Lately I’ve gotten lots of questions about article marketing. Some people want to know if article directories are still effective places to promote after the Panda and Penguin Google updates. I know that others of you, especially the fiction folks, are wondering what’s with all those animals. (If you Google those you’ll get lots of cute photos, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.)
Writing and publishing articles is a great way to gain visibility on the internet. I’ve written about the benefits of article marketing in articles here on this blog in the past. One benefit of writing articles and distributing them online article directories is that you get more readers to see your words. You can also include a link (to your website or book) in your resource box (your bio) to promote your site and yourself. Most people find articles of interest by using search engines. The most popular search engine is Google. That’s why you’ll hear folks talking about Google ranking or page rank.
About two years ago, Google changed the formula for deciding how well a page should rank (how high a page shows up in a Google search). This update became known as Panda. There were a lot of really bad articles in the article directories. Google decided that the links coming back to a website from article directories weren’t very valuable. Therefore sites with these kinds of links fell in ranking. In some cases sites fell from the first page of a Google search to 50 or 100 pages back. Sites that depended heavily on the article directories for links lost their ranking.
In April 2012, Google made more changes to the search formula. This update was named Penguin. Penguin made more refinements to how webpages were valued. This update made links from social networking sites more valuable than some of the spammy sites that had sprung up for the purpose of increasing the page rank of other sites.
You see, lots of folks had figured out ways to fool the search engines into thinking a page was more valuable to readers than it really is. One of the ways they did this was to get lots of links to their sites from sites that don’t have much value. Search engines want their customers (people doing searching) to find what they are looking for easily. Therefore Google and the other search engines are constantly trying to improve the results. Of course the website owners and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) companies keep looking for ways to keep their sites on top.
All of the directories lost some (or most) of their clout. EzineArticles was the premier article directory. It’s still big, but not the same as it was. There are several others that you should consider.
If you focus on providing value to your readers, you won’t have any problems with current or future updates. Here are a few things to keep in mind when posting to the article directories
- Use unique articles on your site
- Don’t link back to your home page
- Link to an article on your site about a related topic
- Don’t link to an identical article on your site
By providing good value to your readers, you leave them eager to read more from you. Keep these things in mind and you’ll experience success with your article marketing efforts.