Content is King - the case AGAINST article spinning.

32 replies
I was just looking at the stats for my biggest content site and discovered something interesting. Over the life of the site, 52.3% of the traffic has been from long tail keywords. This site ranks #1 for 3 targeted keywords and #2-3 for another bigger keyword. Even still, over half of my visitors have found me using very specific searches.

So while it's great that I rank for "poodle training*," most of my visitors find my site when they search for "how do I keep my poodle from peeing on the floor*," or such (*not my keywords).

This tells me two things.

First, if you have a thin site, you're only hurting yourself. If you're indexed and ranking, more content will bring you more visitors.

Second and most important, the guy who is looking for help to keep his dog from peeing on the floor doesn't want spun junk. He has a need and wants someone to help him. If you give him real content related to his search, he'll likely stay around long enough to opt in to your report, to buy your product or to click on your affiliate links. If he sees meaningless spun drivel, he'll hit the back button.

Why would anyone want to serve up garbage to over half of their guests?

There will be those who say, "but what about using spun articles for backlinks?" If that's all you're interested in, just pay someone for an Xrumer blast. I think of things a little differently, however. My distributed content is a widening of my net. If someone reads my content away from my site, there are decent odds that they'll click through to read more. Just like with the long tail keywords, none pulls in a bunch, but the cumulative effect is worthwhile - plus I have backlinks.

What about those who say, "but ______________ creates quality spun articles." I still think you're focus is in the wrong place. If you put as much effort and thought in your visitors as you do in producing quantity, you'd have five times the results you're seeing now.

What are your thoughts?
#article #article spinning #case #content #king #long tail keywords #spinning
  • Profile picture of the author Toby Lewis
    Thank you!

    I really needed to hear this. I'm pretty crap at 'keyword' research. I think it's a much better idea to write naturally, that way your articles will be human and real. You'll get a real following and you can use more social media instead for traffic.

    I think google will reward accordingly for great content.

    Basically, you can make some cash with SEO and specific keywords, but you can make a sustainable business with interesting quality content and a good following.

    At least I hope thats right because I'm just about to start on a massive blog based on this philosophy!
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  • Profile picture of the author dsprank
    Great Post!

    I think that there are too many people that want to take the easy way out, but then they wonder why they are not making any money. I was the same way at first. Almost quit because I did not make a dime using other people content that was all over the web.
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    Another thing - and I know it's a pain - is to look at formatting.

    I was reading a national newspaper site yesterday (Ny Post or
    something) and the formatting was so distracting I couldn't
    read the darned article. It had boxes and incursions all over
    the place I didn't want to look at, ads and stuff. There are
    different opinions, but mine is if your ads are so in-your-face
    that it makes the site an anti-enjoyable experience, most
    people will just look elsewhere for the information.

    Furthermore, a lot of content sites have long paragraphs of
    text and no typographic variation within the articles - no
    bolding, callouts, Johnson Boxes quoting good parts from
    the article and so on. I realize it's a pain in the butt to
    make your stuff look different and more appealing to the eye,
    but in today's marketplace, are you sure you want to be
    lazy about engaging your readers?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
    Kelly,

    I agree with most of what your saying.

    From my perspective your comparing apples to oranges.

    Originally written content has its place, mainly as a page on your site.

    Taking content and spinning it, is not for placing on your site but for content distribution and of course back links.

    I could take the keyword phrase "how to keep my poodle from peeing on the floor" along with other related phrases and spin those into many well written spinnable articles and publish them to article sites and point them back to the original article published on the site.

    To me your comparing two things that serve different purposes.

    Originally Posted by Kelly Verge View Post

    I was just looking at the stats for my biggest content site and discovered something interesting. Over the life of the site, 52.3% of the traffic has been from long tail keywords. This site ranks #1 for 3 targeted keywords and #2-3 for another bigger keyword. Even still, over half of my visitors have found me using very specific searches.

    So while it's great that I rank for "poodle training*," most of my visitors find my site when they search for "how do I keep my poodle from peeing on the floor*," or such (*not my keywords).

    This tells me two things.

    First, if you have a thin site, you're only hurting yourself. If you're indexed and ranking, more content will bring you more visitors.

