This post is a part of Tiffany Dow’s 30 Day Blog and List Building Challenge.
I know I’m opening up a can of worms with this topic, but I had an earlier discussion on Facebook that seemed to offend someone when I shared my opinion so it prompted me to find out how you felt about duplicate content; specifically spun content to build backlinks to a website.
The thread started out innocent enough; a person wanted to know if any of us spun our articles, which spinning tools we used, and how often we participated in the practice. A second person asked whether there was value in spinning content. After all, we know how Google feels about duplicated content, right?
That’s when the debate went into full bloom. 🙂
I mentioned I didn’t see the value in redoing the same article, which is basically replaced with several words here and there. God forbid, my honey badger came out to play and I offended him by saying…
“I look at it from the point that if your business (or customers) aren’t worth the time to sit and create something unique, maybe you’re in the wrong business model?”
Before you get all honey badger on me, let me explain why I feel the way I do about article spinning.
Let’s talk about how we’re going to write an article that reveals “3 Different Gadgets Worth Having in Your New Ride” in which we reveal the 3 must-have devices every new car needs, such as a CD player, an extra AUX plug for an iPod, and Internet radio.
The next step in the equation is to spin this article 10 times so we can spread our duplicate cheer elsewhere. Only this time, instead of using the word CAR, we use the words truck, vehicle, and cruise mobile. I’m sure you get the picture, right?
In the end, we gain 10 articles referring to the 3 gadgets. None of which tell the reader anything different from the original article. The content and the slant are the same; the 10 articles are the same as the original with the exception of a few words.
It takes a total of 5 hours to spin this content so it’s unique in our eyes, fools the search engines, and doesn’t do a lick of good in educating an audience except to display our ability to spin an article 10 different ways.
Who comes out ahead with this approach?
Writer: 11 tokens (1 original article + 10 spun ones)
Reader: 1 token
Search engines: 1 token
Likewise, we wasted 5 hours spinning the same article! Where’s the sense in that?
Within those same 5 hours we could’ve produced new content to reveal so much more about the car. Things like how to get 22 miles per gallon within city limits, 1500 lb. towing capabilities to enjoy vacation time with the family, and how to maintain the vehicle for long-term performance.
All of which, this additional information can help educate the reader about different aspects of owning the car. Not to mention countless other articles would help prove we’re the experts about this new ride!
Taking this approach, how do the numbers add up now?
Writer: 11 tokens
Reader: 11 tokens
Search engines: 11 tokens
That’s a big difference, isn’t it?
Writers still gain backlinks, but the scale isn’t tipped in their favor anymore. The goodwill is spread among an audience and delivers 11 original pieces of content to places like Google who can now serve high-quality content in the search results to others.
What to Consider
When you write and spin to gain backlinks, you’re not helping your audience. Search engines end up delivering rehashed content to the unsuspected, researchers are burdened with wading through duplicate content, and you have done nothing to boost your credibility as the go-to source for this topic.
The whole idea of writing articles and sharing them with directories is not to get the backlinks (even though most people think it is), but instead, it’s about getting your name out there circulating in places that you wouldn’t normally reach with just a blog.
Backlinks will happen naturally as you share your content across various portals and other marketers republish your content from their own “little hole in the wall” bringing you massive traffic, naturally. Article marketing can be quite productive if done properly.
I don’t know about you, but when the crap hits the fan I would rather come out smelling like a rose. Trying to force or manipulate the search engines will only result in disaster. You may not pay the price right now, but sooner or later you’ll pay the piper.
Your turn! What is your stance on spinning articles for backlinks? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Thanks for reading,
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Image Credit: Pixabay.com