If you’re a writer, a content provider, or a reader of online material, then this debate concerns you.
Readers want to find authentic articles that answer their questions accurately. But they often stumble upon weak resources and their many clones
So why is there such a flood of recycled writing? And, is article-spinning legal?
That’s what we’ll explore in the following sections.
Why Is Article-Spinning An Issue?
There’s a ‘cat and mouse’ scene going on in cyberspace between Google and the ‘Black-Hats’ to decrease this phenomenon. Google has a bunch of reasons to shave off the shady articles, as this maintains its ranking as a valuable search tool.
A sizable sector of writers shares the same willingness to filter out article spinning. These are the ‘White-Hats’ who create original articles and follow Google’s guidelines.
The ‘Grey-Hats’ are the third category of writers, and these claim that they only clone their work to cut across the red-tape of online visibility. This has merit, as ranking high in a google search could take years if you don’t play the SEO game.
Many content creators say that generating multiple articles out of one seed is fair play. It allows them to outsmart the mechanics of online ranking. At the same time, it gives them some leverage against the Black-Hats. So this tactic, to them, is just leveling the field.
What Exactly Is Article-Spinning?
Article-spinning is deriving multiple versions of an existing text.
Instead of writing original work, many writers take a sneak peek at another writer’s work and deliberately copy it. To avoid getting caught, these said writers modify the phrasing and specific words.
Spinning-articles doesn’t necessarily have to be re-wording someone else’s work. It could just as well be re-crafting one’s own work.
It doesn’t even have to be manual at all. Software apps have been available since 2005 to do that job. AI is currently used to churn-out spun pieces with high-readability and a low-similarity index.
So why do people recycle articles? And what happens if they get caught? That’s what we’ll get into next.
Why Some Content Creators Use Article-Spinning?
Driving traffic to websites translates to cash. That’s the simple fact of online content creation.
Bloggers and commercial sites have to add new articles every day. This is essential to reach and maintain a viable ranking in Google. However, not everyone has the capability and resources to create original material on a daily basis.
Hiring or outsourcing good writers could be quite expensive; therefore, it’s not a big surprise to see article-spinning presenting itself as a cheap alternative.
Freelance writers sometimes resort to cloning their own articles. They sell them afterward to multiple buyers. Are you wondering how they get away with it?
That’s part of the article-spinning technology. The apps make various changes in words and sentence structures until the article is unrecognizable by plagiarism-checking tools.
This scheme isn’t leak-proof, though. Word changes could delude the automated tools, but humans aren’t affected in the same manner. It’s not hard for a reader to spot the similarities. If a client discovers that he outsourced cloned articles, the consequences wouldn’t be pretty.
The Upside of Article-Spinning
A blogger who’s just starting has a million and one tasks to do. He/she might also have a day job, which limits the amount of time they can give to creating content. Many of these upcoming bloggers soon give up and quit.
Others prepare an initial amount of articles, then spin-off as much as they need to keep their site alive. Staying in the game is a good cause. And in this particular case, there’s no plagiarism or copying someone else’s ideas.
This is another variation of Grey-Hat tactics.
The Downside of Article-Spinning
The main principle of article-spinning is ‘thou shall not get caught.’ Whether manual or automated, spun articles have a way of dodging plagiarism tools. Officially, they’re good to go. But ethically? That’s another story.
Being inspired by someone’s work is a pretty sentiment, but imitating it isn’t. This behavior is especially counterproductive to serious writers.
The readers are affected, as well. With the abundance of dud articles, researchers and browsers need to spend more time looking for valuable content.
Some manufacturers also play a devious trick to push their products. They over-publish review articles that praise their product. In this case, the ranking of the site isn’t the primary goal, but it helps.
This practice is more detrimental if it deals with drugs or health-related products. The fake positive vibe created by over-spun articles might encourage several users to try a wonder medicine that’s not that good for them.
Spin Rewriter: A Popular AI-Tool for Article-Spinning
This is one of several apps used extensively in automated article-spinning. It’s a user-friendly platform that’s been in the market for more than ten years.
During this time, several apps rose and fell, but Spin Rewriter managed to stay at the front and center of the article-churning business. We covered how this article spinner works in our Spin Rewriter review.
The basic setting in automated article spinners is composing a more readable or a more unique output. Most users choose the ‘more unique’ option. That’s to make sure that they wouldn’t be flagged as presenting copied text and penalized.
There’s a choice to seed from a personal article or look for a public one. The prime package users get a choice of more than ten good articles. They pick the one they like best, and then the app modifies it.
There’s a setting for manual intervention at the end of the cycle, or re-processing to get a lower percentage of similar text.
Article-Spinning In the Balance
So, is article spinning legal? This is certainly an essential question if you’re involved in internet marketing and content creation.
When Google issued the Panda and Penguin updates ten years ago, the main objective was weeding out the excess cloned text. Article-spinning might not be explicitly illegal, but it’s frowned upon, and many online users view it as unethical.
Google couldn’t penalize the websites that opted for spinning articles and practicing similar behaviors. However, they dealt with the matter by drowning these websites into cyber-oblivion.
New bloggers are confident that this is a benign practice that helps them thrive while many writers and readers see article-spinning as robot-authors targeting an audience of AI-crawlers.
Disclaimer: I'm not a lawyer, and this article doesn’t replace official legal advice. Its intent is discussing the matter of article-spinning in broad terms.