    Second and most important, the guy who is looking for help to keep his dog from peeing on the floor doesn't want spun junk. He has a need and wants someone to help him. If you give him real content related to his search, he'll likely stay around long enough to opt in to your report, to buy your product or to click on your affiliate links. If he sees meaningless spun drivel, he'll hit the back button.

    Why would anyone want to serve up garbage to over half of their guests?

    There will be those who say, "but what about using spun articles for backlinks?" If that's all you're interested in, just pay someone for an Xrumer blast. I think of things a little differently, however. My distributed content is a widening of my net. If someone reads my content away from my site, there are decent odds that they'll click through to read more. Just like with the long tail keywords, none pulls in a bunch, but the cumulative effect is worthwhile - plus I have backlinks.

    What about those who say, "but ______________ creates quality spun articles." I still think you're focus is in the wrong place. If you put as much effort and thought in your visitors as you do in producing quantity, you'd have five times the results you're seeing now.

    What are your thoughts?
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    • Profile picture of the author AlexPost
      I currently use original quality content on my own site and submit spiinned/rewritten articles to directories for backlinks. I agree that the content on your actual site has to be of high quality. Otherwise, the person will simply leave and will remember that your site provided junk information.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      I could take the keyword phrase "how to keep my poodle from peeing on the floor" along with other related phrases and spin those into many well written spinnable articles and publish them to article sites and point them back to the original article published on the site.

      So a visitor finds your article on ArticlesBase from a long-tail search (how do I keep my dog from urinating on the rug). He reads your "well-spun" article. He clicks on your link. He finds the same article written in a different way. In most cases, what do you guess his next action would be?

      This is the problem that comes from using content for the search engines rather than your visitor.
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        Well I did not really feel that I needed to explain the "whole" concept behind how to write an article and spin it, and how to segment it so that a reader who finds it on an article directory will be enticed to finish reading by clicking through to the original content was necessary, but I guess it is.

        Love my grammar?



        Originally Posted by Kelly Verge View Post

        So a visitor finds your article on ArticlesBase from a long-tail search (how do I keep my dog from urinating on the rug). He reads your "well-spun" article. He clicks on your link. He finds the same article written in a different way. In most cases, what do you guess his next action would be?

        This is the problem that comes from using content for the search engines rather than your visitor.
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    • Profile picture of the author DeborahDera
      Originally Posted by Rus Sells View Post

      Kelly,

      I agree with most of what your saying.

      From my perspective your comparing apples to oranges.

      Originally written content has its place, mainly as a page on your site.

      Taking content and spinning it, is not for placing on your site but for content distribution and of course back links.

      I could take the keyword phrase "how to keep my poodle from peeing on the floor" along with other related phrases and spin those into many well written spinnable articles and publish them to article sites and point them back to the original article published on the site.

      To me your comparing two things that serve different purposes.
      I agree here. In theory, the content on your page and spun content should exist in two totally separate worlds. I would never put spun content on my page and I might not even use that article to create spun versions for other purposes. I generally use a different article and create other versions, but I usually do a manual rewrite.

      I do believe that the problem with spun content is that people don't check the work they're putting out on the web. You can spin an article that isn't pure crud - complete with decent keywords -IF you watch what you're doing and proofread your work. It may take a few minutes to double check what you're doing, but it won't take nearly as long as writing dozens of unique articles.
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  • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
    Originally Posted by Kelly Verge View Post

    What are your thoughts?
    I'd strongly suggest you take a look at the 'quality content' offered up by the likes of thefind.com, nextag.com and bizrate.com and then look at how they rank for a wide variety of buying search terms before pontificating again about how 'content is king'.

