Spin on this! When the Machines Take Over

So things are starting to happen where the publication of the paperback edition of my novel, From Destinations Set is concerned. The publisher have the first batch in hand – I’ve seen one, and they look great – and are starting to mail out review copies. They’re circulating press releases, too, and from what I can tell, these are beginning to generate traffic already.

Stuart at Clinicality Press has penned some very nice press releases and made use of the rather tidy synopsis / blurb he did for the book. I was amused, then, to find a version of the press release that didn’t remotely resemble those Clinicality have issued, not least of all because one of the threads of James Well’s book, Hack, that Clinicaliy will be putting out later in the year, is concerned with word-spinning.

Unsure of precisely what this entailed, I conducted a spot of research, to learn the following:

Article spinning is a search engine optimization technique by which blog or website owners attempt to manipulate their rank on Google and other search engines. It works by rewriting existing articles, or parts of articles, and replacing elements to avoid being penalized in the Search Engine Results pages (SERP) for using duplicate content. The original articles are often plagiarized from other websites and can often also be copyright infringements if the original article was used without the copyright owner’s permission.

Website owners may pay writers to perform spinning manually, rewriting all or parts of articles. Writers also spin their own articles, manually or automatically, allowing them to sell the same articles with slight variations to a number of clients or to use the article for multiple purposes, for example as content and also for article marketing. There are a number of software applications which will automatically replace words or phrases in articles. Automatic rewriting can change the meaning of a sentence through the use of words with similar but subtly different meaning to the original. For example, the word “picture” could be replaced by the word “image” or “photo”. Thousands of word-for-word combinations are stored in either a text file or database thesaurus to draw from. This ensures that a large percentage of words are different from the original article.

The spun version of Stuart’s press release is a brilliant example of automated article-spinning 9and why it doesn’t work). The words substituted so inappropriately that much of the initial meaning is lost. Nevertheless, it’s highly amusing, and while it’s great to see my work continually cropping up in unusual and unexpected places, I very much doubt that this piece will do much for the sales of From Destinations Set. Ah well….  http://42.cm/clinicality-press-push-the-boundaries-with-a-book-of-two-halves-coming-march-28th/

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