With all the buzz about Google’s recent changes in their ranking factors (dubbed Panda), and the impact it had caused on search engine results, Article Marketing is probably one subject that has been in the spotlight. While many people say it is good, some say the contrary. Some say that provided your article is of great quality, then it is a good SEO strategy to be implemented.
So, Does Article Marketing Benefit Your SEO?
In the past, I would not think for a moment to quickly answer this question and told you YES. As with everything SEO, things change, and what was good back then, is not necessarily the same today. SEO if you still have any doubts is always an ongoing process and being on top of things is what makes a difference.
Anyway, in order to provide you with a best possible answer regarding whether Article Marketing is “still” good or not for SEO, let’s here what Matt Cutts himself has to say (short video). Please pay attention, this is important.
Now, if you paid attention to every single word Matt has said, here is what caught most of my attention:
- Lean Away. Note that Matt starts with “I’m not a huge fan” and says, “lean away” but not exactly “stop”. Words can be deceiving sometimes and makes as wonder how should we really be interpreting them. My take on this is that there are definitely “content farms” out there you should avoid. Matt mentions “often” the word “duplicate” and that is most likely why Google is now devaluing them.
- Quality Articles vs. Quality Sites: Ahh, this is the problem right here isn’t it? The fact that you may even have “top notch” article but decided to publish it on a “low quality” site is what will determine if the effort is even warranted. The way I understood Matt from this is that, don’t waste your time and find “other” means of providing your quality content, such as writing great content and spreading them around “quality” Social Media sites, and through that get natural links. Which Brings up another question.
What are the other means of sharing “your quality articles” and how do you implement your article marketing?
For this question, I am counting on you to voice out your opinions. I believe that this is object for another post where, hopefully, and together with your input, can reveal some really good forms of article or content marketing. Which reminds me, is Article Marketing now really “content marketing”, or is this just another one of those fancy words we use to create?
Anyway, here are some suggestions to ensure that you are “Panda Friendly”, lol.
1) Guest posting should be still one of the greatest forms of marketing your content. Obviously, you should follow all the rules of writing guest posts and ensure that you are also writing them on “quality” websites.
2) Are you scraping sites and mashing content all together – Stop right now! This is really what the whole issue is about. If you are to “publish” an excerpt and put in a summary of your own “thoughts” about an article, linking back to its original source, that should be OK.
3) Publish only unique content on your site. If you are going to use this same content to spread them around other sites, without changing them at all – Don’t! Suggest you to rewrite them first and the submit to other sites if you want. I also recommend that you do this only after a week or so has gone by. You want to make sure that your unique article gets its proper place on search engines first (indexed). This can indicate that the “original” source for that article is yours.
4) If you accept guest post on your site, be sure to double check them first for “duplicity” before publishing them. Obviously, this is not a necessary measure if the author is already a trusted source for you.
5) And, well… I will be waiting for input to include it here :).
Should You Completely Abandon Article Marketing On Submission Sites?
That’s up to you to decide but I think that it still has its value, providing you are publishing it on “credible” and high quality sites. There is obviously the matter of getting referral traffic from article directories, which does not rely on search engines. Anyway, if your purpose is to just build links and hope for the best, my advice, stay out of it. You do not want sites considered “shady” by Google to be linking to your site anyway, right?
How about you? What’s your take on this? Do you think that Article Marketing is dead, or is it just some sort of phase that is running to “clean” up the mess? Matt did hint that the trend of Article Marketing does not add value to the web.
46 thoughts on “Why Article Marketing Should Not Be A Part Of Your SEO Strategy?”
Article marketing isn’t evil, rather how people define it is. Article marketing is simply using articles to market your site. Guest posting is my favorite form of article marketing, but I still use other sites as well. I use Hubpages, Squidoo, Amplify, and other remote social community sites. Whether they help my seo or not, I get a lot of traffic directly from those sites, so it is worth the effort to use great content on them.
HI James. I agree with you you. AM is not evil, it is what some other people use it for is what makes it not so popular anymore. Hubpages and Squidoo are good sites and are still recommended. Amplify however in my view is not really the same as, say, EZA. It is more like a micro blog platform (like Posterous and Tmblr) and its use still has some value.
You make some great points. I agree that the present and future of article marketing are murky at best. The value of the effort has at least greatly decreased. The penalties if your content is duplicated could perhaps even push the value to the negatives from what it sounds like.
I agree, scrapping has to stop for those that are doing it. and the writing is at least on the wall that the value of article marketing is on the decline.