    Originally Posted by Kelly Verge View Post

    In most cases, what do you guess his next action would be?
    20% of the time they'll click an ad and I'll get paid.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Goodwin
    Originally Posted by Kelly Verge View Post

    I was just looking at the stats for my biggest content site and discovered something interesting. Over the life of the site, 52.3% of the traffic has been from long tail keywords. This site ranks #1 for 3 targeted keywords and #2-3 for another bigger keyword. Even still, over half of my visitors have found me using very specific searches.
    There is no doubt that in some niches, and for some keywords, this is true. But, this is certainly not true for all niches and keywords. There are no doubts tons of niches and keywords that the main keyword accounts >80% of all search traffic, even if you picked up all the longer trail and LSI varieties.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kelly Verge
      Originally Posted by Tom Goodwin View Post

      There is no doubt that in some niches, and for some keywords, this is true. But, this is certainly not true for all niches and keywords. There are no doubts tons of niches and keywords that the main keyword accounts >80% of all search traffic, even if you picked up all the longer trail and LSI varieties.

      I'm sure you are right.

      Curious after your reply, I looked through a "random" sampling of my other sites. Of those I looked at, the highest was 78% long-tail. The lowest was 47%. Obviously there is some variance, so there would most certainly be some as low as you stated.

      Just a sidenote: my physical-product sites have the highest percentage of long-tail visitors.
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  • Profile picture of the author petelta
    I right there with you Kelly. For all of my authority sites, I focus on creating the best answer for the keywords searched....in other words, the top quality content I possibly can. After do that for a couple months, I started noticing the same thing. Most of my traffic was coming from long tail keywords that I wasn't even targeting.
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    • Profile picture of the author Gino Robin
      Hi
      As to Spin Contents is like fraud and this is a trade mark of the "lazy internet marketer" Well in the short run the spinning will work ...but definitly in the long run...Google will find a way to stop this ..."fast new lazy method"

      I think there must be a POLL Run on content Spinning

      Wonder what will be the next...spinnnnning.......mmmmmmm..Spinning long tail keywords..?????

      Thanks I Apreciate
      Gino
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      • Profile picture of the author Rus Sells
        LOL!

        You obviously don't know what it really takes to create a well spun article that is succinct, grammatically correct, and readable.

        Originally Posted by Gino Robin View Post

        Hi
        As to Spin Contents is like fraud and this is a trade mark of the "lazy internet marketer" Well in the short run the spinning will work ...but definitly in the long run...Google will find a way to stop this ..."fast new lazy method"

        I think there must be a POLL Run on content Spinning

        Wonder what will be the next...spinnnnning.......mmmmmmm..Spinning long tail keywords..?????

        Thanks I Apreciate
        Gino
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  • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
    This really isn't so much a case against article spinning, in my mind,
    it's rather a case against poor execution using article spinning techniques.

    Any underlying feelings against article spinning, in the first place, are
    maybe what fuels the argument.

    Also, this subject is like any social/political issue where there's basically
    nothing but polarization, and there's a line with people for or against it.

    While the point about long tail kw bringing in a lot of traffic is absolutely
    valid and true, it's probably always been that way. Of course if someone
    is just discovering it, then it's new and great. And it is great.

    There are many uses for spinning, and it can be done intelligently and used
    in the same manner.

    Naturally, for all those who are adamantly opposed to it, then anything
    anyone says to the contrary will never be accepted - which is totally cool.

    Just like with anything else, there are varying degrees of skill in execution,
    but that doesn't necessarily mean a case can be made against something
    due to poor execution.

    My impression about sentiments expressed about article spinning, and maybe
    other approaches as well, is people disapprove on the basis of morals and
    ethics. Of course that is perfectly fine, obviously.

    There was a thread posted, perhaps several months ago, and the title was
    something like, 'why you shouldn't use bad article spinning s/w', or something
    to that effect.

    And the response was predictable with people expressing their feelings against
    article spinning, etc.

    What I thought was hilarious as all hell was the title only said why you shouldn't
    use bad article spinning (techniques) software. Don't remember which. But it
    said why you shouldn't use... it.

    The OP contained a very funny article put together with either very bad
    translation s/w or article spinning s/w.

    An alternative point was: Use a robust and good piece of s/w if you're gonna
    do it.

    But everyone jumped on it like a pack of hungry dogs.

    If you disagree with article spinning on moral and ethical grounds that's cool,
    don't care, whatever.

    But perhaps try an alternative approach and encourage people to do it well,
    for those who don't do it well. I know that won't happen because (maybe) it's
    more satisfying to voice opposition to it and hold up examples.

