If you look on any blackhat SEO forum or website (and yes, they are out there in full force), you will come across the term “article spinning.” The premise is that a business set up parasite blogs – that which have no purpose other than to boost rankings – and then “spin” articles for your fresh content. It’s uncomplicated and much like a game of fill-in-the-blanks. You change the basic words to a synonym to arrive at the same sentence only with different words. Such as:
Article spinning is easy when you understand the idea.
Spinning an article is simple when you know how to do it.
Article spinning is simple when you understand it.
And so on. There are online services that will format an article and then spin it up to 100 times. You are not getting 100 quality, original pieces but 100 of the same piece with slightly different word variations. The purpose is to stuff links in these articles and make them attractive to search engines. In the SEO world, this is considered a blackhat technique. There is no real content; it is intended as a show for the search engines, not for human beings to actually read and take meaning from.
Is article spinning always “bad”? Not necessarily. If you have a variety of sites that you want content for, you might take a piece from one of your websites and rework it to suit your others. This could be considered “spinning,” but the content has value to your readers and is more cost-effective for you. The problem comes when these articles are nonsensical and have no purpose other than to generate a better page rank.
Spinning is also blackhat, and a violation of intellectual property rights, when content is taken from a third party. ZDNet SEO blogger, Stephen Chapman, ran into this when one of his posts was spun without his consent. Chapman ended his post with: Questions/comments/concerns? Speak your mind in the comments section below!” The spun version read: “Questions/comments/concerns? Talk the mind in the notes section under!” As you can see, the spun content is clearly copied and just as clearly nonsensical. It is not written for human consumption; it is not even written by humans!
Content is king, but spun content has little to no value for the site visitors. Because of its lack of relevancy or quality, it can actually undermine legitimate SEO techniques and harm your position on the SERPs.