HI Steve. I second you on Scrapping has to stop and unfortunately, I don’t think it will. They will continue to happen the only difference being that search engines are now more vigilant with these are therefore penalize them accordingly on search results. We’ll see..
There is not need for you to waste a quality article on an article directory that hosts articles from viagra pills to underwear reviews. Find a related blog and ask this blog to publish your article. The benefit you’ll get will soon outweigh the benefit from posting to article directories.
Hi Andreas. Indeed, why waste a perfectly good article and mix it up with all those useless articles in between thousands on poor quality sites. Might as well submit it as a guest post and it will certainly be of better value. Thanks for stopping by.
Not surprised to hear this from Matt at all.. Even before the Panda update I had noticed that quite a few article directories with low editorial standards were getting whacked on pagerank and indexing depth, so I’ve been in the process of “leaning away” for a while now.
To be honest, I’m glad to see this change because I was getting rather sick of being outranked by someone who had posted a dozen cheesy articles to every low-quality directory on the web. Of course, thanks to those awful spinner programs, each one was further from coherent than the copy before it. That process is still tedious & time consuming, without adding any actual value to the surfers..
Hi John. Like you, I am also glad that “G”, decided to do this, as I think it was long overdue. You are right about getting upset from “other” sites outranking you, specially because most of them where nothing useful. Thanks for taking the time to leave your views. Have a nice day
Writing an article easy difficult to write a unique article if you are new to blogging. After it marketing tat article is one of the daunting task becuase many of them did not know how to extract maximum traffic with that article and now Google new algo has made it a diffcult. Thanks for sharing these tips which help anyone in marketing a article
Hi Vivek. I partially agree with you that writing is easy, well maybe choosing a topic to write it is, and indeed making it unique and at the same time compelling is what is difficult. Article marketing as we know it will probably find its own way and we’ll see how they will behave in the future
I think we should spend more time on the content, write content by ourselves and not to copy&paste. Unique content would be more effective than backlinks in some way.
And the purpose of article marketing is to brand the website, drive website traffic and build some backlinks. But only good article could be published at others’ websites, and this would take some time to write, and one article for marketing could only be published at one site. Otherwise it would produce duplicated content.
So content is the king.
Hi there. Unique content is definitely the first and foremost to getting noticed by both readers and search engines, no doubt. However, this alone unfortunately is not enough and “article promotion” should still part of your SEO strategy in order to rank well and increase its visibility. Thanks for stopping by
Article Marketing…I haven’t done much but still, I think it can be a very useful SEO strategy. I still think it as one of the better ways to get genuine backlinks for your site which otherwise looks very difficult to get the same. Also, even if you decide not to go for it, you can look for the alternatives as pointed out by you in this post. Great post!
Hi Aswani. Its good to know that you still view Am as a valid and uselful SEO strategy. I have to admit that depending on the website you are using to market your article, it could still have its value in many ways that is not limited only to SEO. Thanks bro for visiting
Article marketing is a good strategy for SEO, but as the video suggests, when Google is not giving importance to it, then why waste time doing it? Rather go for other means which will be more beneficial for your business.
Hi Shree. Well said… When Google is not giving any importance, why do it, right? Thanks for stopping by
Dennis Edell@ Direct Sales Marketing
I heard, I don’t know a whole lot about it, i.e. “not s big fan”, so I’ll rehash the same “unique natural link” advice that always goes over well.
How about rolling one into the other for the best of both worlds; not difficult with half a brain, eh?
I hear you Dennis. Nothing better than the good “ol” natural links 🙂
John [email protected] Deals
Ok, Ok, you have opened my eyes a bit. I always thought article marketing was a good key thing to do to improve your SEO.
I’m going to test out your advice right away.
HI John, YES it was. Just like said.. It so seems however that it is no longer that way, at least for “less” quality sites 🙂 Those quality sites are not really difficult to find… All you need to do is search something and if the results show some from a “submission” site, then it might be worth checking it out 😉
From what I understood from the video, I would say that google doesn’t actually penalize your for getting links through article marketing but he was actually more concerned about the quality of those said articles and the duplicate content this can produce.
Of course, I don’t think that article marketing will change, when it comes to the quality of the articles because many people don’t want to put the work in order to publish great articles on website with articles about pills and other stuff (like andreas said) so, most likely the articles used for seo will always be low quality which seems a bad thing when you think of what google is doing lately.
