Google Panda Didn’t Completely Kill Article Marketing But It’s On Life Support.
Article marketing is a tried and tested method of generating links and ultimately its great to generate leads. In order to employ this tactic all you need to do is find a topic, write an article about it that includes a link or two, and publish it on several article directories. Or, more accurately, you pay someone else to do all that for you and just provide the link destination and anchor text.
And up until recently article marketing worked and it worked very well. Because it got results for relatively little cost there were many proponents of the strategy.
The problem is, article marketing has lost much of its potency due to the Panda update. When Google’s change began targeting low quality content sites, in one stroke wiped most article directories from the SERPs and has robbed them of nearly all of the link juice they used to pass on.
This was not unexpected, or unfair to article marketers. Because the vast majority of content published on article directories was indeed low quality. This low quality content had no other purpose than to generate long tail traffic for the directories and links for the content writers. It certainly didn’t aim to fulfil user’s informational needs in all cases, and so its disappearance from SERPs was actually praised by many.
What it means now is that marketers that have been using article marketing as part of their linkbuilding activities will need to find a new channel to generate easy and keyword-rich links.
So what does this all mean? Well its simple really, it means that you need to change how you submit your articles to the directories. And more importantly which ones you choose to submit them to. You need a plan that optimizes the content that you have created in such a way that allows it to be repurposed in a small number of high quality sites rather than thousand of low quality ones.
The Whole World of SEO Is Asking the Same Question: Massive or Individual Article Marketing?
To make a wise decision about article marketing I would like to point out the advantages and disadvantages of massive article marketing submissions vs individual publications.
(1) Massive Content Blasts
Advantages: The biggest advantage is that you invest less time and get more backlinks.
For example, you can write one article and blast it to 50 directories . So, you submitted an article and got 50 publications with your backlinks inside. This is a lot of backlinks.
And a lot of backlinks means that you can get better ranks for your keywords within quite a short period of time.
I can tell you that the vast majority of SEO providers, companies and services are selling massive submissions. You can easily impress a client with a big number of backlinks, a frugal price and a good boost in ranks.
Disadvantages: Google knows that content blasts have become its weak point, and Google Panda update is just the beginning.
Google understands that content blasts are its weak point. Because when the links that are inside the content that are published on sites with different IPs, site owners, different age and history of the site – this looks pretty natural to Google. This resulted in its reputation measuring algorithm being manipulated.
Google Panda update started to focus on this but clipping the results of your massive blasts. For example, you blasted an article to 50 blogs and on the initial stage you get very nice results. But over time Google will chop down all these 50 articles into a smaller number. Which means that the number of backlinks you have in the end gets smaller as well. And you can lose position in the search engines.
Google isn’t super good at clipping the results of massive submissions at the moment. But their approach to taking care of this issue is smart and correct. Now that they saw great results from Google Panda update about massive submissions, they will focus even more efforts on this approach. It will take time, but strategically the effect from massive submissions will decline more and more.
(2) Individual Publications on Trusted Sites
Advantages: maximum SEO safety, long-term article marketing results and direct traffic.
You can use this approach even for the sites that are just 1 day old, without getting into the SEO spam scan from Google. This is the safest approach one can use right now.
The SEO quality of this type of backlinks is tremendous, because you are choosing the sites with reputation, age and trust. 2-3 backlinks from the site of this level will be of a much higher value, compared to hundreds of backlinks from the sites that have nearly no reputation in the eyes of Google.
Finally, you get direct traffic from your articles, not just the backlinks. Because your they are posted on quality sites they are bringing in more traffic then they would if they were posted on lower quality directories. If you write interesting content, you will get direct visitors from these sites to your site. Because these sites have traffic and your article on this site will get traffic as well.
Disadvantages: more work (yeah I know you hate work lol), takes longer to see the results.
Obviously it takes time and effort to submit one great article to one great site, then another great article to another site, etc. That is why you will not get hundreds and/or thousands of backlinks overnight.
And, on the first stage, the results of rank improvement aren’t that impressive. It can take up to several weeks of hard work with creation and publication of articles on trusted sites before you can see the ranking improvement.
What Article Marketing Choice is Better?
I believe, and many other SEO specialists will agree, that massive submissions are on a sliding trend in SEO.
They still currently work but not as good as they used to, but they still give results. Sometimes – very impressive results.
SEO providers still love using them because they give quick results and the price is expensive. And it means that whenever you come to a SEO company that has a big portfolio of different strategies, they will do their best to convince you that massive submissions are cool.
There area a lot of service providers in the SEO market who are not ready yet to get away from article marketing massive submissions because other strategies need more resources. That is why you will not often hear about other strategies that need more time and effort, because SEO companies do not want to lose potential clients in this economy.
Despite all the above mentioned, the market is changing right now.
If we take into account the famous Google Panda update with their clipping of backlinks from massive submissions, and that Google will not stop on this – then the strategy of individual publications becomes a realistic way out for SEO providers and people who want to push their sites high in ranks.
Should We Quit Massive Submissions?
In the short-term scope, no. Massive content submissions are still working. But it is absolutely critical that you get used to the new type of SEO. SEO where quality matters more than numbers. When you are looking not only on the PageRank of the site, but also on the traffic and visitors that this site is getting. SEO that is actually very close to media marketing.
As with every new trend, it will take some time to get used to this new model. But after you get used to it, after you see the results, after you understand how safe and natural it is – you will agree that this approach is the best you can use for your sites and for the sites of your team.
Think about the future of your SEO today. Before the market has changed so critically that your article marketing falls out from it.
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