"Why is Article Marketing so darn important in 2006?"
SEO Power Strategies - Day 36

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If you follow the seo forums, you'll notice that an old search engine marketing strategy is now suddenly everyone's “seo strategy” of choice. Yes, I'm talking about article marketing .

In the SEO Elite newsletter I've often mentioned the benefits of article marketing, but with Google's recent updates to its ranking algorithms, the topic merits a fresh look. With everyone even remotely interested in achieving decent search engine rankings turning to article marketing, it is critical for your website's success that you fully understand what traditional article marketing is about and how you can benefit from it. Note that as search engines become smarter with reciprocal links, article marketing - especially the sort of marketing that guarantees good results - will require some expert knowledge.

In the rest of this lesson, I'll show you:

  • How traditional article marketing works
  • Why it will not work in the long run and
  • The right way to do article marketing

In addition, I have a surprise for you at the end of this issue (but wait, read the lesson first, what you'll learn here is priceless).

Traditional Article Marketing

Traditional article marketing works something like this:

You write (or pay someone to write it) a 600-word article, take out a list of 100-200 article directories, and submit your article to all of them (or you could hire someone to do that as well). In a week or so, your article is accepted and published by the article directories, not to mention thousands of websites who pick up articles from these directories.

Then, after a week or two of submitting the article, search engines pick it up and suddenly see hundreds, if not thousands, of new links to your site. Even if these are low-quality links in some cases (there are very few highly reputed article directories, and most of them are not themed), your rankings benefits thanks to the sheer number of links you've built.

Over a period of time, after several article submissions, you notice an improvement in your search engine rankings at the next algorithm update. Yes, those links have made all the difference, and now your site is starting to get higher search engine placement.

The Problem with Article Marketing

By the looks of it, article marketing has everything search engines ask for – quality content, contextual links and even one-way links (as opposed to reciprocal links, which are less valuable).

However, to draw a parallel, just blindly submitting articles to hundreds of directories is like shooting in the dark - you're essentially banking on getting tons of non-themed links in the hope that they will be enough to improve your rankings (you may get lucky now and then and have some big website in your niche pick up your article and run it).

Important: The reason I say that many of these article links are non-themed is because the search engines not only look at the page your link is located on, BUT also look at the "website" your link is located on. All of these article directories are probably not related to your website in theme.

If you are serious about your rankings, you'll have to get your hands dirty and chase down the right links yourself (only at the beginning of course - as your site's popularity increases, your articles will generate their own links and you will get requests from other websites requesting your permission to reprint your articles).

The case for adopting a personal approach to article marketing becomes air-tight if you consider the following:

  • Search engines are clamping down harder on duplicate content , using the “date of discovery” (when the SE spider first finds the content) and other factors to find out which article is original and which are “copies”.
  • Search engines are getting better at evaluating “ themed ” links – links from industry-related websites, with a greater emphasis on niche sites dealing with one or two themes rather than general purpose sites dealing with a large set of themes (like article directories).
  • Search engines already consider anchor text as vulnerable to spam, so if hundreds of links pointing to your site suddenly pop up (with the EXACT same anchor text), this would be a “red-flag” event.

In other words, while article submissions are excellent tools for gaining traffic and rankings, search engines are catching up to the fact that spammers may use "blind" submissions in order to artificially boost their link popularity, and are looking to implement filters that can catch spammers. This will not happen immediately and maybe not even in the next year, but as the search engine wars (between Google, Yahoo and the rest) heat up, search engines will get stricter in terms of what they allow to rank highly in their search results.

Note that when I say search engines, I'm really talking about Google (which current serves 40-50 percent of all search engine traffic). However, as article spam increases, the other search engines are bound to implement changes that will catch it as well.

The Right Way

If you want maximum results for your article marketing, you would be best served by adopting the following tactics:

  • Target the top article directories and go for a few quality links instead of hundreds of low-quality links. In other words, hit the top article directories (I've listed a few later on in this lesson) and devote the rest of your time on the next couple of steps.
  • Find themed article directories / content sites that are related to the niche that your article addresses. For example, if you write about CSS, you would be looking for directories and websites that accept content on website development and more directly, website programming.
  • Use articles as link building tools - find high-ranking sites related to yours and instead of simply asking for links, pitch your article to them as an offer to their readers. If your article is engaging, fresh and unique, most websites will gladly publish it on their websites (or at least give you a reference link), leading to increased traffic as well as link popularity.