HI Alex. I hear you. However if you notice what Matt or Google says, they never really do tell 100% of everything and as noted, you don’t get penalized for links. But, there is always a but, if Google considers one specific site as low quality, they will most likely consider it a “bad neighborhood” and hence all the links its got. In the end, it might not penalize but those links don’t carry any value at all, so what’s the point, right?
On a side note, did you notice that Matt “talks” a lot about Reddit? That might be a better place to leave some links than “other” shady sites 😉
For me time is money. So does article marketing bring me the ROI that I need.
The value of Article Marketing seemed like a good idea. You would see your articles in the search results. Especially when you looked at your own site. Plus you were getting backlinks from a high PR site.
If you had great content and could keep your articles before viewers eyes you had the possibility of getting your article reprinted, with your links in tact.
Now the picture has changed. I am not investing my time there.
Hi Sheila. For now, it is wise not to invest any time on Am at least until things cool down and article submission directories start to tighten their policies for publishing “crap” and duplicate content. thanks for stopping by
I think it’s better to stay away from article marketing for the time being atleast…
Yes, Matt does state that it does not add value to the web…
It’s better to follow the wait and watch strategy until there’s more clarity
Hi Sandeep. Yeah, I agree with you. Best to let things cool down for a while and probably wiser to invest your time in something else that matters 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.
pleasure is mine.. fantastic looking blog you have here
I am not a huge fan of article marketing either. I think some marketers have abused article marketing by using content creation and content spinning software. Plus, I rather write content on my blog or website instead of article directories and try to get backlinks using other techniques. There are many other ways to get backlinks other than article directories. And the content will benefit my blog more than article marketing does.
Article Marketing is not such bad to eradicate from your work. But go for the better way which may be guest blog or unique articles. Gust blog is a good thing for marketing of your business and to get good traffic for your site. The real purpose of Google is to remove those duplicate content available on many sites with the same name and same content.
Thanks Francisco for bringing this interesting issue and for showing Matt Cutts’ precious insight. As Sheila says I, also prefer not to invest any time at all in the article directories but focus in quqality guest posting. I want to find out the value of SMOing and also the gravity of each social network. As I remember, Matt had said that now Google takes into account social media too.
Absolutely Steven. Google is now paying more attention to social media as it is the best way to “see” what people are talking about. Trends like this can help “prioritize” certain results from queries. Lastly, I agree… I don’t think that there is anything better than quality Guest Posting. It follow the best SEO practices, while at the same time provides value for everyone. Win/win situation, don’t you think?
I have articles on Ezines. What aggravates me to no end is checking my SEO on Google only to find someone outranking me with MY article (with no credit given me). Even if I have posted the article on my own site before submitting to Ezines. I’m concerned with Google in general. If Matt (Google) says, “Jump,” people are only too willing to do so.
Live it LOUD!
Hi Rob. I hear you. Google says jump and many people says “how high”, lol. That is actually somewhat the reality and you have provided an example of why “changes” needed to be done. It is absolutely annoying that an article that you have written and scraped, actually out ranks you. That does not make sense and it has to stop. I believe that this is somewhat a transition to in a way, educate all those low quality article directories all over the place. EZA has learned and now has a more strict policy to fight SPAM. We’ll see how this one develops
EZA has upped their quality requirements, but they had really let things slide so far. I think Google was pretty generous to them in the end – the amount of total garbage I’ve seen on EZA that has supposedly been through multiple stages of human approval! I’ve even pointed out articles to them in the past that breach their own rules – got no reply, and nothing was done. So it’s been a well deserved smack on the wrist, and hopefully they’ll have the sense/resources to review the low quality stuff they already approved.
The only way that we can truly know the effect that Panda had on article marketing it to simply test test test. If we don`t test, we will never know for a fact. We will just be guesstimating and conjecturing ideas. I think article marketing has taken a major hit with the panda update – but that is my guess – not a solid truth by any means. It`s really hard to work on conjectures… which is why testing is so important.
Great points you made here and I hope someone comes up with more ideas.
All the best,
HI Eren. Welcome to my blog.
True, test, test … is what its all about, not only on AM but virtually on almost anything online. One can’t simply assume automatically that certain assumptions are to be accepted as is. Anyway, and as far as the “article marketing” issue is concerned, I believe that it is a fact (documented according to Sistrix that many “low quality” directories have been hit hard with Panda. As a matter of fact they mention that “high” rollers, like EZA was hit as by as much as 90%. While I believe that this conjecture may change in the future, it will really depend on these article directories to implement more drastic measures to avoid all these low quality articles getting circulated all over the place. Thanks for stopping by.
