What is article marketing all about? Is it dead? Is it something you should be focusing on? Let’s explore article marketing and its evolution over the past few years.
Is Article Marketing Dead?
I wouldn’t say that it’s dead, but it isn’t what it used to be.
Check out Google’s featured snippet on article marketing.
I remember when article marketing was all the rage. People were teaching it, preaching it and even selling courses and software to help people maximize their article marketing campaigns. Article marketing was easy, and anything that is easy to use is easy to abuse. I believe that is what lead to the eventual demise of article marketing as we once knew it.
The Good Old Days
There was a time when article directories were considered authorities due to the sheer volume of content published on their sites. This made it possible for article directories to dominate the top searches on a wide rage of topics. Authors found it easy to piggy-back on their authority and easily outrank their competitors even if the quality of their articles wasn’t as good.
The main purpose of publishing in article directories was to post a link leading back to your own website, This was referred to as building back links. For a while the consensus was “Those with the most back links wins“. There was plenty of evidence to support that.
A few corporations with deep pockets, like JC Penny and The Home Depot paid people to build a massive amount of back links which gained them high rankings for completely unrelated keyword phrases. Once Google decided to stop this gaming of their system, these corporations lost their rankings overnight!
Wikipedia and a handful of other sites have survived the ranking shake-up mostly due to the fact that their websites are considered to be informational and not commercial. Their articles are mostly written by experts in their respective fields and write their articles for no other reason than to be informative.
What Happened To Article Marketing?
Basically, article marketing flooded the internet with sub-par and outright crap articles. Many people would even surf from one article directory to another dropping the same crap article everywhere they went. Then, people began selling software that compounded the problem.
I remember about 10 years ago you could buy software that would spin your articles and drip feed them to article directories for you. If you’re not familiar with article spinners, here’s what they do:
- Rearrange Paragraphs
- Swap Words For Synonyms
- Swap Short Phrases With Similar Phrases
I was pretty skeptical about how well these would work. I tried using one on a free trial and my suspicions were confirmed. The articles were terrible! People knew they were terrible but in their minds, a back link was a back link. This was effective for a while but Google changed the rules and people who were using them found their sites buried deep in the rankings.
When it comes to ranking articles in their index, Google wants to give searchers the absolute best results based on a persons search query. They weren’t always effective at doing this but they have gotten much better in recent years.
Article Marketing Today
Most article marketing today is done the way it should have been done all along. That is, publishing articles on your own website! If you publish quality content on your own site at least 2 – 3 times per week, you will be recognized over time as an authority in your niche and the rankings will follow.
Guest blogging or guest posting is another way to do article marketing without getting the old Google slap. The idea behind guest blogging is write a quality articles to publish on an authority website in the same niche as you. You bring value to their readers and in return, you get a quality back link from an authority site.
Securing an opportunity to guest blog may not be easy. You will need to contact the site owner and convince them that your article will provide value for their readers. You may need to contact several site owners to get a “Yes” but 1 quality back link is better than 100 paid for links. The harder it is to get the link, the more value it is likely to have and visa versa.
Want to guest blog on this site? Contact me here.
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