I’m pretty sure that you’re more than just familiar with the term ‘link building’, and you’re probably aware there are many ways that you can go about it.
However, have you heard about link building on web 2.0s using spun content? Believe it or not, people get away with it, and it helps improve rankings.
Want to find out how they do it? This article discusses how some internet and digital marketers leverage these types of links for their websites and properties.
Disclaimer: This is considered a black hat technique in most digital marketing circles. These techniques have caused many websites to be penalized by major search engines such as Google. This is merely an informative piece on link leveraging practices, so please don’t try this at home.
Check these two pages out.
They both have different URLs, but do you notice anything fishy with the content?
You can even check the video that they are both using. It’s essentially the same content no matter how you look at it.
These two articles have originated from one blog post by Helvijs Smoteks that was written ages ago, and they now have resurfaced again, and s doesn’t seem to know what’s up.
If you look at it, it’s essentially plagiarism, but it’s spun in a way that ensures search engines do not pick up on that particular fact. Humans, on the other hand, read work like this differently, we all know that following the same structure, thought and pattern in writing equates directly to plagiarism.
What is Spun Content?
Spun content or article spinning refers to the process of rewriting and altering previously written content in order to create “somewhat” new content. This is done either by a human or can be automated through computer applications.
Words and sentences are rewritten using synonyms and different structures. The software used for spinning used to produce incoherent sentences when read by real people. However, nowadays, it has grown to be more sophisticated that it could pass a manual check.
Why Would Someone Want Spun Content?
- It saves writers time and effort
- It saves money since it can be automated
- A quick way to reduce redundancies and add to this content
- To refurbish previous content
- Combined with an auto poster and a program, it can be used alongside multiple Web 2.0s for automated link building
Google Doesn’t Like Spun Content
Let’s get this SEO and digital marketing truth out there; Google hates duplicate content. This is why checking canonicalization is an integral part of technical SEO, and content managers go to lengths trying to stop their content teams from any form of plagiarism.
Why do you think most editors have Copyscape on their computers?
Duplicate content confuses Google, and you will most likely be penalized if you copy someone else’s content word-for-word.
Automated Spinning vs. Human Spinning
The two articles could have been the result of either automated or human spinning.
Automated spinning is the use of software that automatically looks for synonyms of adjectives, adverbs and the like. There are some programs that try to spin every single word that is on the document and there are some that are slightly more advanced.
Going along the automated spinning route is what most black hat digital marketers go for because it requires less effort and utilizes a smaller amount of resources. The most ideal way that some have gone around this route is to add an actual editor to the automated spinning method in order to ensure that there is some sort of quality assurance that is put in.
Automated Content Spinners
They can get away with content spinning if they already have an existing piece of content as a “seed” article and running it through one of the spinners available.
You have a myriad of options when it comes to content spinning tools. There’s SpinBot, Spin Rewriter, and Spinner Chief which are excellent tools for people looking to spin a seed article from an existing post.
Notice that after you enter your article you can edit on a per word basis?
There are even programs like Unique Article Writer which will spit out an entirely new article given that you input the proper keywords into the system.
Spinner Chief claims to be one of the best and you can definitely see that they offer a sentence spinner, too.
These programs are all great and easy to use.
But, here’s the catch.
The content never comes out sounding natural.
Some of these tools do seem readable. However, one must realize that they are using a machine that tries to emulate the English language.
Some of the tools attempt to switch out adjectives and verbs; others attempt to rearrange the whole article; while some try to auto-generate using keywords.
How Do Blackhat SEOs Go About Link Building by Content Spinning?
Blackhat SEOs go about a different way of content spinning; they combine several methods and use Web 2.0s.
Web 2.0 Properties Used for Link Building
The term “Web 2.0” isn’t always correctly described, but here’s a quick description: any site with proper authority that offers you an opportunity to post since it emphasizes user-generated content can be considered a Web 2.0.
Examples would be WordPress or Tumblr – these are the most basic examples that I can find. They’re easy to build, and you can even automate the construction of Web 2.0s.
