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Article Spinning: Please try a little harder

Updated on August 4, 2011

The Internet is a wonderful place

Ernest Hemingway will not be confused with me. Tom Clancy, John Grisham, and Catherine Coulter need not fret over losing market share to my feeble online publications. I consume no shelf space at Amazon.com.

As inconsequential as my scribblings might be, some piker calling herself Darryl Henderson saw fit to appropriate my words, sentences, and paragraphs. Evidence points to the use of article spinner software: Darryl's article differs ever so slightly from my original work. A few nouns and verbs have been replaced with logically equivalent nouns and verbs without regard to content or original meaning. Spinning software works really well from the standpoint of the user. Hard work, imagination, and creativity conveniently vanish from the writing process. Simply feed some text into the program, pause a few milliseconds and, if you started with my writing, a set of even more incomprehensible text is generated.

Here's the trick... search engines cannot detect spinning. The original text and the newly spun text differ sufficiently to convince digital computational engines that both are original.

The original composition. Note the title.
The original composition. Note the title. | Source
Darryl's 'article'. The same title with remarkably similar content.
Darryl's 'article'. The same title with remarkably similar content.

A Closer Look

In the interest of padding this article, let's take a look at the 'work' produced by our friend Darryl. Our first clue that she may not be generating original content is the title of her work: it's the same as my title. The title didn't get spun. Had my article been titled simply "Bidcactus", perhaps Darryl would be entitled to a little plausible deniability.

Here is her paragraph:

BidCactus won't let you merely sign up and start bidding. Bidding costs money. Underneath the eBay model, all you need is credit cards and a readiness to bid on wacky stuff. Your BidCactus account is free of charge, nevertheless , you cannot bid on something until you purchase a few bid credits. BidCactus costs 75 pennies to put a bid. Bid Bundles, called "bidpacks" begin at 25 bids ($18.75) and go up to five hundred ($375). There is no wacky products to invest in, either.

Here is my paragraph:

Like Swoopo and RockyBid, , BidCactus won't let you simply sign on and begin bidding. Bidding costs money. Under the eBay model, all you need is a credit card and a willingness to bid on goofy stuff. Your BidCactus account is free, but you can't bid on anything until you purchase some bid credits. BidCactus charges 75 cents to place a bid. Bid Packages, called "bidpacks" start at 25 bids ($18.75) and go as high as 500 ($375). There's no goofy stuff to bid on, either.


The software performed a few basic substitutions:

Basic text spinning

Original Text
'Spun' Text
all you need is a credit card
all you need is credit cards
Your BidCactus account is free,
Your BidCactus account is free of charge,
BidCactus charges 75 cents
BidCactus charges 75 pennies
Bid Packages
Bid Bundles
and go as high as 500
and go up to 500
There's no goofy stuff to bid on, either
There is no wacky products to invest in, either
Under the eBay Model
Underneath the eBay model
Additional offerings from Darryl Henderson
Additional offerings from Darryl Henderson | Source

Conclusion

My spelling errors and improper use of gerunds are sincere. We cannot say the same for Darryl.


PS> I have a Master's Degree in Computer Science and I teach at the college level. Spinning software is technically trivial and would be suitable for a weekly assignment in a first year programming class. Perhaps I'll contrive such an exercise in the future.

Comments

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    • profile image

      tebo 

      6 years ago

      It's quite amazing because this spinning hasn't changed much of your article at all. The sentences all run in the same order, just a few word changes. Not good.

    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Nemingha: Someday I will write something that could be described as such!

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 

      6 years ago

      Ha, I was referring to your articles in my previous comment - they are original, well-planned and interesting aren't they?

    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @Nemingha : My articles also attract these people.

    • Nemingha profile image

      Nemingha 

      6 years ago

      Sad but unfortunately it seems that having original, well-planned and interesting articles posted on any internet writing site attracts plagiarists by the score.

    • The Frog Prince profile image

      The Frog Prince 

      6 years ago from Arlington, TX

      Imitation is some times the greatest form of flattery.

      The Frog

    • profile image

      Poetic Fool 

      6 years ago

      I've written a number of articles on Ezine and found a few of them spun on various blogs. It's frustrating because those articles are freely usable as long as they retain the proper credits. Of course, these plagiarizers want to present the work as original thus the spinning.

      I wonder if the Google Panda algorithm implemented this past winter does as good a job at identifying such essentially duplicate content as these spun articles. Of course, I doubt it can differentiate between the original and the spun article and punishes the original article just as badly.

    • Christopher Dapo profile image

      Christopher Dapo and S. 

      6 years ago from Havelock, NC

      I decided to do a little research on this and found the page as part of a free articles site. Apparently this "Darryl Henderson" placed a total of 22 articles up since Dec. 21st of 2010 till now. I'm willing to bet they are of the same style as yours. Upon attempting to see more from this author, I kept getting a 404 error, lol

      So much for that, huh?! :D

      - Christopher

    • nicomp profile imageAUTHOR

      nicomp really 

      6 years ago from Ohio, USA

      @drbj: I Googled the first paragraph of my article. Google is 'smart' enough to retrieve close matches, which is what spun articles end up as.

    • K. Burns Darling profile image

      Kristen Burns-Darling 

      6 years ago from Orange County, California

      Article spinning is just plagiarism for the really lazy....and plagiarists are just despicable.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      6 years ago from south Florida

      Article spinning is despicable and so are those who indulge in it. How did you learn about this D. Henderson, nicomp Just wonderin'.

    • wingedcentaur profile image

      William Thomas 

      6 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

      I wonder if people like "Darryl Henderson" are also into identity theft. Cute hub. Voted up and funny.

      Take it easy.

    • Christopher Dapo profile image

      Christopher Dapo and S. 

      6 years ago from Havelock, NC

      My mother is into advertising on the 'net and she uses these "spinners" to rearrange articles as well, but ones she has rights to. If you haven't given or sold rights to use this, you are free to pursue this imposer to the fullest extent of the law.

      This is nothing more or less than plagiarism. Go get 'em!

      - Christopher

    • silkwormy profile image

      chelle 

      6 years ago from Manila, PH

      Interesting.

    • Mochan profile image

      Morgan Garcia 

      6 years ago from Texas

      Hah! I really dislike article spinning software. It doesn't make sense to me how someone doesn't just take a moment to write their own articles. It takes me 15 minutes to write about 390 words. That's far above the minimum. It's just ridiculous.

    • glassvisage profile image

      glassvisage 

      6 years ago from Northern California

      I had no idea there was software that did this! Crazy!

    • Wayne Brown profile image

      Wayne Brown 

      6 years ago from Texas

      I am amazed...those who cannot write stealing for the purpose of???? Hell, those of us who can write are starving to death monetarily so how much worthwhile can this effort be? Still, it irks you to think that lowlifes like that exist. WB

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