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If you follow the seo forums, you’ll notice that an old search engine marketing strategy is now suddenly everyone’s “seo strategy” of choice. Yes, I’m talking about article marketing .
I’ve often mentioned the benefits of article marketing, but with Google’s recent updates to its ranking algorithms, the topic merits a fresh look. With everyone even remotely interested in achieving decent search engine rankings turning to article marketing, it is critical for your website’s success that you fully understand what traditional article marketing is about and how you can benefit from it. Note that as search engines become smarter with reciprocal links, article marketing - especially the sort of marketing that guarantees good results - will require some expert knowledge.
Traditional article marketing works something like this:
You write (or pay someone to write it) a 600-word article, take out a list of 100-200 article directories, and submit your article to all of them (or you could hire someone to do that as well). In a week or so, your article is accepted and published by the article directories, not to mention thousands of websites who pick up articles from these directories.
Then, after a week or two of submitting the article, search engines pick it up and suddenly see hundreds, if not thousands, of new links to your site. Even if these are low-quality links in some cases (there are very few highly reputed article directories, and most of them are not themed), your rankings benefits thanks to the sheer number of links you’ve built. Over a period of time, after several article submissions, you notice an improvement in your search engine rankings at the next algorithm update. Yes, those links have made all the difference, and now your site is starting to get higher search engine placement.
By the looks of it, article marketing has everything search engines ask for – quality content, contextual links and even one-way links (as opposed to reciprocal links, which are less valuable).
However, to draw a parallel, just blindly submitting articles to hundreds of directories is like shooting in the dark - you’re essentially banking on getting tons of non-themed links in the hope that they will be enough to improve your rankings (you may get lucky now and then and have some big website in your niche pick up your article and run it).
Important: The reason I say that many of these article links are non-themed is because the search engines not only look at the page your link is located on, BUT also look at the “website” your link is located on. All of these article directories are probably not related to your website in theme.
If you are serious about your rankings, you’ll have to get your hands dirty and chase down the right links yourself (only at the beginning of course - as your site’s popularity increases, your articles will generate their own links and you will get requests from other websites requesting your permission to reprint your articles).
The case for adopting a personal approach to article marketing becomes air-tight if you consider the following:
Search engines are clamping down harder on duplicate content , using the “date of discovery” (when the SE spider first finds the content) and other factors to find out which article is original and which are “copies”.
Search engines are getting better at evaluating “ themed ” links – links from industry-related websites, with a greater emphasis on niche sites dealing with one or two themes rather than general purpose sites dealing with a large set of themes (like article directories).
Search engines already consider anchor text as vulnerable to spam, so if hundreds of links pointing to your site suddenly pop up (with the EXACT same anchor text), this would be a “red-flag” event.
In other words, while article submissions are excellent tools for gaining traffic and rankings, search engines are catching up to the fact that spammers may use “blind” submissions in order to artificially boost their link popularity, and are looking to implement filters that can catch spammers. This will not happen immediately and maybe not even in the next year, but as the search engine wars (between Google, Yahoo and the rest) heat up, search engines will get stricter in terms of what they allow to rank highly in their search results.
Note that when I say search engines, I’m really talking about Google (which current serves 40-50 percent of all search engine traffic). However, as article spam increases, the other search engines are bound to implement changes that will catch it as well.
That's all for now but next time we will discuss how to gain maximum results for your article marketing, The Right Way.
Until next Time
Very Best Regards,