By Karon Thackston © 2008, All Rights Reserved
It’s still a buzz industry even after all these years. Usually, with Internet marketing, someone comes up with a good idea that quickly gets abused and run into the ground. After a short burn, it dies off like a supernova. However, article distribution has held its own because of several factors, not the least of which is its ability to generate links.
As a copywriter, I produce many articles each month for clients that help them achieve several online marketing goals, including building link popularity. But, lately, questions about the quality of the links from article sites have come up.
I have my own opinions, which I’ll get to in a moment, but I also wanted to check with some well-known and trusted industry sources, so I sent out a couple of emails to a few friends. Below are their responses to the questions:
Are links from article directories still worth having or have they lost their impact? In essence, is it still worth doing article distribution from an SEO perspective to get links from directories?
You can’t talk about article submissions without bringing up one of the oldest and most respected sites online: IdeaMarketers.com. Owner Marnie Pehrson first launched this site way back in 1998 before the Internet gave much thought to marketing through articles. As times have radically changed, Marnie has kept pace making unique and important changes to her site.
When asked the questions above, Marnie responded, “Whether it’s an article directory or any other high-traffic/well-established site, a link prominently displayed on an authoritative site is a good link. Lumping all article submission sites together is rather unfair because they are all certainly not the same.
“Many have pitiful PageRank and bury your article deep within their pages to boot. That’s why we implemented our bidding system at IdeaMarketers. You have the chance to be featured on pages that search engines give more weight to. We include anchor text links in the listings as well, which makes them all the more valuable. So, while some links from poor-quality article directory sites are most likely not worth much, links from well-established heavy hitters can still help your link popularity.”
You might be thinking, Of course an article directory site owner would say that! But, she happens to be right. There are a slew of cheap, fly-by-night article sites online that are literally here one day and gone the next. There are still more that stay active for a while, then slowly grind to a halt. When you check the last time they added any articles to the mix, you might find it was 2006. Your focus needs to be on quality, active sites. One prominent linking pro agrees.
Does link-building specialist Debra Mastaler from Alliance-Link think article distribution still has merit? “Yes, it’s still worth using the article directories as a way to accumulate inbound links. Links embedded in your content will pass link popularity, provided the directory pages they’re sitting on have been indexed.
“Mix up your anchor text and use links to your internal pages as well as your home page. Doing so helps stream link popularity and visitors to your revenue-producing product pages.”
Tips for Effective Article Distribution
I said I’d give my two cents worth, so here it is: I agree with Marnie and Debra. You can’t stereotype all article submission sites. You have to pick and choose. As I discussed in my previous article about duplicate content issues with article distribution, there are things you can do to improve your success. In addition to the three tips given here:
> > avoid article-blaster software
> > only use sites that allow HTML and
> > establish the article on your own site prior to distributing, you can also:
Choose Quality Sites – While most PageRank (PR) indicators are not accurate, they can give you a general idea of where a site stands. Choose sites with a minimum PR of 3.
Check for Updates – When is the last time a particular article site added content? They normally print the published date for each article. Flip through a few categories and make sure the site is timely.
Find Backlinks – Using sites that have lots of traffic pointed in its direction is always a good idea. After all, while SEO is a wonderful benefit of article marketing, establishing yourself as an expert and branding your company are prime perks as well. Nobody wants to place articles on distribution sites and have them sit, unused, for eternity. The entire goal is to use high-traffic sites that allow others to find and reprint your material. Aim for sites with plenty of backlinks.
Article marketing has been an exceptional way to get the word out long before the Internet burst onto the scene. When you add the ability to build link popularity to the enormous exposure that’s possible with this type of promotion, you get a highly effective method that drives traffic, positions you as an expert, reinforces your brand and allows for infinite promotion of your business. Pretty darn good deal, if you ask me!
Karon Thackston is developer of Article Marketing & Distribution, a course available exclusively at Search Engine College. Take Karon’s course today at http://www.searchenginecollege.com/article-marketing-distribution-course.shtml. Subscribe to Karon’s copywriting blog at https://www.marketingwords.com/blog.