Google’s recent algorithm changes have hit content farms hard, which was their aim in an effort to make search results more relevant for the end user. However, several article directories were hit as well and they provide precious link juice to bloggers. If you use article marketing to drive traffic to your site and improve your SEO, you’ll definitely want to know how the directories are reacting and how it will affect you.
Two years ago when my book, The Sage Age was published, one of the key tools I used to promote it was article marketing, primarily with the Ezine Articles (EA) directory. Because of the topics I covered (and quality of content), I was quickly listed as an Expert Author.
I placed the articles on the book’s site as well. The advantage was being able to include EA’s syndication link, which also included my author’s resource box with links to my site.
My content ended up on the front page of several respectable sites. The backlinks were good for SEO, and sent visitors directly to my site. Two years later I’m still getting over 300 hits on several articles and because of it, my book keeps selling.
Ezine Article’s Reaction
A few days ago I checked up on Ezine Articles to see how they have reacted to Google’s new algorithms. I was shocked at the outpouring of comments to their proposed changes. Contributors are questioning why they should post articles for free on EA, who gets all the ad revenue, if backlinks will be taken away, especially since there are other directories that share the ad revenue.
Many things have changed in article marketing, blogging, and the SEO worlds in the last two years. What hasn’t changed is the need to build your expertise and drive traffic to your site. Because of changes by Google and Facebook, the relevance of article directories is being re-evaluated as a primary marketing tool.
Posting articles on EA was a good thing to do for promoting The Sage Age simply because the topics were perfect for that outlet. But, I haven’t posted any for BlogAid namely because techie articles have such a short shelf life. Instead, I’ve been building my quality content base on my own site where I can easily update it, and guest posting on other respectable sites. I develop podcasts that are listed on iTunes and post videos to YouTube. Up until the last month, I’ve advised clients who have valuable educational info to consider adding article marketing to their mix.
Currently, the number one referrer of traffic to my site is Facebook. The number one way I convert is by helping folks online and through in-person contacts. Those each generate more word-of-mouth referrals, which is the best kind of marketing on the planet. So, sites where I can deliver time-sensitive information are where I’m focused.
Article marketing lends itself well to evergreen content and I’d hate to see it disappear entirely. But, I also like the idea of Google clearing out the SEO cheaters and forcing article directories to only allow good content on their site.
Several of the experts I follow online have addressed the article marketing issue. Here are two links from folks I respect. Lynn Terry speaks directly to the hoo-haa at Ezine Articles in her Google Farmer Update post. Krisit Hines asks, Is Article Marketing Still Effective After the Google Farmer Update?
And, for the balance, read Mark Thompson’s thoughts on the algorithm change and what it means to bloggers providing great content on their site. He provides some nice screenshots of his stat results.
What’s Your Take?
Do you use article marketing as part of your mix or are you sticking with great content on your site and guest posts? I’d enjoy hearing your comments on the new content farm updates and how it’s affecting you.