    People agree with normal SEO for search engine rankings. And there are millions
    of good examples of poorly executed SEO. But no one ever points to those
    examples and says, "Here's why you shouldn't do SEO."


    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author ProductLockdown
    Content is number one, and everyone knows that. Having the unique content is the only reason somebody will ever return to your site after visiting it.
    I think that we all spin our articles when marketing, but without using software! All of the article spinning software I have used returns laughable results from puny algorithms, so much so that you wind up re-writing the article yourself anyway. If you're having trouble coming up with new ideas, simply take a break. If you like spewing misspelled, illiterate crap all over the web for everyone to waste their time on, then use article spinning software.
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    • Profile picture of the author KenThompson
      Originally Posted by ProductLockdown View Post

      If you like spewing misspelled, illiterate crap all over the web for everyone to waste their time on, then use article spinning software.
      Excellent point, and I couldn't agree more.

      That's why if someone chooses to employ article spinning techniques, they
      should do it intelligently which of course is completely possible.


      Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author Matt Bard
      Originally Posted by ProductLockdown View Post

      ...If you like spewing misspelled, illiterate crap all over the web for everyone to waste their time on,...
      What is the difference between the kind of article you are talking about that is spun and this:

      "Dog Grooming - How To Groom Your Dog

      When you start to groom your dog you should be aware that the dog could bite. If the dog bites you while you are trying to groom your dog, you should get something like a towel to stop the bleeding and this is why you should keep towels handy in your dog grooming shop.

      Of course, most dogs will bark or growl before they bite so you should listen for any growling from the dog.

      If you have a hard time hearing the growling dog, maybe you have a hearing problem and you should have your ears checked.

      Most of the time, hearing problems are just a matter of having too much wax buildup in the ears
      ..."

      Crap is crap regardless of whether or not it was spun.

      I have seen some very well spun articles that I couldn't tell apart from a human writer and I have seen plenty of 'hand written' articles that are nothing but a waste of time like my example above.

      When people talk about "time being wasted" reading different types of articles, I personally feel that most of the articles found in directories from the first couple of pages of Google are pure marketing crap.

      Well presented and nicely packaged crap actually wastes more of my time than spun garbage.

      At least with spun garbage, I don't have to scratch my head wondering if it's me or if the writer is an idiot.

      Until Google can recognize a pig with lipstick, most content presented as "relevant" is crap.
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  • Profile picture of the author snapcontent
    If you've been running niche sites for any length of time, you will have noticed that the 'pure play' highly targeted niches are starting to lose their power. The latest 'Google Instant' update is only going to exacerbate this.

    I'd bet the OP's site is fairly broad, even if most traffic does come though long tail searches. People looking for long tails are starting to be directed towards broader, more 'real' sites. The reason for this is pretty obvious, actually.
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    • Profile picture of the author bgmacaw
      Originally Posted by snapcontent View Post

      If you've been running niche sites for any length of time, you will have noticed that the 'pure play' highly targeted niches are starting to lose their power. The latest 'Google Instant' update is only going to exacerbate this.
      I was doing some niche research this afternoon and found this not to be the case. In fact, I found that having an exact keyword match domain followed by an exact match in the following URL is perhaps more important now than before the GI update.
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      • Profile picture of the author mmaeb
        Originally Posted by bgmacaw View Post

        I was doing some niche research this afternoon and found this not to be the case. In fact, I found that having an exact keyword match domain followed by an exact match in the following URL is perhaps more important now than before the GI update.
        keyword rich domains are very hard to beat and thats been the case for years, spinning or un spun as not made a difference to my domains, and yup I fit the "lazy internet marketer" tag.. anyhow time for family and relaxing

        have a great weekend
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Originally Posted by Kelly Verge View Post

    I was just looking at the stats for my biggest content site and discovered something interesting. Over the life of the site, 52.3% of the traffic has been from long tail keywords. This site ranks #1 for 3 targeted keywords and #2-3 for another bigger keyword. Even still, over half of my visitors have found me using very specific searches.

    So while it's great that I rank for "poodle training*," most of my visitors find my site when they search for "how do I keep my poodle from peeing on the floor*," or such (*not my keywords).

    This tells me two things.

