Google SEO & Search Engine Marketing Services

Mass Article Submissions Are Not Worth It…?

mass article distribution

Over the last 3-4 weeks I have really been examining my backlinks, which ones pass the most juice, which ones have a preferential anchor text, which ones are relevant to the content of my page, and this little bit of research may have uncovered something I had feared for a while.

One thing I have noticed over the last 4 weeks is that I have been losing links sometimes as many as 500 in one week, this was quite disturbing and naturally I wanted to find out why.

On further investigation it became pretty clear, a lot of the links I had from article marketing were disappearing.

Let me run you through the scenario;

When I first started SEOwizz I used article marketing to get some quick links with the right anchor text, I fully recommend article marketing especially in the early days of a campaign, however what I have found out has changed my thinking.

I would submit articles through articlemarketer.com, this submits articles to thousands of directories. Out of the thousands of directories Google would index around 40 – 50 of the pages, great 40 – 50 valid backlinks per submission.

6 months later I have found myself in a tricky situation, 85% of the links are dropping out of the index apart from certain articles from strong domains, hence this is affecting my anchor distribution, link popularity and PageRank.

The Situation

The problem with article marketing has always been duplicate content. An article that can be found on thousands of different pages is only going to be indexed by a handful, therefore only a handful of the links are going to count.

Should You Article Market For Traffic

Is it still worth doing it for the traffic? Well anyone who has tried out article marketing will know the traffic form it is minimal, to say the least. Article marketing is all about getting anchored backlinks, however this could now be changing, in my opinion.

What Should I Do?

Here is my new advice on article marketing and I will be updating the tutorials asap.

Stop mass distribution, the pages the links are held on will not get indexed and the article directories that do stick are the ones with the strong domains. You don’t need to pay to distribute these articles, you simply need to submit them manually and their easy to spot, in my opinion you should only bother submitting to directories with a PR5 and above, this way the article has more chance of being indexed.

The sites I have found so far, that seem to hold long term link weight are;

- ezinearticles.com
- www.goarticles.com
- www.articlebase.com
- www.articlemonkeys.com

These are the 4 I would recommend submitting to as the page the article is on will most likely be indexed. Obviously if you find anymore directories PR5 or above go ahead and submit.

This in my opinion is a good starting strategy and an excellent way of building deep links.

I now, no longer recommend paying for distribution or mass article submissions software as most of the articles published will never be indexed.

Another reason not to use the submission service has a lot to do with link acquisition rate, I have noticed recenlty that Google are particularly sensitive to links gained in a short space of time. Best to avoid getting on the wrong side of Google simply because you have published an article to 1000 directories.

My opinion in the past is that submissions have been worth it but hey SEO is always changing and you constantly have to adapt.

Nice short one today but I hope, if you are using article marketing, to think quality directories over mass distribution.

Line Break

Author: Tim (296 Articles)

is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 9 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Director of Search at Branded3, a Digital Marketing & SEO Agency based in the UK.

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

DBlizzard November 15, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Thanks Tim. I love the way you are so free with your tips and just offer up the sites you use or recommend. We have been very careful with the speed we do link building lately.

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Tim November 16, 2009 at 2:26 am

Hi David,

When I first started writing this blog it always going to be a case of no holding back. There are those sites that tell you SEO theory, there are those that tell you the basics and there are those that give you real insights, I wanted to incorporate a little of everything. Link speed is important if you are doing manually, I have just found that Google recognises more of the links.

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timethief November 15, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Hello Tim. This is a very informative article. Thanks for sharing what you learned with your readers.

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Tim November 16, 2009 at 2:29 am

@timethief,

As always, my pleasure.

I got around 3 pingbacks one was duplicate the others I have approved, thanks.

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timethief November 15, 2009 at 9:29 pm

Oops! I forgot to say that I have updated my post Article writing and backlinks with links to yours.

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Andrew @ webuildyourblog.com November 16, 2009 at 3:01 am

http://www.ehow.com/ is also a good site. You do have to structure your aritcle differently to be accepted, though.

