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Is Article Spinning Safe?

by John Oszajca on December 10, 2011

Questions and Answers about Article SpinningQuestion: I purchased Article Samurai and I have a question… By syndicating my articles with their system do I run any risk of damaging my site’s rep with search engines?

Answer: That’s sort of a complicated answer. Here’s how it works and what the value is for something like Article Samurai, in my opinion.

The purpose of an article spinner and/or mass article distribution service is primarily to build backlinks and help boost your rankings in the search engines, particularly Google.

You may receive some traffic as a result of the article distribution but there are better distribution strategies if traffic is your primary goal.

The Google algorithm takes a number of things into consideration when it decides which sites to give ranking to. It looks at on page factors such as keyword placement in your URL, title tags, content, and to a lesser extent, meta data. It also looks at backlinks. In the simplest sense a backlink is a vote and the more votes you have the better your chances. The authority of the website linking to your site and the anchor text used in the link are also very significant factors. They lend authority and relevance to the vote (link).

HOWEVER, Google is also looking for natural patterns. They want to reward genuine popularity, not manufactured authority. So it becomes a bit of a dance.

Google is trying to decipher what is genuine popularity and webmasters are trying to trick Google into interpreting backlink activity as genuine conversation.

Because Google is looking for genuine conversation about a particular site, having your backlinks appear in unique content is important.

That’s where article spinners come in… article spinners and mass article distribution networks allow webmasters to create a single article and using a thesaurus-like algorithm, they replace various words with alternative words and this create thousands of unique versions of the same article, thus giving the impression that there are thousands of unique references to your site on the internet.

The problem…

If done wrong you can trigger a filter within Google’s algorithm which can sometimes result in a penalty, causing you to lose ranking rather than gain ranking.

It really depends who your asking. Not surprisingly, everyone I’ve ever spoken to who profits from article spinning swears by the fact that they “have never received any reports of clients being penalized as a result of Article Spinning”. In my experience that’s just not true.

With Google’s algorithm being completely confidential, one can only guess at what actually hurts or helps your ranking. With that said, I have had numerous sites receive penalties from Google following mass article distribution activity and I do feel that it can get you in trouble if not done correctly.

How can you do it correctly?

When a site is new, or has had very little backlink activity, it would be unnatural to suddenly come out of nowhere and receive thousands of backlinks. Furthermore, Google has a pretty good handle on these kinds of sites which tips them off even further.

However, if you have a site that has been around for a long time, already has a large amount of diverse backlinks then simply scaling up your backlink volume and diversity is not likely to cause a problem. In fact it’s likely to help.

Link velocity and diversity are also very important factors when it comes to SEO.

An ideal link building plan starts off relatively slow and consistently builds up over time. This doesn’t have to be years but it should at least be months. You also want to make sure that you have links coming from a number of sources, not just article submissions.

It’s like the old sugar cereal commercials used to say, “part of a nutritious breakfast”. As long as you ate the grapefruit and drank the milk in the picture on the box, you actually got some nutrition :-)

It’s the same with link building. It can help as long as your plan is broad and healthy in it’s scope.

A couple of other factors to consider…

When you hear the bold claims by many article spinning services out there about ranking for dozens of keywords overnight, usually these are long tail keywords that have very little competition. These kind of backlinks can be very helpful for these kinds of terms, and there is real value there. You just need to make sure that this is done in conjunction with a broader SEO plan overall, as mentioned above.

Throwing all of that out the window for a moment…

Some people feel that when a site is new that there is almost no way to avoid getting a temporary slap at some point or another. It appears Google does this to keep people honest. In theory it is only the legit sites that would continue doing what they are doing if it wasn’t working. So often you will see your site start to climb and then suddenly drop back to the 6th page of Google, only to rebound again with fury 3 months later.

With this in mind, it is not unreasonable to simply throw caution to the wind and come out with guns blazing (within limits) on a new site and just realize that it’s going to be a long process regardless.

To sum up… I have used article spinning and I think it can be a successful tool in a broader link building strategy. But I also think it can be dangerous if you are not experienced with SEO.

Google is looking for quality and genuine popularity. My advice is to start slow and build up to a point where you are building a large variety of links. Then add article spinning and submission to your strategy… as part of a nutritious breakfast :-)

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sean January 18, 2012 at 8:37 am

What do you know about breakfast? As long as i’ve known you, you never got up before noon.

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John Oszajca January 18, 2012 at 11:03 am

Ah, the years before having a kid. 7am sharp these days :-)

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Dale @ How to build wealth January 4, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Hey, thanks a lot for your honest and informative review on article spinning. I was thinking of trying this out with my website but I think I will take it slow for now and eventually build up to it. slow and steady does it :)

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John Oszajca January 6, 2012 at 2:36 am

Hi Dale,

Thanks for your comment. Yes, it is something that can really help, but taking it slow is a good way to go. Realize this, Article spinning is going to build you hundreds of links, even thousands, very quickly. As long as you are building links in other places on par with that, and you have built up to that over time, you should be fine. Let me know how you make out with it.

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