    First, if you have a thin site, you're only hurting yourself. If you're indexed and ranking, more content will bring you more visitors.

    Second and most important, the guy who is looking for help to keep his dog from peeing on the floor doesn't want spun junk. He has a need and wants someone to help him. If you give him real content related to his search, he'll likely stay around long enough to opt in to your report, to buy your product or to click on your affiliate links. If he sees meaningless spun drivel, he'll hit the back button.

    Why would anyone want to serve up garbage to over half of their guests?

    There will be those who say, "but what about using spun articles for backlinks?" If that's all you're interested in, just pay someone for an Xrumer blast. I think of things a little differently, however. My distributed content is a widening of my net. If someone reads my content away from my site, there are decent odds that they'll click through to read more. Just like with the long tail keywords, none pulls in a bunch, but the cumulative effect is worthwhile - plus I have backlinks.

    What about those who say, "but ______________ creates quality spun articles." I still think you're focus is in the wrong place. If you put as much effort and thought in your visitors as you do in producing quantity, you'd have five times the results you're seeing now.

    What are your thoughts?
    My thoughts are:

    1 You have a poor linking structure if you are linking a spun article to another spun article, in the same mini net.

    2. You are using a poor method to create spin pages.

    3. 30% all of searches are commercial in nature and NOT looking for "content", but rather shopping for price, etc. So about 1/3 of surfers aren't interested in your content. If I'm shopping for a Denver Broncos cap, I don't care what you have to say about it, I want one that's official, cheap and fits my head.

    Here's how I spin...I've used this technique since 1996, so I think it's been tested...

    Write/rewrite 40 - 100 paragraphs on the general topic of "dog training", including a few parapraphs on "poodle training'.

    Each paragraph must be a self-reliant "tip" and not need any other info or paragraph before or after for it to make sense. Easy enough.

    Now I take these "chunks", each a good, solid bit of info, and I combine them an a variety of mixes and matches...Mixing 3-6 or so chunks of "dog training" info on each page. This results in pages of different sizes, as well as puts keywords into different positions on the pages and creates different combinations of keywords.

    Then I'll do a search/replace across the pages of chunks to break up word patterns in the paragraphs, as well as mix in more keywords, for variety.

    This leaves me with 100-1000s of "spun" articles. However, even if I link each article in a daisy chain, one article will have a very high percentage of being between 75% and 100% unique from the page it directly links to, let alone every other page created.

    Page1 will have 3-4 "chunks" of info not on Page2, and on and on...

    And remember, each chunk is stand-alone bit of info that has something to offer, so this method produces pages of useful info, that contain unique info, and not just unique text strings. There's a difference.

    So while someone else is creating 20-25 good content based articles, I can take the same 25 articles and make 100 chunks, which can create 1000 articles, each with a high degree of unique INFO from any of the other 1000 pages.

    And if you find one of these pages, you'll have no idea there's another 999 of them, and you may actually learn something if you do read one. And a few of them contain Kelly's "poodle" tips, mixed with other keyword combos.

    I've used this for 14 years, I don't think Kelly's OP will change my mind. Sorry Kelly.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    Great post, Kelly! People can argue all they want, but the truth is, if you cut too many corners, you're never going to live up to your full potential.

    And for people who spin articles merely for backlinks, think about this - if someone stumbles upon your spun article looking for genuine information, all they're going to see is spun junk with your name at the top and your link at the bottom. They're not going to think that you're just trying to get a quick backlink; they're going to think you have no idea what you're talking about. If you don't think that can hurt you, think again.

    Although, I would love to see what a spun article about Poodle pee would come out looking like I once saw a spun article that changed "insurance companies" to "word companies", so I can only imagine what a spinner could do with Poodle pee!
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  • Profile picture of the author Boda Media
    Hey there,

    I just wanted to point a couple of things about spun content...

    You can spin garbage... that you cant read...

    Or you can mash dozens of great articles into one great, unique piece of content..

    I have not written content for years... and I rank all over the interweb for very very competitive terms...

    If you want to write all day long.. that just means people like me are going to be able to get more done, and ultimately make more money..

    Thats my take.. you can take it anyway you want.. but at the end of the day.. my business is growing daily.

