From My Desk To Yours – 33rd Edition

Red Flags Sent Up By Spun Articles
By: Penny, EzineArticles Managing Editor

A while ago, I wrote a post on standing up against spun content, or what I then called “chopped-up word salad” (others went further to call it “article vomit”).

No matter what name you have for it, spun content is an ugly practice.

Spinning software tries to imitate the hard work and dedication involved in writing 100% fresh, original content by taking completed articles and replacing select words in those articles with synonyms. This lazy practice creates articles that aren’t unique and oftentimes just plain don’t make sense. Submitting spun content or promoting the act of spinning articles will result in an account suspension.

There are a few telltale signs we see that indicate to us that an article has been spun. Here’s an inside look at some of those signs:

  • Synonyms – Words replaced with synonyms sound silly and don’t make sense (e.g. Elizabeth Wise, Elizabeth Sensible = Elizabeth Smart). Sometimes, the author has neglected to make the spun word selection (e.g. “might cause the following: unsafe decline | slide | decrease | fall in your blood pressure”). This is a huge flag.
     
  • Inconsistent Numbers – “66% of individuals with cellphones use them everyday. eighty three% of cellphone owners use daily …” Data from surveys have very specific meaning and generic word replacement ruins that meaning.
     
  • Word Replacement – Exchange of the word “an” for “a” – as in “an apple” becomes “a apple.” This is a flag if the article – an – hasn’t been changed.
     
  • Random Capitalization – Common in Keywords, If authors Randomly Capitalize words In Their Sentences excessively, there are likely to be more grammar issues throughout.
     
  • Improperly Used Periods To Break Up Sentence Structure – “The.concentrate of our own awakening fills us with such gratitude for period, that each of us couldn’t envisage extant without model.”
     
  • Inconsistent List Pattern
    1. List Item A.
    2. List Item B.
    three. List Item C.
    4. List Item D.
     
  • Excessive Alliteration – When words in a row all start with the same letter. “Our absolutely accomplished blow helpline agents will buzz you and aggregate the advice they charge to accomplish an blow claim.” A little bit of alliteration in the right spot can improve the flow of an article, but too much can make it look like the article was spun and never read aloud.
     
  • Summary vs. Content in the Article Body – Sometimes, the spinning program only changes the article body and leaves the summary unchanged, so the summary matches the original. Compare the summary to the first paragraph, as well as content within the article body and look for any of the patterns mentioned above.

These are just some of the things we see that make us suspect an article has been spun. We are constantly updating our software and educating our editors in an effort to stop any of these spun articles from being published.

NOTE: Spun content isn’t the same as repurposed content from your website or blog. You are allowed to submit content from your website to EzineArticles as long as you have exclusive rights to use that content. Spun articles are rehashed and present no new information and are not to be confused with repurposed content.

28 Comments »


1

Thank you for this list, Penny. I have written hundreds of EzineArticles.com articles. And I have never used a spinner — basically because spinners always seemed to me to be “too good to be true!” Your list shows just how bad a spun article can be.

Comment provided August 10, 2011 at 9:31 AM

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2
Jorge Herrera writes:

Spun articles make no sense for the reader and show absolute lack of self-respect and respect for your readers. Users of spinning software lose.

Comment provided August 10, 2011 at 9:35 AM

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3
Karen McGreevey writes:

Penny, thank you for taking the time to point out some of the egregious things that can happen when you spin an article. (Looks a bit like some of the “spam” comments I’m seeing in the spam catcher for my blog posts lately!)

Although I’ve never used a spinner to “write and to submit an article anywhere”, I do confess to trying to use a spinner because I wanted to see what it was like and if I wanted to use one.

However, it took too long to try to make any sense of what was spun that I abandoned that idea, the spun article and the notion before I got a headache.

Comment provided August 10, 2011 at 9:45 AM

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4
Laura Ginn writes:

Spun articles are such a waste of time and part of the reason why the web is full of such rubbish content. People who think they can use spun articles on websites are in most cases just thinking it is an easy way to rank high in the search engines – newsflash people:

1 – Google are getting cleverer and what might have worked in the past will not work forever.

2 – If you do happen to get a high page ranking, your readers won’t be interested in the text anyway and will click off your site within seconds.

I’m up for banning spun content everywhere! Let’s start a riot!

Comment provided August 10, 2011 at 9:50 AM

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kari writes:

I don’t think there’s a need to start a riot! lol.

