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Ask A Contractor: What the F*!@ is Article Spinning?

Dear Selena, I keep seeing the term “article spinning” in the job notices I look at, and I don’t know what it means. Can you help?

Dear Fellow Contractor,

Yes! I can tell you exactly what article spinning is. Article spinning is the devil. Never ever do it, because it ruins the Internet.

You probably want to know a little more, no?

An article spinner is a piece of software that takes one article and turns it into ten articles. Very, very badly. Typically, the software will act as a thesaurus, replacing words with what the computer assumes are synonyms. Let’s say I wrote the following sentence:

“I like to ride my bike to the park, so I can watch birds and enjoy some fresh air.”

An article spinner would turn that into:

“I happy to mount my two-wheeler to the grass place so I can see chickens and like new wind.”

Why would any writer who loves language do such a thing? Like most things, they do it for money. The places who hire people to spin articles use them to game their SEO. While search engines are getting much smarter about identifying spun articles, and subsequently dinging the site that’s posting the spun articles, it’s still a fairly widespread practice among those who think making money on the Internet is a series of tricks, deceptions, and shortcuts. In short, assholes.

Don’t be an asshole. Stay away from article spinning. The Internet will thank you.

Love,

Selena

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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