There are a few more things that you can do to make sure you came out ahead of the search engines' spam filters:

Avoiding Duplicate Content Penalties

Ideally, you shouldn't publish articles that you submit on your own website – this "may" help you avoid the duplicate content penalty a bit. On the other hand, this does not address the concern that carbon copies of your article will suddenly pop up in hundreds of places on the Internet. To deal with this, you can use one or more of the following techniques:

  • Post the article on your website, and wait for it to be indexed by the major search engines before you submit it to the article directories.
  • Post the full article on your website and submit “ half ” of it to the article directories (works best if you have a 1000 words+ article).
  • Have your writer create a second, different version of the article. Then, you can submit that version to the directories while keeping the original on your site.

Deep Linking

Instead of just putting links to your main site page, link to a few inner pages of your site from within the article text. Of course, the inner pages must be relevant to the article topic. This will help spread the link popularity you receive throughout the site. Deep links are one of the ways search engines use to evaluate the value of links.

Themed Links

Use different articles for different purposes. For example, you could have one article promoting your main website, another promoting your new book (and linking to the order page), and yet another article linking to your newsletter signup page. The key is to remember that articles also mean traffic, and along with deep links, getting traffic to the key money-making areas of your site is very important.

Find Quality Article Sites

There are very few article directories (like Ezine Articles ) that have a stellar reputation within the search engines. Directories like Go Articles and ISnare are popular precisely because they themselves have managed to rank highly within the search engines.

The top ranked directories will not only get you the most link wealth but also the most traffic. However, don't be satisfied with just hitting the general purpose article sites – make sure that you find sites within your niche that accept articles exclusively to the topic – if you can get links from within your own topical link neighbourhood, they will be worth much more than the links you get from the big article directories.

And now, for the surprise I mentioned earlier.

Very soon, I'll be launching a new service that will allow you to crank out QUALITY Adsense style websites in only a few minutes. There are 2 major hindrances for Adsense website publishers. They are:

  1. Lack of unique, quality content.
  2. Lack of links to get the pages indexed quickly.

Lack of unique, quality content

What most adsense publishers do is visit article directories such as those mentioned above. They then grab 20-30 articles related to their website topic. They add the articles to their site and hope to see the search engine traffic pour in. Does it? 99.9% of the time is doesn't.

The reason is because you're serving up duplicate content that the Search Engines already know about.

So, how can you get around this? Easy... Create your own unique content based on the keywords you're targeting. Up until now, this could be an extremely time intensive process. Can you imagine writing 30, 550+ word articles? Sheesh, I don't even want to think about that. You can figure it would take you about 60 minutes to write 1 "quality" article. If you were to write 30 articles, that's 30 hours of work! Almost an entire week's work... Makes me sick just thinking about that :-)

Anyway, if you're anything like me and many other internet marketers, we know the key to massive success is paying others to do thing you don't want to do yourself, in order to free up your time (which is the most important asset you have) to promote your website.

This is where my new service comes in. We will write ALL of the articles for you, for an insanely cheap amount per article. Because my staff is so large, we're able to do this so cheaply, which benefits everyone :-) Plus, everything is organized into your very own administration panel where you simply enter whatever topics you want us to write about. Click "submit" and BAM, we're immediately writing your article and will have it to you within 24 hours. The sky's really the limit.

Alright, I won't give you a URL for the site just yet, but look for an email in the coming weeks. You're going to love what you see.

Lack of links to get the pages indexed quickly

This is another very common problem, but can be solved extremely easily. In order to get your pages indexed, you simply need links. The more links pointing to your website, the faster you will get indexed, period.

How can you get easy, fast links to your site? Go to LinkMetro.com and either sign up for a free account and manually exchange links with over 20,000 other websites listed in very tightly themed categories OR upgrade to an Advanced membership where you can get links even quicker and easier.

Whatever you decide. Go to LinkMetro.com and start getting links and I can guarantee that your pages will get indexed MUCH quicker than had you not done so.

Well, that wraps up this lesson on the importance of article marketing. I hope that this lesson has taught you some new strategies for using articles as effective marketing tools for your online business and I will speak with you soon!

All the best,

Brad Callen
Professional SEO

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