3 Ways to Detect Spun Articles (With Examples)

I’ve been accepting guest posts on my WordPress blog (has been sold) for some time now, and I’m getting pretty good at detecting spun articles, even though it’s quite a hard thing to do.

Today, I reviewed another guest post which I found out to be spun, so I decided to share with you some methods that I use, along with examples.

So, let’s get to it!

1. Use a Tool to Detect Poorly Spun Articles

Even though spun checking tools are not reliable, some authors do a very poor job at spinning articles.

Sometimes, they don’t modify a whole phrase, so it gets detected by plagiarism tools.

If that’s the case, I finish my detective job in a few minutes.

Therefore, the first thing I do is to use a plagiarism tool called Quetext.

After checking several other tools, this is the one I currently trust and like the most.

Quetext is easy to use and has been accurate so far.

For demonstration purposes, I checked a phrase from one of my WordPress posts to show you how it looks like.

quetext plagirism tool

If this doesn’t spot anything, which will happen in most cases, try the other methods.

2. Checking Articles with the Same Topic

This is the most efficient method so far!

This is how I detect most of the spun articles that I receive, including the last one, today.

Basically, what you need to do is to use the post’s title or topic and perform a search using a search engine.

I recommend Google, Bing or DuckDuckGo for better, accurate results.

2. 1. Searching for articles with the same topic

Let’s take the guest post I reviewed today as an example.

The title was: “Best Proofreading Tips for WordPress Bloggers”.

I started by making a search using “proofreading tips for WordPress bloggers”.

proofreading tips for wordpress bloggers search query

I didn’t include “best” because I’m interested in all posts about “proofreading tips for WordPress bloggers”.

I could have removed “WordPress” as well from the search query, which would have been my second step, but I didn’t have to since I found what I was looking for.

My point is: Perform different searches using different queries related to the topic to find more possible spun sources.

2. 2. Going through the articles

You don’t need to read all the articles with the utmost attention because it will take a lot of time and drive you nuts.

Step 1

The first thing you should do is to scroll through the article and look at its sections to see if you find something similar to what’s in your post, such as images, links, subheadings, etc. Things that can be noticed quickly.

For example, when I detected the spun content today, I was scrolling through an article, and a link to a tool, along with an image, draw my attention because they were mentioned in the guest post as well.

capitalize my title
Screenshot from the original article
guest post screenshot
Screenshot from the guest post

So, I read the text around them and guess what? The paragraph from the guest post was copied from there and only slightly modified.

Here’s the paragraph from the guest post that I received:

highlighted spun content

Here’s the original paragraph used from Kinsta’s post:

highlighted content

I highlighted the parts that are obviously copied and slightly modified.

So, just by spotting a similar image and tool raised a red flag that helped me to detect the spun content.

And that’s all the proof I need!

One spun paragraph is enough for me to believe that there could be more, or even that the whole article is spun.

Step 2

You could also search for certain keywords from your possibly spun content in the articles that you find.

For example, if I wanted to search for the Capitalize My Title tool in other articles, so I can check the text around it for similarities, I’d press Ctrl+F on my keyboard (Cmd+F on macOS) and type in “Capitalize My Title”.

capitalize my title search

You can do this with several keywords to quickly see if the articles you check have tools or other things that are also mentioned in your post.

Then, check the text around them and see if it has been copied and modified.

2. 3. But how can I check so many articles?

In almost all cases, you won’t have to search through many articles!

They normally spun content from top articles found on Google.

If they don’t bother reading your requirements, proofread their article before sending it, and so on, they won’t bother searching to spin articles that are not under your nose. 🙂

How many articles did you think I checked before detecting the spun content today?

One! Yep, the first search result was the winner!

As you can see, the first post was the one from Kinsta, where I found that paragraph.

2. 4. How did a spun checker tool do?

I also tried a spun checker tool to see if it detects that content as spun, but it failed.

It found something, but not related to that paragraph I found.

I didn’t bother checking out what it found because I already had all the proof I needed to believe that the guest post was not original.