I agree with you, yes – spun articles are a waste of time, but many newbie’s are not aware of that and they get sucked into the “If you spin your articles you will do better way faster than if you just write your own unique articles!”. You can’t blame them! It’s enticing! That’s why article spinners are making money!

In that case it’s a lack of experience online and a desire to succeed quicker – maybe a little greed.

It takes some experience online to understand that nothing comes quickly, and that you won’t be successful by trying to cheat the system.

And the people who do use the spinners eventually learn that they are not worth it.

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Carl writes:

Hey Kari:

Excellent points – being a veteran of this online marketing certainly gives you the knowledge and reality “easy is not always profitable or a great way to get noticed.”

Ignorance mixed with desire to succeed and be the next online star drives a newbie to think cheating the system will be a noble venture – and yes definitely a bit of greed.

Thanks for sharing.

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Laura Ginn writes:

Lol I was joking about the riot ;-)

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Carl writes:

Nothing wrong with a good online riot every now and again – keeps us on our toes. LOL! :)

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5
Robin Yule writes:

I’ve just returned to writing after raising my children. The world of article writing has changed! I used to publish articles in those old fashioned paper things called magazines!

Upon my return to writing, I have found article writing online exciting and am still working on getting my website up, but I do enjoy research and sharing what I’ve learned with others.

I had no idea people could use a program to “spin” and article! It’s all new to me! Not only is it wrong, but if I were, or ever am, the author of a spun article, I’ll be livid! Is there any recourse for the original author?
Robin

Comment provided August 10, 2011 at 12:20 PM

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6
ed writes:

Thanks for explaining what spun content is.

Comment provided August 10, 2011 at 3:33 PM

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7
Carl writes:

I bought into spinner software a few years back thinking it would be the next greatest thing for me but after going through the process and seeing the results I was so annoyed and would never want my name associated with the crap it “spun” out, that I got my money back and life went on.

I agree with all the comments of this being a poor choice and “too good to be true” because it is.

Comment provided August 10, 2011 at 4:06 PM

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8
Leon Makojed writes:

Penny, thanks for the well put post.

As an aging newbie in the online world, I thought I must be behind the times because I have resisted investing in article spinning software.

I now feel vindicated in not contributing to the dross flooding the internet.

Comment provided August 10, 2011 at 5:28 PM

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9
Rajiv Sighamony writes:

I agree, moreover, since the number of articles on the web is present in large numbers on the same topic, there could be times, when an article might appear spun, even though, it was not spun by the author. Still, I agree with the fact that deliberately indulging in producing spun content is not a healthy practice.

Comment provided August 11, 2011 at 2:12 AM

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10
Lance Winslow writes:

As far as I am concerned, it is so rude and unfair to EzineArticles that they have to deal with this. EzineArticles provides a GREAT service, and it’s just so unfair that folks work to take advantage of this hard-working team. Article Authors should be just as upset with such abuse as EzineArticles perhaps is, it’s just wrong. Please be responsible, don’t ruin it for everyone else.

Comment provided August 11, 2011 at 3:48 AM

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11
Hermes UK writes:

I agree with the first reviewer’s comment!
Keep focus on aboute this topic!

Comment provided August 11, 2011 at 4:53 AM

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12
Mark Demers writes:

I tried spinning an article once and that was enough – to me writing is much easier than spinning and when you read a spun article it never has the same tone or flow that you can make by writing it yourself.
I`ve seen and tried reading some of those spun articles and let me say the articles suffer because of this.
I agree with writing your articles and not spinning them just to get another article online.

Comment provided August 11, 2011 at 7:51 AM

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13
Kathy writes:

Penny, This made me laugh out loud! That stuff is just as bad as “comment spam.” Just yesterday, I got a “comment” that – I’ll have to copy it here for you all to laugh until you cry over – Ok… Ready? Here goes – and honest – this is WORD for WORD.

Here it is:

“Even though you do not like the shoes you happen to be observed, could possibly be you’ll really feel a little bit compromised Nike Shox NZ. Become don’t forget one of the best some may be not necessarily the 1st seem, as well as do not throw in the towel!Nike Shox TL3 Retain considering one other antique trend stores until you see one which possesses which has the uncommon Nike Shox R4 shoes that will you’ve recently been fantasizing with. Make sure persist on your own action as well as do not stop!”