Andrew

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Tim November 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm

Hi Andrew,

Ye I have looked at ehow a few times but never got round to using it. Any site that has solid authority will have a good chance of being indexed and when it is indexed the links on it count.

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Mike McEvoy November 16, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Very interesting data on article directory submissions. I’ve wondered about this due to the duplicate content or potential bad neighborhood issues.When doing hand submitting you state that one should only bother submitting to directories with a PR5 and above.” What if the blog is brand new or perhaps has a PR 2 or less. Would it make sense to submit to any directory with a PR greater than the current PR of the blog?

Just trying to work some of this through in my head. On a related note is there any magical time frame when G. decides that legitimate backlinks on good authority sites are “too old” and discards them? I haven’t been blogging long enough to have a feel for this.

Great post with lots of helpful insights and thoughts. Thanks.

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Tim November 17, 2009 at 2:58 am

Hi Mike,

The reason why I sya PR5 or above is to make sure the page is indexed in Google. An article that can be found on 100 sites is rarely going to be indexed on a site that only has a PR2, therefore the link is worthless.

With regards to old links, it is quite the contrary. Older links pass more weight, the longer the link has been in place the higher the authority it passes, some commentators have even suggested a link age factor is in place rather than a domain age factor. I have seen links I built 6 months ago only just coming through my webmaster tools, link age is very important and prevents spam sites ranking highly.

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AffiliateX November 17, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Hi Tim…

Could not agree with you more about submitting the same article over and over again to the directories…

But what do you think would happen if you submitted a unique article to each of these directories with the same link text or even a variation of text. I should also include blogs into this scenario as well.

Lets say I am publishing a unique article that is at least 60 to 80 percent different to the next in each of the directories a day and as a result I am receiving more than 100 one way links to my site daily.

I can not see that Google will penalize you for this as you as the site owner have no control over how many individual links are pointing at your site each day and take the case of breaking news stories they don’t get penalized for the thousands of sites that immediately start linking to them. So as long as the IP’s are different you should not have a problem frpm any of the serps.

Tim this tactic works and you can nearly smash any market you want if you want to work at it.

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Tim November 18, 2009 at 4:35 am

@affiliatex,

Article spinning is a lot different to conventional article marketing. I have tried is many times but have found problems with it.

The first issue is that it is quite time consuming to spin an article enough to let it pass as unique content. Still if you can generate enough backlinks it would definitely be worth it.

Secondly, most of the top article directories are now better than ever at highlighting spun content, therefore sites like ezine, goarticles etc… will often reject or remove spun articles (first hand experience here, and the articles were 120% spun). This leaves you submitting to the lower quality article directories that struggle getting deep pages indexed, hence link generation is difficult.

Now you mentioned blogs, I personally think this is the way forward with regards to the “content for a link” system. Blog posting gives you the ability to distribute content sometimes simply snippets with a link in the content (editorial). Also blogs usually don’t have issues getting indexed, therefore your link has better chance of staying around long term.

If you want to dabble with this sort of link building myarticlenetwork.com offers a worthwhile service, however there are more powerful services if you can up your monthly budget.

100 links a day is a lot, especially if your sending them all to a homepage. Social viral content all has one thing in common and that is all the links are usually pointing to a deep page of a website. Saying that I have never come across a content publishing system that can generate this amount of ‘indexed’ links each and everyday. If you could recommend one I would definitely take a peek at it, unless it’s unique article wizard or anything like it, been there done that if you know what I mean.

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AffiliateX November 18, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Hi Tim

Yes I also would have said the same thing until I came across Magic Article Rewriter. Spinning articles using any of the other programs was just taking to long. But with this program it takes about a third of the time and each article that is produced is around 70% to 90% unique.

Again the quality depends on how long you want to spend on the article to make it unique.

I also use a program called Content Composer from Jason Potash to check my articles online to see how unique they really are. It is said that they have to be 30% or more but I go as far as I can when re-writing the article to ensure a more long term gain.

There are also many different ways that you can make your article unique with such things as adding youtube videos or other rss feeds to pull in additional text.

I also use Ezinearticles to do my link building but again after a month or so where I had seven or eight articles showing as backlinks on a PR6 site I now only have two which is something that seems to happen a lot with all link building they drop away over time.