    I put my success down to TESTING, TESTING & MORE TESTING..

    Not taking everything you read on forums or in products as gospel.... Most people who are giving out these tips have no real proof to back anything, in most cases they are just spewing the same crap around the place... that is why newbies get soo lost becuase the stuff they are trying is never going to work..

    Take it easy..
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  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Now the part I agree with Kelly...(Sorry Kelly, wanted to add this right away, but lost my connection).

    On long tail...I've said for many, many years that 40-60% of all SE traffic, is generated from "unique, one of a kind" searches, where the search query is so unique, the engines don't have ANY totally relevant results and are looking for practically any page to return for those results.

    I base this on seeing and tracking real time search queries "back in the day" when this info was available. And the trend is people are using longer keyword phrases now than then, so I'm sure the numbers hold up, if they haven't increased.

    You can't optimize specifically for these queries, as they are "one of a kind". But the best way to get this traffic is to put a lot of different words on a lot of different pages in a lot of different combinations.

    So yes, I agree with Kelly that more than half the SE traffic is from "long tail"...It then becomes a matter of the best strategy to take advantage of the 50% of SE traffic no one talks about...The 50% that can't really be directly optimized for...
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I think the important thing here is that a lot of your searches are coming from long tail keywords that you did not optimize for. As Kurt stated above - one of a kind searches.

    I have found this myself over and over again on my sites and I'm actually doing an experiment right now based on this (using *GASP* an autoblog that looks like an authority site and doing no SEO whatsoever to it initially).

    So, this being the case, what Kurt says above is key
    ...the best way to get this traffic is to put a lot of different words on a lot of different pages in a lot of different combinations
    (and he also lays out a superb plan for spinning out tons of articles that are unique, readable and valuable ... but most people won't read it because they are so set in the thinking that spun=crap that they will not let this idea into their mind)

    So a visitor finds your article on ArticlesBase from a long-tail search (how do I keep my dog from urinating on the rug). He reads your "well-spun" article. He clicks on your link. He finds the same article written in a different way. In most cases, what do you guess his next action would be?
    Well, that's why you should link back to a different but related article. That's not just for spun articles though you should also be doing that with your "unspun" content because no one wants to click to the same article .... then again if you are using adsense bgmacaw has a good point about the reader clicking your ad.

    I don't actually think that the fact that you are getting lots of these long tail searches has anything to do with spinning ... does it? I mean I think you would get the same results whether you used spinning or not.

    Lee
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  • Profile picture of the author zigstonk
    Spun articles work fine. However, Garbage In = Garbage Out (GIGO), no matter if it's for your website, or if you're pushing articles for backlinks. And if you rely on software alone, it'll never work. You have to read/proof, while adding value at the same time (as other have said above).
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewT
    You would really want useful content on your money site. Article spinning though can be great for backlinking purpose.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    YAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Come back when you have actually tried article spinning, doing it by hand properly, then you will see why it is so popular and at times incredibly addictive.

    I believe TBS had over 5000 buyers, but since you are all knowing and don't think spinning is worth it, I guess they must all be complete morons who don't know anything, right?

    Spinning, when done properly is about CONTENT LEVERAGE! If you offer a PLR membership service, you can give each of your members a unique copy they can use etc.

    The possibilities to make money with properly spun content when you know what you are doing are endless

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author Vogin
      Originally Posted by Chris Worner View Post

      YAWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Come back when you have actually tried article spinning, doing it by hand properly, then you will see why it is so popular and at times incredibly addictive.

      I believe TBS had over 5000 buyers, but since you are all knowing and don't think spinning is worth it, I guess they must all be complete morons who don't know anything, right?

      Spinning, when done properly is about CONTENT LEVERAGE! If you offer a PLR membership service, you can give each of your members a unique copy they can use etc.

      The possibilities to make money with properly spun content when you know what you are doing are endless

      Chris

      Just tell me one thing - if you're investing enough time to make a spinned article looking good, what about just writing a new one? You know, original work gives better impression, or is it just my opinion?

      Come on, either you want to spare time and create a garbage or you want to do it right, but then it's more effective to write a new one so that people don't have to read similar things over and over and over..... again.
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