Google will work this out and the costs involved in getting that link will be wasted. Historically we can see this:

  • Reciprocal links all the rage in SEO for a while until they were discounted by search engines
  • Link farms a great money spinner for some companies but it is now coming to an end following the Google Panda update
  • Spamming forums and blogs with non-themed links was good business and still is but as word spreads that this is no longer effective
  • Article spinning good today, gone tomorrow!

So when you are considering who to hire for your SEO think carefully about the offers. Anyone who suggests practices which are 'not natural' is offering you a short term solution at best, or black hatting your site at worst.