I do use MyarticleNetwork and Unique Article Wizard to do a lot of my backlinks and yes they are pointing to a lot of my internal pages not just the home page of my site and on occasion other third party sites such as my Youtube channel or maybe my Hubpages site or Squidoo which is also incorporated into my network of sites.

Regardless of how you are getting the backlinks to your site and especially with article marketing you need to use services that allow you to place at least one link above the fold in the first or second paragraph of the article so that you can get the full benefit.

If you try to do that on EzineArticles they will “no follow” it and will only allow you to place links in the last paragraph of the article or in the resource box which is the only place that they will not “nofollow”.

Another benefit to using services like these and it will firstly take time to see the results but other sites start to pick up the feeds from these sites and even your own site and after a few months the effect of all this starts to magnify and links continuously keep coming in.

I still on occasion get links from articles that I posted more than six months ago from the networks above.

Tim I really had to push through to get this far and I to had become very dis-heartened initially but then, and I really can’t tell you why sites like webmasterradio.fm which is a PR7 site started to pick up my posts from around the internet and then directly from my site.

You might also want to see how my site is now in the top 100 Small Business Category Rnaked #2 on Technorati

And my subscriptions are growing by about for to five optins a day. My site was not actually started until March 2009 and as of November 2009 Google has allocated it with site links which means that it is beginning to be considered as an authority in is niche all that in nine months isn’t to bad.

As I am writing this to you I just received an email about another platform being released called WordpressDirect Platinum and after watching the video they have also incorporated an article spinner into their program and it looks very similar to Unique Article Wizards format.

But at the end of the day it really does not matter which service you use, but it is the quality of the article and the text link you use that will make the difference in the end.

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Tim November 18, 2009 at 3:23 pm

@affiliatex,

Thanks for all that info, it’s much appreciated.

It’s good to hear things are going well for you, sounds like it is really taking off, I guess your main focus in 2010 will be focusing on ROI :)

I completely agree, unique content, anchored link in the content (preferrably first two paragraphs) and obviously diverse distribution, this is the way to generate helpful links. I like to mix it up when it comes to link building and use a little bit of everything, then if one stops working I haven’t put all my eggs in one basket.

Again thanks for the indepth comment.

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AffiliateX November 18, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Hi Tim

Thanks not a problem I can get a little passionate about things and article marketing would have to be one of them…

Wishing You All The Best… And Great Site Buy The Way :)

AffiliateX

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Tim November 19, 2009 at 2:25 am

affiliatex,

Thanks appreciate it.

I too am a firm believer in article marketing, I just feel the conventional mass submission of the same article is a thing of the past.

Hope to see you around again.

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Newbie November 19, 2009 at 2:11 am

Interesting – I was just considering trying article marketing. I’ll keep your post in mind when submitting them.

When you said:
“Over the last 3-4 weeks I have really been examining my backlinks, which ones pass the most juice,

How are you deciding which links pass the most juice? Linkscape?

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Tim November 19, 2009 at 2:29 am

@Newbie,

I assess link juice using linkscape. However it wasn’t just on linkscape I was losing links it was on yahoo siteexplorer also.

When I talk about article marketing I mean it in the conventional sense “1 to lot’s of directories”. Read affiliatex comments as he highlights spinning articles to deliver a unique one to each directory, this does have a far better success rate and you build more links. I personally suggest using blog networks when spinning rather than article dirctories, myarticlenetwork is one of the biggest.

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Jim Robinson November 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Hi Tim,
IAbove, you said “Stop mass distribution etc “
You also recommended 4 sites to submit to twice weekly recently, and I think you said they would be the same article would go to each article directory unchanged, I think that is what you said.

In looking at the Author Guidelines for those sites,
ArticleMonkeys: after saying you must not submit articles you did not write, it says “content must be unique” that sounds like our articles published on e-zine are not acceptable— would you say. I will send a message to them.

Articlesbase at the beginning says “All articles must be original”. Do you think I am right in assuming that it means the article is original in that it was not written by someone else but not that it has been previously published?