I used to write articles and publish them on the big article sites. I don’t do that anymore. Since Google as devalued the ranking for the sites in general, I can’t really see the links being valuable, nor do I see that changing in the future.
With the limited time many of us have, it is important to focus our efforts on the opportunities that provide the best ROI. Social networking and guest posting are probably the two that will provide the best ROI, at least for now.
Only time will tell if Google’ changes it’s algorithm to make us evaluate our link building efforts once again.
Hi Paul. I agree with you and I believe that it is better to write quality content for you own website (or guest post for that matter), rather than giving directories free articles that provides you with little or no value at all. Thanks for your comment
What would you expect Matt Cutts to say ? That article marketing works. Then thousands more will be uploading low quality articles to article directories. Article marketing works, but for it to work you should be prepared to write good articles. Articles that just about matches the guidelines wont do well. Quality articles do get republished and you get back links and traffic from them. And because of there superior inter linking structure they rank well in search engines as well.
I was out before I even got started .
The first thing I was told online was: “you don’t mess with EZA”.
Your articles must be super high quality, comply with a gazillion of rules and at the time I even considered buying their paid training course (but I didn’t).
When I finally ended up receiving their free training and feeling confident to start writing my uniquely awesome articles, their site got slapped.
If it still works I don’t know, I’ve bumped into a lot of IMers that say it’s not worth it anymore but others say it still generates some quality traffic.
And I also happen to agree with Nishadha, what would be the point for Matt to agree that it’s the way to go and then everyone would just drive nuts all over EZA again.
Hi Sergio. I have not really used that much EZA. I prefer using other alternatives to marketing my articles. For example it is a lot better to write a quality post and submit to a popular blog that accepts guest post rather than EZA. I mean, I think that article directories still have their value, but not for SEO. They still drive traffic but primarily from their own community, I guess. We’ll how this plays in the future. Thank for stopping by and the RT too 🙂
Hi, DiTesco (or should I call you Francisco?).
I first knew you when we were teamed up together for Michele Welch’s tweetitfoward challenge. I don’t know if you still remember but I caused a holdup because of the time zones. Again, I am sorry for that. Will make up for it next time. If you guys will still have me for next time. 😉
Anyway, from that acquaintance I didn’t get the chance to check out your blog. It was a great thing that I read Michele’s review of her five fave bl0gs where you were one of the cool bloggers mentioned. It nudged me to visit, add your blog to my Google Reader and now I’m here.
Good thing I did, too, because I have been reading up lately about article marketing and your article is one of the most useful of them all. 🙂 So, thanks for this cool post. Will be forwarding this to my boss, so he will think twice about going the article farm way. 🙂
Hi Kim. Oh yeah, I do remember about our “little” game of circle of trust that our friend Michele had organized. It was fun and it did serve ts purpose because of the “new connections that we were able to build. You are here 🙂
Anyway, I am glad you decided to check my blog out. Hopefully there are some useful stuff here that can be of interest to you. As for showing it to your Boss, if you want, you can ask him to contact me and I will be much obliged to inform him to stay away from “article” marketing on useless directories, lol
Thanks for stopping by and I do hope to see more from here in the future.
It was my pleasure to have gotten here, DiTesco. 🙂
This is a great reference to article sites. I was so stoked to finally find a trust worthy group of links, and the comments posted are brilliant! I am a full time college student but I help my family business get a better rank by writing many articles on various topics, and including links to there different products. It has worked great so far, and I think one major strategy difference, is that I will use links to different products, rather than repetitive homepage links. Also, aside from two exceptions, all my articles are relevant and informative! So far, the AM technique has not damaged our site, and I hope that my efforts continue to prove useful! Thanks again for a great site!!
I had some good luck with EZA at first, but then they got odd. I write about tai chi chuan (which is sometimes spelled “taijiquan”), and they all of a sudden started rejecting articles because I used BOTH Chinese spellings in the article. That’s because some people romanize it one way or the other – it’s a foreign phrase, for Pete’s sakes! It’s not like I’m gaming the system. I’ve gotten PAID to publish such things in print magazines, with no problems or complaints there. I’m thinking that maybe I waste too much time on EZA with all the arbitrary standards set there. That time could be better spent somewhere else. I agree with them that they are looking to host quality content, but it’s getting to be too much “Big Brother” and not enough decent human treatment anymore. I don’t like that.
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