Those of you who are involved in Internet Marketing, and particularly article marketing, will by now be very aware of article spinner technology. In fact, if you aren't spinning your articles before submission, it's pretty much generally accepted that you are wasting your time.
The need for article spinning arose because in the never-ending war between SEO specialists and search engines, the engines decided to 'de-duplicate' their search results, in order to provide a better user experience for a surfer. This is perfectly understandable, and if you ran a major search engine, you'd no doubt do the same. After all, presenting an entire page of listings in response to a search where every listing references the same article (even if they are stored on different domains) is frankly a very poor user experience.
The first salvo from Google et al was to downgrade straightforward 'copies' of an article, and push them way below the fold so it didn't get in the way of the main result. Article Marketers reacted to this by changing a few words in an article, re-ordering paragraphs, that kind of thing. In response, the engines implemented 'shingling' algorithms that allowed them to pick up duplicates very easily. Statistically, if you can spot a large number of shingles that match in two articles, chances are that they ARE the same article, 'tweaked'.
And that marked the arrival of ...
In it's best incarnation, article spinning technology automatically replaces words and phrases with synonymous equivalents. This is a pretty hard thing to do, because the English language is very complex, and most spinners therefore fail pretty miserably when running automatically, producing syntactical howlers that can reduce a grown man to tears.
The search engines, of course, caught on to this very fast, and realized almost instantly that the linguistic mistakes generated by cheap spinners in auto mode were in fact an easy way to 'catch' them. Let me explain. Imagine you are a search engine, and you come across a new article. Your 'pre-test' is very simple, and involves a number of steps, the first of which is a synatctical check. After all, if you are examining an article and it's chock-full of lingustic errors, you can make one of two assumptions. Either it's REALLY badly written, in which case no one will want to read it, so it doesn't need to be given any index priority, or it's been badly spun, in which case the original is probably already in the index, and once again, it doesn't need to be seriously considered for inclusion.
As you are a search engine, you can therefore ignore this article, slapping it straightaway into your 'supplemental' zone, or downgrading it to page 500 or thereabouts. You don't need to do anything else, and you have in fact saved yourself a HUGE amount or computer processing power, because more advanced de-duping tests, such as shingling, require far more resources.
This is actually known as 'the Law of Unintended Consequences'. People using cheap spinners to generate badly spun articles have inadvertently helped the search engines save resources, and Google etc LOVE it - it's the equivalent of every 'spammer' (as the search engines regard these people) walking around with a big neon sign on their heads saying 'I am a bad ass blackhatter… I can game your Serps'. Remember that you are a search engine - what would you do?
That's right. Splat.
In fact, it's worse than that. Search engines enjoy banning not just individual 'spam' articles, but 'spammers' entire enterprizes. If you run a domain and too much of it looks to be spam to the engines (i.e. has too many syntactical errors) the entire site will be downgraded. And ultimately, if the engines can tie YOU to other domains, they are within their rights to downgrade EVERYTHING you have a hand in. Associating domains, by the way, isn't as hard as you might think, not when you're a big search engine with a copy of the entire Internet in your database, and several thousand man-years worth of analysis routines chugging away on cron jobs. It's in the interests of the engines to do this, of course, as it improves their serps, and let's face it, serps are what it's all about.
What about spinning by hand? Better but still tricky. Tools such as 'thebestspinner' or 'Magic Article Rewriter' allow you to manually choose synonyms, which, if you speak good English, and are concentrating hard, can obviously lead to good results. You have to spend an hour or two on each article of course. And wo betide anyone who tries to use the automated functions these tools possess. Using the 'replace with everyones favourites' option on theBestSpinner, for example, will pump out what looks like half-decent jet spinner syntax. BUT… if you go ahead and generate a version from the syntax, you'll find upwards of 35% linguistic errors - more than enough for Google to catch you.
It's no reflection on the people that create and sell these products - after all, most of them are simply 'grunt' programmers, and can't really be expected to understand the linguistic complexities of a language like English. They're just trying to make a quick buck, and knocking out a spinner doesn't look to be very hard at first glance. By the time the realities of linguistic complexity hit these guys, they have already invested so much of their time and money that they HAVE to sell the tools, and you're the poor sap that ends up suffering the consequences.
The only spinner that doesn't pepper your text with syntactical errors, of course, is ContentBoss, which uses a radically different method to rewrite an article, avoiding the problems other spinners suffer from. At ContentBoss, the position is that it's a LINGUISTIC problem, not a PROGRAMMING problem. While it's not immediately obvious, the simple fact is that a 30% unique article without linguistic errors is FAR better than a 90% unique article with 25% errors. The first one has a chance to be indexed and win you some traffic, the other will get you banned.
The bottom line is, you get what you pay for. Free or cheap spinners are free or cheap for a reason - they aren't any good. After all, if they were any good, the owners would be able to charge for them!