I would imagine we mainly want to submit to article directories that will accept previously published work, certainly E-zine does and welcomes it.

Just a little confused, thought I should ask for you opinion if you have time.

Thanks, JimRobinson.

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Tim November 28, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Hi Jim,

Always got time to offer some advice :)

All the guidelines mean is that the content should be written by yourself original simply means you wrote it and the content is not scraped, spun or PLR. If you wrote from scratch an article that meets all the other guidelines, it would be accepted at all three sites.

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Jim Robinson November 28, 2009 at 12:48 pm

Thanks Tim,
that’s the answer I was hoping for, sometimes things are expressed in a somewhat ambiguous way and it always make me think too deeply.

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Tim November 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Jim,

I know what you mean and email, comment or whatever anytime to ask a question.

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Jim Robinson December 3, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Hi Tim
you mention articlebase as one of the better directories to submit to, and in process of sending them I note that their links are “no follow”
does that mean what I think it means? That the links don’t lead back to your own target posts — which seems pointless, Could you clarify please.
Also I cannot find their instruction on how to form a link and anchor text etc, they are not accepting the conventional form, at least in the body, I haven’t got to the resource bio box yet.
Thanks, Jim Robinson.

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Tim December 4, 2009 at 2:00 am

Hi Jim,

I apologise, they must have changed their policy recently. Yes nofollow in effect means ‘no point’, not for link building puposes anyway. Your better off starting with ezinearticles and goarticles. These are the ones I always used, I now use the tools I discussed, hence the over sight with article base. I wouldn’t bother submitting their save your articles for places where you are going to get a genuine link.

Sorry about that.

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Jim Robinson December 4, 2009 at 9:42 am

Thanks Tim, Understood.
I read some posts from a big discussion and criticisms about the “no follow” situation at Digital Point. And Talia —someone—, one of the Articlebase managers defended their policy and giving reasons to say it was justified. However, I have crossed them off my list.
Thanks, Jim.

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Alan buchanan December 18, 2009 at 1:39 am

Hi Guys,

Just noticed your post and discussion about article directories and in particular, nofollow.

Being the ownder of articlemonkeys i thought i would add my opinion. I was recently forced to add nofollow to the resource box links due to alot of poor quality articles affecting the ranking of the site and articles within the site.

So there needs to be a happy medium between wanting your article to rank well in the search engines and pull in traffic, or gain a do follow backlink.

However, i do not want to alientate good quality authors, which is why i would like to offer the chance for quality authors like yourself, the chance to make their resource box links do follow.

Please contact us via the site with your author account details and i will review your account for do follow.

I hope this helps us both out a bit.
Let me know your thoughts on this.

Alan

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Tim December 18, 2009 at 2:01 am

Hi Alan,

Thanks for your input there.

I understand what you are saying about article quality, I have outsourced content creation before and safe to say my 5 year old could have done a better job. I also understand that quality control over every article is hard to do without a sizable budget. Thanks for letting people know you are willing to be flexible and I hope people get in touch.

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Multi Blogging October 30, 2010 at 11:46 am

Hi Tim,.. thank you for sharing this article… I learn a lot about SEO, and backlink from this article…

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Schecter December 1, 2010 at 9:50 pm

Tim, I have found that part of what you are saying is true. Perhaps mass distributing is not worth it anymore and I believe that to be true because you end up getting a bunch of junk links that are bound to disappear later and eventually hurt your rankings. However I do not believe that you need PR5 or above article links to do well. I’ve found lower PR article directories that are just fine, provided that you backlink your articles in order to establish some link juice.

BTW, nice site and I’m bookmarking it (so you can get some “natural” links).

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Tim December 2, 2010 at 2:38 am

Hi Schecter,

Since I wrote this I have too found some value in even the newest of directories, I think anything in fresh content will have a positive impact on rankings.

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israel February 21, 2012 at 4:25 am

This is one of the greatest advice about article marketing that i have ever recieved.

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Benji February 21, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Thanks Tim. I agree and have noticed the same results. Do you know of any more directories though? Also, I have seen more sales from forum posting.

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