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The Death of Article Marketing

5 July 2011 No Comment

Article marketing used to be a mainstay of link building. It was so simple, and yet so effective that the term “bum marketing” was coined in the belief that even a bum off the street could have success with it. And it really was – write a bunch of low quality articles, or outsource them, or even “spin” them and then sumbit them to a bunch of article directories, and watch your rankings soar and your traffic skyrocket!

OK so maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but the fact is it did work to increase both traffic, and rankings through gaining a lot of back links. That was then howeverm, and in the post-panda online world things are very different. Google’s panda update was intended to clean out low quality sites from their algorithm, and that included article directories. Now, even the “big boys” like ezinearticles are only a shadow of their former selves, and the value of any links from them are hugely diminished.

Since panda I don’t really do article marketing since the backlinks are now virtually worthless, though it’s still a valid method of getting a little traffic so may be somthing to consider as a (small) part of your overall marketing strategy.

The old method was usually to find a list of the top article directories, and work your way down the list submitting content. A few things to note about those lists though:

1. PR of the site has very little meaning, since the page your article will be on will be PR0 no matter what the PR of the home page is! A popular article which has been online for a while and has some backlinks of it’s own may gain PR but that will not have a major correlation with the PR of the site.

2. ALL the well known article directories were affected by Google’s panda update and so tend not to rank anywhere near as well as they used to – that means a lot less traffic and link juice than before.

3. IMO submitting the same content (even if it’s been “spun”) to a bunch of low quality article directories is of very little benefit. Therefore, assuming you’ll be submitting each article to only one or two sites it makes sens to only focus on the few top ones, since the traffic and link juice you’ll get from sites lower down the list will be insignificant.

Bearing that in mind, IMHO there are only a handlful of places still worth considering:

ezinearticles.com – no where near as useful as it once was, but if you’re going to submit to an article directory this is the one.

hubpages.com – ditto the above. It’s not an article directory, and I believe you need to meet a quality score for it to be dofollow, but still gets some traffic.

articlesbase.com – I’m not convinced on this one, but lots of warriors seem to approve.

goarticles – Not used them in a while but they used to be excellent.

Yet there is 1 place above all others where you do want to place your best content, and where you’ll get the very best valeu from it – your own site! SPending the time to publish high quality, unique content to your site/blog is what Google really want to see. Done properly you’ll attract natural links from your visitors, you’ll get some social activity gonig (people commenting, linking, sharing) and you’ll get a lot more love from Google than by submitting that content anywhere else.

PS here’s a vid from Matt Cutts which verifies this

So, with article marketing not dead in the water but seriously floundering, what marketing/backlinking methods are you favouring in the post-pada climate?

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