Duplicate Content Penalty – Real or Myth
This subject has been touched on before so if you want to know for example what Google’s view on Duplicate Content is, you can take a look at this post published a while ago. It’s a bit heavy going but particularly useful if you want to have duplicate pages on your domain for some reason in a search engine friendly way.
Alternatively if you would just like an impartial view of whether the duplicate content penalty is real or a myth you can visit this earlier publication. The short answer is of course that the duplicate content penalty is a myth and visiting both of these articles will explain in detail exactly why.
So moving on to the subject of article spinning and article submission, specifically why it is promoted and what you are supposed to gain from it.
What the promoters of article spinning software and submission would have you believe is that there is a duplicate content penalty and that the only way to avoid it is by spinning articles i.e. rearranging them, giving them a new title and resubmitting them as fresh new content.
Is it Ethical to Spin Articles?
There are 2 perspectives to consider when answering this particular question. The first perspective is easy to answer, using automated article spinners that simply take content and regurgitate it automatically to try and say the same thing is not ethical. All that is happening, unless the spinner is hugely sophisticated, is that a load of gobbledygook is generated which makes no sense and it is immediately apparent to any human reading it that it has been computer generated. It is just garbage that clogs up the Internet and adds 0 or negative value.
The second perspective is a little more complex. There is probably no subject on the Internet that hasn’t already been written about or published somewhere. So is it ethical to write about the same subject and have similar content, conclusions or dialogue. The answer to this is of course yes it is OK, because if it is a genuine article being written by a human being from their perspective, with their viewpoint, in their words and hasn’t been done to simply manipulate search engine results, then it is fresh new content . If you do find the need to use someone else’s information, for reference or otherwise, then normally it is sufficient to provide a reference back to the original author. But to be ultra safe and to ensure you do not infringe copyright or if you are unsure whether that information can be used or not, then ask the permission of the original author.
Is it Spam?
If you visited the article you were pointed to earlier then you will already know that spam is duplicate content (spun or otherwise) submitted to the same domain multiple times in order to try and manipulate search engine results. So yes articles that have been re-spun with the same content and submitted to the same site as the previous version is spam. It can be difficult to detect but you can be pretty sure that all the major players will be working on ways of identifying it so they can delete articles of that type out of their search results. Just a matter of time really.
Will it Damage Your Expert Author Reputation?
Not sure that question even needs an answer, it is so obvious that should someone stumble upon an article that has been digitally remastered, and I am being very generous with that description, and it has your name on it. Then without doubt you will probably have just contracted a terminal illness with respect to article writing.
Will it Increase or Decrease Traffic to Your Website?
That is the $64 dollar question and again needs to be looked at from 2 different aspects. The first one is fooling the search algorithms. Yes it is clearly possible to fool a search algorithm, it is not human and cannot understand language, perspective or human thought processes even if it can decipher correct grammar. So on that basis it is possible to gain some ranking through the increased accumulation of back links to an article, even from the same domain when articles are re-spun; as unfortunate as that is. But if you take a look at Reasons Not to use Article Spinners you will be able to find out a little about how Google ET AL are fighting back.
So the second aspect is, now that you know there is no such thing as a duplicate content penalty, why would you just not reach out to a legitimate human audience. Article marketing is without doubt, when used correctly and as intended, one of the best ways to get back links and gain human followers of your writing. Plus you can submit the same article to multiple article directories or use Web 2.0 services to reach an even wider audience.
For a full picture it is necessary to point out that the duplicate articles do compete with one another in terms of where they are included in the search results returned. This is the same as any other content on the Internet i.e. the ones with the most links to them and the highest ranking, amongst other algorithm related selection criteria, are going to get listed higher in the search results.
Also Google are likely to consolidate all the duplicated articles and only filter the ones considered to have the highest pedigree to the top of the search results. This is why many of the article directories will ask for original material and not want previously published articles. You can probably understand this better using a first to market analogy.
None of this should detract from the fact that other search engines will have different selection criteria and as I mentioned previously different directories will have their own loyal followers, so it actually isn’t all about search engines.
A final point is that the re-spun stuff will also have to compete and if it is absolutely garbage in terms of organization and flow. Then, as mentioned previously, all you will do as the author is tarnish your reputation and it is highly likely you will get dropped like a stone, there will be little or no click through for any of your publications and other publishers/webmasters are unlikely to post your articles; which is actually one of the primary reasons for publishing articles in the first place.
So at the end of the day of as an author you can make a choice, but as far as can be seen there is a big risk associated with spinning articles, specifically when using automation software and for the wrong reasons.