The Master Marketer BLOG

Spinning: The Subtle Black Hat SEO Practice

Posted by Jeffrey Schmidt on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 @ 6 PM

Welcome back to the second part of our short series on... (cue thunderclap)... Black Hat SEO, the bane of any reputable content strategy. If you missed part one, suffice to say, while many of those strategies might gain you fleeting boosts to your pageviews and unique visitor rates, you end up paying a heavy price for using them.

Today, however, we're going to specifically focus on a set of related black hat SEO techniques that have only recently come onto the scene. Very little information is available on them on reputable blogs, but they are becoming prominent enough to warrant discussion.

Consider this an introduction to the insidious threat of "spinning" to your content strategy and, possibly, the entire content marketing industry.

Content Spinning

Spinning Away

To be clear, this is not "spinning" in the PR sense of finding a positive angle in a negative report. Spinning in content marketing means taking an existing article and running it through thesaurus functions that randomly rewrite words and phrases to produce a "new" piece of content.

This is accompanied by a sort of meta-language known as "spyntax" which makes the process even easier. Spyntax allows a writer to set up an article to be ready for exactly this sort of spinning.

To give an example, this is what spyntax looks like:

{Spyntax | Spinnable Syntax | Automated Spinning} {allows | enables | facilitates} the {creation | invention | writing} of {numerous | many | nearly infinite} {variations | versions | undetectable copies} of {existing | pre-existing | available} {content sources | articles | web pages}.

Like an automated Mad Libs, the spyntax parser would run through that picking one word from each set of bracketed synonyms, resulting in dozens of sentences with nearly identical content but slightly different constructions. "Autospinning" software also exists which allows one to do this en masse, creating literally hundreds of documents all rewritten from the same source.

The Problems With Spinning

Now in fairness, we'll admit that there are certain specific situations where spinning could come in useful and be legitimately deployed. Unfortunately, however, the vast majority of applications for it are absolutely black hat. Here are just a few of the many problems with the practice:

  • It will virtually never produce writing that would be useful for a genuine customer-focused content strategy. Even a well-designed piece of spyntax lacks the natural flow, rhythm, and informed word choices of a quality handwritten work.

  • Many "writers" on the freelance content marketing websites attempt to utilize spinning software to rip off their employers, who are expecting truly unique and original content. Since the copy can usually pass plagiarism scanners, it often goes unnoticed.

  • Unscrupulous cut-rate SEO companies will use autospinning to create websites with "hundreds of pages" of terrible content that no one will ever read. This is solely to give you a short-term boost to page views and keyword rankings that look impressive until the numbers crater.

  • "Writers" who use spinning software very often use it on other people's work, making this a black hat SEO practice of dubious legality as well. It hasn't happened yet, but I'm fully expecting a plagiarism lawsuit one of these days stemming from autospinning.

  • Fundamentally, it degrades the entire content marketing ecosystem by filling the Internet with poor articles that mislead and aggravate legitimate customers looking for information online.

Spinning: Just Say No.

Be informed when you plan your content strategy. Beware of freelance writers making use of spinning, and avoid anyone who advertises techniques like "automatic content generation." There is simply no substitute for hiring a legitimate writer to give you legitimate copy.

Call DeepSky Marketing to find out how you can create profitable marketing strategies for your company. DeepSky Marketing is a company that provides businesses with profitable marketing systems and verifiable return on investment (ROI). To schedule a brief no-cost consultation call 707 823-3888.

Posted by Jeffrey Schmidt

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