Usually, link building takes so much time to do and requires a lot of resources, to stay on the easy route, Web 2.0s are an easy way to go about things.
Web 2.0s that are treated as money sites are usually pretty powerful when harnessed in the correct way, so it makes perfect sense to utilize them to their fullest.
It’s an understandable business decision; a Web 2.0 link is not the most powerful link available. The domains you get have great metrics, but remember the link juice being transferred still comes from the page level, which does not pull the complete power of the domain.
It’s much more affordable to get a human being to rewrite an article for a Web 2.0, rather than have a new piece written for you. New material requires more effort and creativity, and for a Web 2.0 link, it doesn’t seem to be worth it.
It also makes sense if you’re on a budget; if you need a new article done, then have it done for higher authority sites. If you want Web 2.0s done, then you’re better off having rewritten ones published.
Automated Web 2.0 Creation
A popular black hat strategy with the rise of automated link builders in the marketplace. Some opt to use software that enables them to input basic keywords that are run through automated article builders that build hundreds of articles in a couple of minutes.
But, here’s the catch.
The articles won’t sound natural, the Web 2.0 properties that they use aren’t great, and if you direct these links to your money site, there is a risk that you will get penalized.
These programs work by pulling in given variables that you feed, not just keywords but, anchor text profiles, links, and randomization.
However, that’s not all, these programs are also responsible for the automated creation of Web 2.0s. They create fake emails, auto post spun content and do everything via a single click.
Content Reusability Practices
Editor vs. Writer
Writers and editors have very distinct job roles, writers usually deal with producing original content to be used. There is no plagiarism involved – provided that the writer is following the correct guidelines in the tasks that have been assigned, so the end result is original content.
Editors, on the other hand, belong to a different practice. They ensure that the content being published on web properties are up to the standards of the site in particular. They make sure that content is written in a way that is apt to the target audience.
For instance, it would be particularly useful if one were to setup up an e-commerce website and needs rewritten content for the product pages. The editor would be capable of completing the errand faster than what it would take a writer to create original pieces.
In this example, it is more efficient for someone going about this method to go for the editor approach since there is “seed content” available.
Outsourcing Link Building
Some black hat digital marketers opt to outsource the entire endeavor. Don’t believe us? Check out this job post on KonKer – a service site where you can find freelancers that can help.
Like we’ve said throughout this post, we do not encourage this at all, but this is an alternative route. This only goes to show that things like this do exist in some markets.
Hiring Freelancers to Write
They often run to places such as Upwork of Fiverr to hire freelancers that can act as editors or writers that can write pieces for them.
For a faster process, some usually opt to provide an editor with spinning software so that it will be a mix of automated and manually spun content. This way, even if a human reads it, it won’t sound robotic or written by a machine.
One of the more “neutral” ways of generating spun content is to get a writer to write a summary of a previous piece of content that has already been written. People who need to reuse content usually go alone this particular route because of the fact that you end up with original content that attributes the original author.
Plagiarism is avoided as long as the same writing pattern is differentiated from the original author. You avoid any penalties that can be handed down from major search engines since you are creating original content and it is one of the more better ways of reusing content.
This shares a resemblance with content summaries, but in this instance, a piece of content is used as a foundational piece for another writer to build upon. This is usually the case when “skyscraper articles” are involved.
“Skyscraper articles” are content pieces that aim to update existing content with either new information or expanded information. Imagine having a piece of content that is a listicle with five items, your aim is to update that particular piece with two or three more on the list.
Another way is to create a second part to further establish the original content that you have. Think of it as a “part two” to your existing content. It makes sense to other content marketers who follow the guidelines of major search engines because it is an easier way of obtaining inspiration and it takes less of an effort to pull off.
We highly discourage that you go along this path in trying to get links to any of your web properties as it is considered – and will always be considered – a black hat strategy. However, it makes for an extremely interesting case study in the utilization of spun content.
As with all things per your content strategy, make sure that you stick to the guidelines. Content will always be king, but it is important to note that original content is always the best way to go about things like this.