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Old 25th March 2015, 11:11 AM   #1
DantheMan
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Default Can A "spun" Article Be Unique And Creative?

I read a post from a well respected and very reliable source for SEO guidance.
I had no clue what "spun" or "spinning" was, so I researched a little on the subject. I became confused on the difference between spinning and repurposing an article.
My observation is that article spinning is viewed as unethical.
If I had an article that was intended for an audience of a particular profession, the vocabulary and style used in the article would be technical. If I wanted to repurpose the article for a layman or less technical audience, wouldn't rewriting or spinning be the way to do that? Wouldn't this spun version be a creative way to attract different readers who are searching for different terminology? Wouldn't the content be unique? Is it not a good idea to repurpose material because the search engines will view it as duplicate content and take some sort of action or penalty against the new article or the site?

So, if an article is being repurposed, can a "spun" article be unique and creative?

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Old 25th March 2015, 11:44 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DantheMan View Post
...
So, if an article is being repurposed, can a "spun" article be unique and creative?
I think "spun" and "repurposed" are the same thing. If you are criticizing the practice, it is spun. If you are praising the practice, it is repurposed. (Like a winter's day in Houston at 48F is "freezing" but to a Bostonian in a winter storm, 48F is positively "balmy"!)

To answer your question - in my view, unique and creative can be applied to spun or repurposed articles, but spin or repurpose does not automatically make it unique or creative.

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Old 25th March 2015, 11:55 AM   #3
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My sentiments exactly, but I'm under the impression search engines have only the negative viewpoint.

Is the answer then, not to repurpose content?

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Old 25th March 2015, 02:34 PM   #4
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The answer is to write unique valuable content that targets long tail keywords. If you are spending all this time rewriting, is it really spun/etc. Yesterday I was reading a technical document that is not published on the Internet. The author provided a thorough conclusion, and then subsequently had a paragraph ... To state in other terms ... etc ... then went on to reexplain their conclusion in a different manner. This was done to reinforce clarity for those reading a technical matter ... it benefited the audience. Of course since this was not online, no one cares that the top paragraph was rewritten in a different way. Doing so benefited the audience. Get creative, just don't go close to the line and all will be ok. I think you are going more by what people "say" versus the reality of the algorithm. I personally/often test those boundaries to see where things crack. test test test, and you will have no doubt for yourself.

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Old 26th March 2015, 09:31 AM   #5
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I think there might be a little confusion about terminology here. "Spinning" and rewriting are not the same thing.

Rewriting an article so that it targets a different audience (for instance, taking a technical report and turning it into a white paper intended for non-technical corporate executives) is totally OK. In content marketing circles this is referred to as "repurposing."

It's a great way to get multiple uses out of the same basic content. After you've made the white paper out of the technical report, you can then take that white paper and break the content up, do a little massaging and you've got several blog posts. Take those blog posts and rework them into slides and you've got the starting point for a webinar. And so on and so forth.

Each piece of content you create is unique, hand-crafted and well suited to both the target audience and the delivery medium. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that -- it fact, it's exactly the sort of thing one should be doing!

"Spinning," on the other hand, involves automated software. Basically the site owner feeds in an article, either an original one they wrote themselves, or (more typically) a non-original article they either downloaded from an article repository or "scraped" from another legitimate website.

They then feed the software a lists of alternate keywords. The software then "slices and dices" the article, inserting synonym keywords and rearranging the sentence or paragraph order to create what the software authors call "unique content."

In the classic form of spinning, the site owner can easily create hundreds or even thousands of articles in a matter of seconds.

Now, most of the articles read like crap and are of very low value, but that's not the point. The site owner then posts these (also using automated software) to thousands of made-for-Adsense (MFA) blogs.

The idea is that when visitors land on these pages, the articles will be crappy, but the contextual ads will be relevant to the keywords on the page. With luck, visitors will bail on the article and click one of the ads instead, still trying to find the information they were seeking. The site owner then pockets the money from the click.

Each page is completely worthless. Some pages may only get one or two visitors, ever. Many of the pages will never generate a click at all. But with literally millions of pages "spun" out there, even a small percentage generating clicks can make money for the site owner.

Google has tried to crack down on this. That's one of the things the Panda update was designed to do. So it's made it harder, but not impossible, for this scheme to work. This is a good thing, but (speaking as a professional writer) I'd be even happier if they'd find a way to eliminate it entirely.

The problem is that some site owners who aren't in the spammy MFA arena have fallen for the marketing of the "spinner" software sellers. When selling this software, they tell site owners that they can use this software to create "unique" content for the site owners' blogs (nudge, nudge, wink, wink).

The real MFA crowd knows exactly what they mean and exactly what the software does (see above), but some innocent site owners are fooled into thinking this is a good way to create additional content for their legitimate websites, mistakenly believing "more" is the same as "better."

There is nothing wrong with rewriting/repurposing content. There is a great deal wrong with "spinning."

--Torka

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Last edited by torka; 26th March 2015 at 10:23 AM. Reason: fixed a typo - hate those typos!
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Old 26th March 2015, 09:51 AM   #6
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Thanks Torka, for yet another great explanation. I was hoping you would help me understand, without me asking you directly.

My last questions on the topic...Can a spinner program be valuable for rewriting and repurposing an article? Or are they really that useless for quality of readability and/or sentence structure?

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Old 26th March 2015, 10:20 AM   #7
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I'm not sure I can answer that, because I've never used a spinner program. I have come across many articles that were obviously "spun" and they generally border on unreadable... but that could be due to a lack of skill in using the software as opposed to an actual problem with the software itself.

My gut feeling, though, is that merely spinning isn't a good idea.

When content marketers talk about repurposing content, they don't mean just taking the same text and putting it in a different format. The "tone of voice" that one would use in a blog post is very different from what one might use in a white paper intended for an executive audience, for instance. So while both might be based on the same data that was originally gathered to produce an infographic, each one would need to be individually crafted. When you're gathering blog posts or newsletter articles to assemble into an ebook, you might not need to rewrite anything... or you might want to edit some of the older articles to include more recent findings or examples. In the first situation, you wouldn't need the spinner software. In the second, spinning wouldn't help you.

Of course, I could be prejudiced by the fact that I am a writer myself. But on the whole, I don't see a lot of legitimate use for spinning software.

--Torka

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Old 26th March 2015, 10:50 AM   #8
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My hypothesis is gaining validation. I was looking, however, for a possible new use for "spinning" software in a positive way. Oh well, I wouldn't want to risk the loss of qualities like tone and personality regardless of the time expense saved using it.

I'd like to hear if anyone has ever used a spinner program for repurposing. Before and after examples of an article would be appreciated.


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Old 26th March 2015, 11:18 AM   #9
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I just spun what you said, lets see what happens ...

"My speculation is picking up acceptance. I was looking, be that as it may, for a conceivable new use for "turning" programming in a positive manner. Goodness well, I wouldn't have any desire to hazard the loss of characteristics like tone and identity paying little heed to the time cost spared utilizing it.

I'd like to hear if anybody has ever utilized a spinner program for repurposing. Previously, then after the fact illustrations of an article would be acknowledged.

Dan"

Crap. crap, and more crap. that's all that i've ever seen.

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Old 26th March 2015, 11:37 AM   #10
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There's my fellow tester !!!
Good nite, more trouble than it's worth in memory space.
Thanks Logan, no more questions from me on this subject.


Dan

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