I about lost it two days ago. A friend of mine is starting up a blog of his own while at the same time assisting his company in revitalizing their blogging efforts. His blog might have 6 posts at the time of this writing. Their new, new corporate blog might have the same.
Wait, let’s look.
Sorry: the new, new corporate blog has 7 posts.
Anyway, in his haste to promote a good charity event, he rushed to post the event on both blogs.
Care to guess why I called him about the posts?
He said, “The content is slightly different.”
I asked, “The content is so subtle in difference that I don’t notice it.”
“Well,” he concluded, “One is two paragraphs and the other is three.”
“Yeah. One ‘P’ tag ain’t gonna do it.”
And then I almost said it:
“If you have to, at least use an article spinner.”
It was on the tip of my tongue. I was just talking to my old boss about article spinners, (BTW, congrats on your PubCon speaking invite, Adam) when my friend’s duplicate content situation arose.
But it gave me pause to think about it.
What Are Article Spinners
From the brilliant minds of affiliate marketers (presumed), article spinners are like Mad Lib generators. Pop your article into an article spinner and it will rewrite your content for you. Other names for this type of service are “auto content generator” or “…script”… An article spinner is pretty much a thesaurus and grammar check program rewired into an algorithm to come up with different words to say what you’re saying. One article will be in active voice; one will be in passive…
The articles read like outsourced customer service operators are scribbling them down while they’re painting their nails, but they are “fresh.” You can almost smell the polish(ed…writing).
Auto content generators / article spinners are starting to make more headway as article marketing becomes a more persistent niche. It plays upon the fact that most people are so bombarded by content everyday that they just end up reading for what they’ll looking for and nothing else and don’t notice the quality of the writing.
It’s sad, really…but the pictures are charming.
As Douglas Karr would say,
“Nobody reads copy anymore.”
It’s a way of looking at copy as a template.
Would You Use Article Spinners?
I ask myself this right now. And I have to say that I don’t know if I ever would use an article spinner. But this is coming from someone who wants to be published (when the editing is done) and is up at 2am blasting an old Allman Brothers contest from WolfgangsVault.com because I just like writing.
But if I was doing affiliate marketing, or in an SEO fight for keywords and content generation needs to be quick and painless, I can’t say I wouldn’t at least be tempted by the dark side – just a little.
But not as tempted as I am to buy a Mad Libs right now.
(photo by Urban Don via Flickr)