Original Content vs. Duplicate Content vs. Spun Content

This seems to be a never ending topic. For those not familiar with spun or duplicated content, let me quickly explain what those are.

Original Content
Well obviously, original content is content, such as an article, that you or someone else has written themselves without copying anything from someone elses article.

Duplicated Content
In SEO, duplicated content refers to articles that have been copied 1:1 from someone else. Every single word and letter are identical.

Spun Content
Spun content are articles that have been put through a spinning software. You take any kind of article, run it with a spinner, and the software tries to replace certain words with synonyms. The goal of spinning is to create original content without actually spending money and time on writing an entire article from scratch, instead have a software doing it for you within seconds.

So why not use original content?
In a perfect world, everyone would simply create original content. But in reality, creating original content can take hours of work and if you own dozens of websites where you need 10s of articles each month, you end up needing 300-400 articles each month, spending all your time writing articles. On top of that, most website owners don’t really like writing content in the first place, especially for those AdSense and Amazon niche websites where you only want to make money with and you don’t know much about the niche in the first place.

If you have the time and skill to write articles yourself, DO IT!

Before you continue reading about how you can cheat Google, know that none of the provided solutions are really recommended, they will only help you temporarily. Sooner or later Google will catch up on this kind of content and it will be flagged as spam. That is why I strongly suggest, that if you have a website and you need content for it and you have the time and skill to populate your website with your own articles, do so! Don’t even consider using spun or duplicate content.

Solution #1 | Duplicate Content (Not recommended)

You could simply use duplicate content by copying someone elses article. Apart from the moral reason on why not to do this, this is also no the best option for SEO. Google can easily detect duplicate content and if they notice that your entire website down to the last letter, already exists on some other website, it’s almost impossible to rank your website on Google. Even worse, if you have 100s of articles across your website and they are all duplicate articles, Google might see this as massive spam and even blacklist your entire website, so it no longer shows up on Google.

What about PLR Article (Private Label Rights)
I often get asked by customers: “But what about PLR Articles”. PLR, or Private Label Rights articles, are article where you have the rights to publish the article on your website (rather than publishing them without asking). In other words, it’s duplicate content, but you no longer have to worry about running into copyright issues or worry about the moral side of it. However, it the end it’s still duplicate content, which Google really does not like.

If you own a website, such as an amazon website, mini games website or iTunes website, where the article or song description is taken directly from the source, and yet you still want the website to do well in Google, you need to start adding original content on your website, such as blog posts related to your niche and then focus on optimizing those articles. Also your front page should contain original content. This original content along with the duplicate description from Amazon or iTunes makes your website valuable again in the eyes of Google.

Google has mentioned it many times, duplicate content itself is nothing bad, it’s a natural process of the internet. For example product descriptions are being reused on 1000s of websites, but what is important, is to add your own original content to the website. Websites that only have duplicate content, have no value in the eyes of Google. In the words of Google: “Your website should bring something new to the table”.

To sum up: Don’t use duplicate content! If your website already comes with duplicate content because of Amazon description, either rewrite it or add your own content to the website. If you have a niche website, stay the heck away from duplicate content, you will never manage to rank your website.

Solution #2 | Spun Content

Option 2 is to use spun content. Purchase a software that can rewrite you an article within seconds, creating “original content”. Sounds good, right? Well reality is, the articles that are being produced by cheap spinner software are most of the time totally unreadable. Because those softwares simply replace certain words with synonyms, it very often creates articles that if a human reads them, will simply leave them with a big WTF over their head.

Today I was so tired because I worked very hard, so I had to take a nap.
This sentences could become:
Nowadays myself was so degenerated because I created much strong, so personally had to catch a slumber.

Until about 2011, this worked great. Those articles could actually rank on Google very easily. But as always, when something gets out of hand, Google adjusts their algorithm. After all, Googles goal is to offer the best search results possible, and those articles are simply terrible.
In early 2011, Google released a search engine algorithm update, called the Panda Update, which focused content quality. The Panda update was able to detect most spun content and low quality articles, devalue them and as a result your website falls of the front page of Google. Ever since then, spinner software have improved but soon after Google has always released updates to keep up with spun content. It’s an endless cat and mouse game.

Some spinner software still work very well, such as WordAI, but it’s playing with fire. Sooner or later also they will get caught. If you do want to use a spinner software, I highly recommend WordAI (Turing Plan). It’s not cheap, but it does work well. It works different than all other spinner software, that’s most likely why it’s better than others.

I personally don’t like spun content, but I do use it on some wesites. The only cases where I use spun content is on my AdSense and Amazon niche websites. I own about a 100 such niche websites. I simply don’t have the time to create 100s of article each month, nor can I afford to pay $1000s on buying articles. This is why I use spun content on my niche websites.

Here on SEOCrafting.com I would never ever create a spun article nor simply copying an article.

Simple rules:

  • Don’t use duplicate or spun content on your company websites
  • Don’t use duplicate or spun content where you have a real community
  • Don’t use cheap spinner software. I highly recommend WordAI (Turing Plan)

If you stick with these rules and use spun content made by WordAI on your niche websites, it will work. Know however that Google is always releasing new updates. If your spun article is very unreadable, Google might catch you.

Solution #3 | Best Solution, but most expensive one.

So what else can you do? Well, hire people to write articles for you. This can cost you anything from 99 cent to $30 per article (500-800 words), all depending on the article you want. Have a look at my outsourcing recommendations for Articles.

If you want to create a good website and want to monetise with it, write the articles yourself. If you don’t have the time for that, outsource your articles. Don’t use PLR articles, nor spun content nor duplicate articles and expect to rank on Google.

You really get what you pay for.

If you are serious about creating a money making website and you already came this far, don’t start playing with fire by using spun content. Go the last mile, invest a bit in good articles. Taking a shortcut might work for a while, but eventually, Google will catch up.


  1. I have been reading over your site. I have learned a lot from you in the last couple of hours. On this post your outsourcing recommendations for articles link is missing. I would really like to know what they are. Is there another place on the web where I can learn from your experiences as well. Thanks

  2. Hi Aedan how are you? I found your article to be insightful but I hope you can clear something up for me. I have recently seen your listing of your site for sale on flippa which contains only duplicate content via automated plugins. How can someone ever expect to do well in their google ranking when most if not all the content is duplicated? And thanks for clearing up the PLR stuff, I have been a little confused whether this is a good option or not. Best Regards, Tanya

    1. Hello Tanya,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      When you have duplicate content on your website, you will never rank for a major keyword on top of page 1 of Google, however you will still rank for long tail keywords.

      Example: If you have a website about dogs, you will most likely not be able to rank high for short keywords like “dog grooming” or “best dog toys”. However you will be able to rank for long tail keywords like “How should I groom my dog with long hair” or “what is the best squeaky toy for my dog”.

      Best way is always to write your own content, but that requires time or money, which not everyone has or is willing to invest in.

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