Bad SEO Practices #2: Article Marketing Sites / Article Directories

By Ali Luke

In case you missed it, here’s the first post in this series: Bad SEO Practices #1: Buying and Selling Links.

Have you come across article marketing?

It means writing for sites like Ezine Articles, which are a repository of articles that anyone can republish – so long as they keep the author’s bio box in place. (You might hear these called “article directories.”)

Back in 2008 when I started blogging, I spent a bit of time writing ten or so articles. They sent me a bit of traffic, though nothing spectacular. More importantly, they helped me get links from other people’s newsletters (“ezines”) and websites.

The drawback to this was that many of the pieces on article marketing sites weren’t particularly good … plus there’s not much value for readers in the same article being repeated across multiple different websites.

Back in 2011, EzineArticles was hit hard by Google’s algorithm update (along with plenty of other article directories). And over the past couple of years, SEO experts from sites like Search Engine Watch and Moz have spoken out against article marketing, saying that it might harm your search engine rankings.

Right now, you’ll be wasting your time submitting to article marketing sites. There are plenty of better places to focus your efforts (like writing unique, value-packed guest posts for major sites in your niche).

Even worse, the links you get from article directories may actively harm your Google rankings. And of course, when anyone can reprint your work, you might find it popping up on spammy sites or even on your competitors’ blogs. Do you really want that?

Article marketing may have worked six years ago, but it doesn’t work today. If you’re doing it, stop wasting your time. If it’s something you’ve been thinking about, don’t bother.

 




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3 Responses to “Bad SEO Practices #2: Article Marketing Sites / Article Directories”

  • Jay Patel

    I wouldn’t completely neglect them. Ezine people have improved a lot. Their manual approval process is much more stringent now. Of course, the backlinks you get from scraper who scraps article from Ezine might hurt you.

    Using Ezine to limited extent may not harm your blog.

  • Ali Luke

    Thanks Jay — I think Ezine Articles do a good job, and they have indeed made changes. It’s the scrapers and the lack of control over where articles are published that worries me most.

  • Karen Cioffi

    I’m an Ezine user, maybe once or twice a month. I am a bit concerned about where my articles may end up, but I think the benefits outweigh the concern.

    I also do guest posting on relevant major sites.

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