Michael Gray has started an interesting discussion on the value of article marketing over at his blog. A number of SEO pro’s are weighing in to the discussion in the comments (including myself) and it’s well worth a read.
Most of you will be aware that for over a year I ran the largest article submission business on the Digital Point Forums. I used some software to automate the process and could submit an article to 250 sites in about an hour. The submission was exactly the same as manual submission and you could include 4 links in a signature with the anchor text of your choice.
Having submitted thousands of articles and seen first hand where they were syndicated and how they affected the rankings of the websites it became more and more apparent to me early this year that the process just wasn’t working anymore. Obviously my charges of $30 to submit 2 articles to 250 sites were not steep and nobody was expecting a miracle but if the process wasn’t working then I didn’t want to keep providing the service.
In the past article submission worked very well, especially with Yahoo, so anybody bulk submitting prior to 2007 is likely to have seen good results. As with most SEO tactics Google has just figured out a way to stop it working.
How to do article marketing in 2007
If you are really struggling for links then you might want to submit to the top few article sites on this list but otherwise I would really recommend steering clear of article sites. They are full of low quality duplicate content that never attracts natural links and are joining directories in the webs spam filled wasteland.
The key is to get your unique articles syndicated by as many real websites as possible. Most people write one article and try to syndicate it but with many webmasters becoming more and more aware of duplicate content you really need to start writing multiple versions of the articles.
My favourite methods
Create a webmasters area on your site and let people know that if they want content for their site you will write custom articles for them on subjects related to your site. Include a couple of links, some images & a signature and you both will get a lot of value.
If you want a slightly more scalable method sit down and write 10 or 20 brand new articles and upload them to your site in a zip file for people to download. Most will include links to your site and the articles will be published on real sites rather than spam filled directories.
Promoting off site content
When your content gets picked up on another site don’t simply sit back and hope. Start seeding the content at sites like StumbleUpon, Digg and Del.icio.us to maximise the value of your link.
Whats your favourite article marketing method?