3. Use Google Operators

Another way to detect spun articles is to use Google operators and search for small sentences.

For example:

intitle:proofreading tips for wordpress bloggers intext:While there are four different styles, Chicago style, APA style, MLA style, and AP style.

intitle and intext are the operators.

After intitle:, add the topic you want to search for. Google will search for articles that have those words in their title.

Then, after intext:, add a small sentence. Google will search for those words in the articles’ content.

Now, in the search results, in the meta descriptions, look for similar words and sentences like the ones you added in the search operator.

Seeing too many bolded words in the same sentence is usually a red flag.

Here’s an example based on my case:

google operators to detect spun content

It can be hard to spot, and you also need a bit of luck to find exactly the sentences that were spun.

It’s pretty tedious, but it can work great sometimes.

You can find more Google operators here. You can use different combinations to get different results.

Read more: 8 Ways to Get Your Guest Post Pitch Rejected


While tools can help, they are not reliable to use alone. If they don’t find anything, perform the manual checks pointed above.

I know it’s tedious work, but it will get easier once you get the hang of it.

Also, keep in mind that you won’t succeed all the time. Spun articles are pretty hard to detect, and some of them will still slip through the cracks.

I’m sure I have some spun articles myself on my blog, especially the ones from the beginning when I was just checking them for plagiarism and nothing more. 🙂

That’s a Wrap

I hope you found this guide comprehensive and useful!

If you have questions or thoughts, please leave a comment or send me a message using the contact page.

Don’t forget to share the post to help out others!

10 thoughts on “3 Ways to Detect Spun Articles (With Examples)”

  1. Good tips.
    One more question, i just ordered a article from upwork and definitely try these things for sure, but what happened if i failed and publish the spun article.
    Google penalizes or what ????

    • Well, it depends… You can never know something for sure with Google.

      If it’s spun in a bad way, as in a lot of sentences don’t make sense, then it may be ranked poorly in search results.

      Decent to good spun articles, which a lot of blogs use, can rank really well. I’ve seen it.

      I’ve also seen plagiarized content ranking better than the source, which is pretty mind-blowing these days. And this happens quite often, especially in the news industry, and it’s an issue known by Google as well, as you can see here.

      In summary:

      • I don’t think spun content will be penalized by Google if it’s at least decent. Nevertheless, try to spot them if possible.
      • Spun articles do affect the quality of your site, though, and you can lose trust and authority among your audience. That’s why it’s always better to write your own articles or revamp the ones you order.


      1. Even if the article doesn’t seem spun, always proofread it and make changes where you feel it’s necessary. I always ended up changing, adding or removing sentences or whole paragraphs.

      Yes, if you spend time doing that can beat the purpose of ordering articles, but in the end, you still spend less time than writing it yourself, and you can also improve its quality, therefore reducing the spun threat (in case it is spun, but you couldn’t find proof).

      2. You’ll most likely get spun articles all the time from writers that have low prices (e.g. $20/500 words).

      Think about this: Writers have to write about a lot of topics that they don’t know. Even if they write for a certain niche, they might still not know everything (e.g. a gaming writer can’t possibly know all the games). So, normally, they start researching the topic first, and then write about it themselves in a unique way, with their own words.

      That requires a lot of work, and depending on the length of the required article, it can take days to come up with a good one. So, they’ll be a lot more expensive.

      Now, someone that asks $20 per 500 words (and probably with a 24h delivery to spice things up), will most likely not spend a lot of time, if any, performing research and using their creativity to put together a quality article.

  2. All I saw in section two was someone using a reference for some information and possibly using a rewritten quote and a tool they thought looked useful. That does not constitute a “spun article” genius. If you’re saying people are spinning articles for minor bunk details like that you suck. God forbid someone gets information from somewhere else and transcribes it in their own words into YOUR article! Right? What a joke this article was. You seem like someone who has only ever bought writing and never written much yourself.

    • I take it that you’re a spinner and got triggered. 🙂 You’ve probably been searching to find out how article spinning can be detected so you can try to avoid it. That explains how you ended up here and why you’re raging.


Leave a Comment