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Article Marketing

SEO - posted on 11/02/2011

There are many people on the forums and even gurus selling courses teaching you how to use article submissions to boost traffic and get higher rankings. Although I can't say I've personally looked at the courses, many of the forum posts seem to lead you to believe that just by writing an article a day and submitting it to the search engines you'll magically get lots of traffic. 

Having done article submissions myself, I have to say I'm somewhat skeptical about the value. 

Article Submissions for Traffic

 One of the benefits of article marketing is that apparently you can get a lot of referral traffic from the big directories. I'm not sure about you, but I can't remember the last time I saw EzineArticles or any other directory in the search results for a particular search I made. That has to beg the question, how are you going to get referral traffic if the article directory isn't getting traffic (apart from Webmasters who are submitting articles). 

Even if the directory did get some traffic, click throughs on the author bio link tend to be around 5% (if you are lucky), so even a thousand people seeing your article is going to send you just 50 visitors. It doesn't seem worth it to me! There are only 4 or 5 large directories that get any significant traffic so even if you do get your article published on hundreds of sites, they don't get any traffic.

 Articles for SEO

 This is one of my biggest gripes about article marketing, even if you submit 100 articles to Ezine Articles, the biggest directory on the net and with the most authority; it still only really counts as one link because the domain and IP is the same. You get very little, if any benefit from having 100 articles linking to the same site. Want more proof? Look at some of the big online forums, people have thousands upon thousands of posts, most of them have links in their signatures. If the search engines counted each link then you'd get top rankings easily, but you don't. 

Furthermore, if you submit the same article to hundreds of directories, Google has a duplicate content filter which discounts pages with the same content.  Hours of work might be thus wasted as Google ignores the vast majority of sites with your links on them. To make it work, you have to submit unique articles to each directory, which can be a time consuming or expensive process.

 Articles for Syndication 

There is a suggestion that article marketing will somehow gain you hundreds of links without lifting a finger because there are desperate website owners eager to put your article on their site. Now in my experience, and talking to other SEO analysts, although your article does end up on other people’s websites, they tend to remove your bio link or put a no follow attribute in the link, rendering it useless from an SEO point of view!

 The ways I tend to use articles is for each site write 4 unique articles and submit it to the four main directories. Then I social bookmark them to the do follow social bookmark sites and take no further action after that because it's not worth the additional effort.