Is that not one of the most awful things you’ve ever seen? How can anyone take a spinning spammer seriously?

Thanks for covering the topic, and for giving me an opportunity to share a real-life example of it!

Cheers,
Kath

Comment provided August 11, 2011 at 2:59 PM

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Kathy,

Wow! Yes, that’s a perfect example! It’s terrible!

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14
Kami Lacasa writes:

I did not know that it’s OK to submit content from your website to EzineArticles.

I’ve had articles rejected because they found it to be duplicate content – because someone had already lifted it from my site! How can you prove its “yours” and not “theirs” when this happens?

Comment provided August 11, 2011 at 4:03 PM

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Kami,

When we review articles, we look at the published date of the original. This is also why it is important to always put your name on your writing. It helps us to determine ownership and builds your credibility.

I’d also recommend you contact the owner/webmaster of the site and ask them to fix the oversight. (Sometimes, it is an oversight.)

If that doesn’t work, contact the site’s ISP/Host and ask them to enforce their AUP (Acceptable Use Policy). This information can usually be found by doing a WHOIS lookup on the domain name.

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15
Linda Smith writes:

I kept getting junk mail, and seeing ads for article spinners. So, I tried one, for free, of course. I was curious since I realize that a machine cannot do what humans do manually, in a lot of cases. Writing is one of those instances where a human is needed.

So, I placed the article in the spinner program. Then I read my spun masterpiece. Believe me, it was a masterpiece.

Frankly, if I took a canvas and laid it on the floor covered with safe paint, then let my dog and cat run all over it, they would create a real masterpiece.

The spun article from the spinner was worse than a bad joke.

The results of my test where that I had my curiosity satisfied, and I had a few chuckles. The end results were so bad, I couldn’t even laugh at them.

Although I had no intentions of using the spun article; I have to say this, the spun article was pathetic.

Comment provided August 14, 2011 at 6:09 PM

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16
Shirley Slick writes:

I recently found on other sites several of my articles that had been spun and given other author names–but my name and website always show up at the bottom of my articles. (Just how stupid are these people?) I couldn’t find any “contact us” info, so I decided to “leave a comment.” To my shock, the comment got spun as well! Sad, but kind of funny, too. The reworded comment just verifies the article is spun. (How does the site immediately spin the comments and why?)

Comment provided August 15, 2011 at 7:15 AM

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Jan Verhoeff writes:

Those sites are usually not managed by a person, they’re computer generated and managed by a “system” – which is something the Search Engines try to eliminate. Not a good business practice, in general, but it’s done often.

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17
Jan Verhoeff writes:

I wrote a patriotic article several years ago that somehow got out of hand with spinners. I’ve seen that article with my name still attached, spun so many different ways, with different synonyms that it’s embarrassing. Usually it’s on other country sites, with the wrong synonyms and bad wording. It used to infuriate me, but now I laugh when I see it, because it’s been spun so far out of my content that anyone who has ever read my work would know it isn’t mine anymore. The title of the article had a misspelling in the original, that I’ve since changed. That misspelling is still with the spun article. I do wish they had the knobs to take my name off the article though. :)

Comment provided August 16, 2011 at 9:16 AM

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18
Kylie white writes:

Penny, You said it. In order to make money, some people can kill other people, so stealing a content is a very misdemeanor to their eyes. Writer knows how difficult it is to come up with most unique influential ways to grab reader’s attention. and this content thieves snatch the hard work of a writer. I think Google is fully aware of this spammy articles, and trying its best not to rank those articles.

Comment provided August 23, 2011 at 3:55 PM

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19
M Francis writes:

It is like a bootleg CD, a fake Rolex. It is an un-ethical approach to article authoring and marketing. I’ve heard of people buying articles for as little as $3-$5! Why would anyone waste their valuable reputation by publishing spun articles, when an original can be purchased so cheap?

Comment provided August 28, 2011 at 1:35 PM

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20
Wolfgang writes:

There is too much hype out there, and get rich quick schemes that people get sucked into, there is no get rich quick, and article spinners should be called article spammers.

Comment provided September 3, 2011 at 2:13 AM

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21
Maria Caniedo writes:

As newbie, i thought that spinning is good.Unknowingly, it’s a funny way of making article that the words are imitated and twisted ,it is no longer fitted to the sentence.

Thanks Ma’am for the reminders,i learned a lot !

Comment provided December 19, 2011 at 3:14 PM

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