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Article Marketing And Duplicate Content Misconceptions
by Dustin Cannon

Do a search on the topic of article submission or article marketing and spend a little time reviewing the services being offered on Google and there is no question that the current trend is in software that re-writes or "spins" a single article into hundreds of different versions. These article submission services promise better results by taking a unique article, spinning it and submitting a different version to each article directory.

For those not familiar with the term "article spinning" it refers to using software to rearrange the content of articles or replace words and phrases with synonyms thereby creating a so-called unique article. Some article submission services that "spin" articles for users to submit so-called unique versions are selling their services by taking advantage of people's fear of the duplicate content penalty. They are referring to the issue of Google filtering out similar content in search results. This is true, if Google has multiple pages with similar content they are not going to put them all together in the search results. The concept of article spinning to avoid the filters is great but the problem is that unless considerable amount of time is spent preparing the articles for spinning the changes in the unique versions are going to be very small and probably still not be enought to show up next to other versions of the same content.

Without even going into the importance of distributing high quality articles and whether or not a software application can re-write an article to be truly unique while maintaining readability and meaning, the real issue here is the widespread misconception about duplicate content.

The issue of duplicate content and the dreaded "duplicate content penalty" is one of the most misunderstood aspects of Internet marketing and search engine optimization. Marketers wishing to sell their article spinning services will tell prospects that if the same article ends up on more than one web site they run the risk of having their sites banned. This is not a proper understanding of duplicate content.

According to Google, "Duplicate content generally refers to substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match other content or are appreciably similar." The issue of duplicate content started because spammers were creating multiple pages on their web sites using the same content and changing only certain keyword phrases thinking they could instantly have hundreds of pages all optimized for different keyword phrases in their niche.

The primary concern of duplicate content pertains to having content that is substantially the same and not having your articles on multiple web sites or blogs. It is good thing to have your articles picked up by other web sites and blogs. That is what article directories are for. The primary objective of article submission is not to get your articles on article directory web sites but to get picked up by content specific relevant web sites and blogs within your niche. That is a good thing and helps you build back links.

If Google penalized web sites because similar or duplicate content appeared on multiple web sites then other marketers could sabotage your business simply by putting your content on other web sites.

Google has issues with duplicate content that is deceptive in origin. Another name for this is spam and the intent is to manipulate the search engines. The question now becomes whether spinning and then submitting only slightly different articles to hundreds or thousands of article directories at once could be considered spam.

Anyone who some common sense or has used article spinning software knows that when a single article is spun into 100 or even 500 different versions the differences end up being only slight changes and often these changes create articles that do not read well and ultimately are not quality content for the end reader. To think that Google is not sophisticated enough to pick up on this is naive at best.

Frankly, a more important question is how effective these articles are and what benefit is to be gained from submitting to hundreds of low page rank and poor quality article sites.

Resources and time might be better spent creating quality unique content that is useful to the reader and submitting to only a handful of high quality article directories and social networking sites.

Dustin Cannon may be contacted at

Dustin Cannon and his team at have been providing article marketing and ghostwriting services since 2005.



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