Since Google rolled out Panda and Penguin, copywriters and website owners have begun to wonder if there is any point in article marketing - you know, those article submissions on Ezines and other article sites that used to enjoy a high Google ranking. Many of these article directories have recently seen a huge number of webmasters request the removal of articles and back links from their directories. Amazines, one of the largest and oldest article directories on the web, have recently provided its users with a link removal tool, as a direct consequence of the Google changes.
For small websites, article marketing was the best way to get some credible links to their site and draw in new custom, but article sites have suffered and no longer enjoy the high status they once enjoyed, so why is that?
Well the whole point of the updated algorithms is to keep the Internet an even playing field, which means catching out the cheats and rewarding those who put real effort into their site.
Unfortunately some article directories were publishing articles with little or no value, and often duplicating content. So, when Google waged war on these grey-hat methods, some online article directories took a direct hit.
What are Panda and Penguin Algorithms?
The most recent algorithm, Google Penguin, was first rolled out in April 2012 with the purpose of penalising websites which used black-hat methods in order to gain a good page ranking. In particular, Google Penguin was targeting keyword stuffing, link schemes and duplicate content.
The preceding algorithm was Google Panda whose aim was to target low quality sites which provided a poor user experience. This algorithm rated sites based on human logic which followed a series of checklists that each site was measured against, again looking for original content, checking for spam and other black-hat SEO methods.
Was That the End for Article Sites?
Not at all, they just had to up their game! Like any site, what counts is quality and not quantity.
Online articles still have a very useful purpose and can improve the page rankings of websites by reaching out to a new audience and providing useful link baits, it’s how you approach them that needs to be different.
Just as you would spend time ensuring that your website content is unique, interesting to read, concise, well researched and relevant, you should devote that same time and energy to online submissions.
Article marketing is a great way to start a debate or give out free, useful advice and tips. You can also get your relevant keywords in there, just be careful not to over-use them or your articles will be regarded as spam. In addition, never, ever be tempted to duplicate your written stuff across article directories. Some article sites now actively check that content is not duplicated.
Other Ways of Article Marketing
If you come across a great blog that is relevant to what you are doing, by all means contact them and ask if you can submit a guest article. Many blogs have a good, steady following and most owners are more than happy to authorise well-written, high quality articles as it attracts more visitors to their site. A high ranking blog link will work wonders for your own site. Check out My Blog Guest for an active community of blog owners looking for guest posts.
Remember, try to be different. Write about something you know will grab attention, come at a different angle and be curious.
Social Media Leverage
The web is becoming more and more social. As Mark Zuckerberg says himself “…doing things with your friends is much more fun than doing them alone…”, so write with people in mind (not robots).
Remember, the most important job is producing the quality content in the first place, then the social side will take care of itself (people will be pro-active in sharing your great articles).