Should You Spin Articles?

Last week I wrote about the challenge of writing content. There are many traditional methods of meeting this challenge, including free association writing, the thesaurus, and using other people’s written work as inspiration.

The development of software has enhanced some of these and even introduced some new options. One of the most popular is spinning.

Spinning is where software takes words from a piece of text and replaces them with synonyms, ones that have similar in meaning to the original word.

The problem is English is a complex language with over one million words (according to the Global Language Monitor). The current Oxford English Dictionary has entries for more than 170,000 words. Think about the possible duplications, substitutions and the way they can interact to affect the meaning of a sentence and it would be quite a program that could cope with that amount of data. Unsurprisingly, any program that a writer could afford is not going to be up to the job.

I believe this is why some articles you find online just don’t make sense. They are the result of spinning and the software couldn’t cope. Worse, the author just didn’t care. This cavalier attitude probably stems from the belief that more content means better placement in the search engines, no matter how poorly it is written as long as there’s a useful link to be had to boost a website’s ranking.

So we get a ‘military’ of affiliates instead of an army, the task at hand becomes a ‘task at palm’, and a search engine is transformed into a ‘pursuit machine’. I’ve even found a poor copy of one of my own articles which was about pay per click converted to one about pay per bang (totally different industry!)

Of course the above can be remedied with proofreading, but it seems to me it would be better to use the time writing an original article. You would get more practice writing naturally and you wouldn’t have to worry about Google penalising you for copying someone’s content.


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