Article marketing: yoo-hoo, Mr Search Engine! Take a spin over here!

Did you know that one “article” (about anything from plastic injection moulding to spiritualism) can be “spun” into at least umpty-dump different versions? Yes, and you don’t even have to do it yourself, although there are English speakers in some places willing to do it for peanuts. Also there are several software programs you can buy that will do it for you for even fewer peanuts. Automated article writing by the yard. Isn’t life grand?

Article spinning is where it’s at in the article marketing field these days, so it seems. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about it:

Article spinning is a search engine optimization technique by which blog or website owners attempt to manipulate their rank on Google and other search engines. It works by rewriting existing articles, or parts of articles, and replacing elements to avoid being penalized in the Search Engine Results pages (SERP) for using duplicate content. The original articles are often plagiarized from other websites and can often also be copyright infringements if the original article was used without the copyright owner’s permission.

To wriggle under the Google radar that only likes so-called original material, each incarnation of an article which is going to be picked up by Google and whatever other search engines still remain has to be different from its 67 clones being used by the article marketer concerned.

Do writers like me rack our brains hysterically and come up with 68 different, original articles that make sense and offer something useful and interesting to our readers? Is this what article spinning is all about?

Well, no. Some article marketers pay English speakers – mostly in Asian countries – the very generous fee of at least USD $1.50 per 500 word article … if you’re lucky maybe up to USD $3 for a longer one … so you need to get pretty good at spinning articles by the dozen if you want to earn a decent crust, even in a country where the cost of living is lower than in the UK or the USA.

But wait a minute. Who needs humans when a software program will do?

On my recent little tour on the internet I found such wizzo delights as Article Writer Pro, Hot Article Spinner, and Instant Article Wizard – which flaunts itself with the headline Create Top-Quality Unique Content–From Scratch, In Minutes–Even If You Know Nothing About The Topic!”

These programs allow you to plumb one article – yours, or someone else’s (who cares? Plagiarism is the least of their problems) and with a mere few clicks you’re on your way to multi-article heaven when the program generates the same garbage using hundreds if not thousands of different synonyms for the original terms and phrases.

So how can you possibly go wrong? How could you possibly contemplate using a professional, or at least qualified writer whose first language is English, when you can have articles to promote your business spun by a software package for a mere USD $77 per annum or thereabouts?

Well, it’s a business model that obviously works. So what’s the problem?

Aha, it would appear some article marketers get a bit too confident about the whole thing and produce articles which, although packed with rich keywords and links to sponsors’ sites, make about as much sense and are as useful as a chocolate teapot.

Here is an example, which particularly pains me and I’ll tell you why once you’ve read it:

Work Done At Home. How To Reach True?

Posted by Writing- Expert in Internet Marketing

In order to find additional earnings in the Internet is necessary to be able to do something. Simply so nobody will pay to you. Therefore as on the Internet as well as in real life the present person pays the money, let even through an electronic purse pas. Everyone tries to grow rich by means of the Internet. On all sites it is told about surfing, reading of letters, viewing of pictures as about an easy way of earnings. And you saw, how many pay for reading of letter? Count, how many it is necessary for your to work on thus easy work to earn, for example, hundred dollars? Let even if you have involved one thousand referrals. The total amount will not so impress.

I could fill up an entire book with similarly atrocious “articles” from the bottom-feeding end of free article sites. (There are some genuinely good, professional sites though, like EzineArticles.com.)

But why does this one pain me in particular? It’s an excerpt from my namesake site, “HowToWriteBetter.com.” I think even my dogs and cats could write better than that. I’m embarrassed for the site, but I don’t suppose they care one bit.

Am I being a precious old moo, or am I justified in feeling angry at the way these article spinners devalue and degrade the ancient craft of writing?

Suze

POSTSCRIPT … a couple of months after I wrote this article Google saw the light and outlawed at least some of the practices I described, which made me very happy. What made me even happier was that my beloved “namesake,” HowToWriteBetter.com, vanished into cyberspace, and I was able to buy the “dot com” version quite reasonably. RIP, you cheating scammers…

Now, let’s put an even more  professional, genuine spin on your  writing:

“How To Write About Yourself”…how to make the most of yourself, whatever you need to write

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“Banana Skin Words and how not to slip on them”…over 1,500 spelling and grammar tips to perfect your written English

Comments

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Thoughts

  1. As some one who has learned to blog from scratch, I find that these so called spun articles totally devalue the blogging experience 🙁
    Some bloggers think this is the way to go – sadly it’s not, then they think that social media tools don’t work.

    • What really annoys me is the way these people have hijacked terms like “blogs” and “articles” and used them to describe these ludicrous mish-mashes of nonsense words.

      It has crossed my mind to suggest they are renamed appropriately. “Bogs” and “farticles” spring to mind, but perhaps that’s being unkind to the comparative good sense of all things lavatorial.

      Sz

  2. I have had several of my blog posts stolen by those types of of spinners and used to create whole new websites so they can money from Google adwords- it really pains me especially as those articles were about real people that I meet in the course of my work. But there you have it

    • That’s disgraceful, Ida. Have you contacted these pirates? Mind you they’re probably so slippery that it would be hard to find out who and where they are and even then they would probably mess you around for months. Grrrr.

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