For many marketers, article directories were once a haven for building backlinks and getting high rankings in search engines, but as time went on and Google started updating it’s algorithm, things changed. Do they still work and can you still get good SEO through them? The answer is mostly no, but it’s still an option as you’ll find out here.
Let me rewind to the beginning and explain. At one point in time, articles dominated the SERPS. Odds were if you did a search on Google and other places, you’d often see an Ezine article or a lens from Squidoo being ranked fairly high.
And for many years this was the norm. I personally took advantage of this when I first started in online marketing years ago and saw tremendous results. For the most part, I used Ezinearticles and wrote well over a 100 of them. I experienced some tremendous success at times, especially in 2008.
Then came the Google updates and everything changed…
Many articles on popular places such as the ones I was using were considered low in quality and as such received a Google slap, meaning their rankings fell drastically to the point that traffic took a nosedive, permanently in some cases. This didn’t happen all across the board though and there were still many who retained their high rankings (and still do), but the overall blow to the article directory system was more than noticeable.
Why did this happen?
The main reason was basically low quality articles were being written and ranked left and right. Because it was SO easy to write up an article and get it ranked high for a keyword, many marketers took advantage of this and just basically started writing content that was considered spam. There was basically very little/no oversight.
Overtime like a plague, these articles were all over Google and the search engines basically felt that this would damage their overall reputation in the eyes of browsers, and they were right. Overtime most if not all article directories began to be known as content farms which was basically saying they were producing mass content to earn prestige in Google eyes, but overtime would fail because inevitably large amount of bad content would be produced.
So what happens now? Can you still use article directories?
Yes you can, but understand the main point: They do NOT carry as much weight as before. You can still write on them, but the odds of you getting high rankings fast are next to 0. I’ve personally seen a rise in some very old articles I once produced on Ezine and from time to time I will see an article from a directory rank on the first page, but this is very rare.
What about backlinking?
Same story. Recently, Google also released a video on Youtube on this very same subject and basically said they don’t give much weight to backlinks and article directories anymore because in the past this kind of practice produced way too much low quality content. That should really end all debate right there.
So if you’re going to make a website and drive traffic to it, it’s best to keep most if not all content on YOUR site and not try to write other content on article directories. You can still make YouTube videos. That is still a viable option.
Where to go from here…
Obviously if you once relied on article directories for good SEO results, this news is obviously not going to make you happy. But you need to understand 2 things:
1. This is a great thing that Google did. It basically took out the trash from their search engine and many people who relied on using those approaches to SEO are now either no longer doing online marketing or they’ll be forced to provide quality content if they wish to get anywhere. There’s still many who rely on black hat marketing methods, but eventually those too meet their end.
2. This brings about a great opportunity now that the bad competition is out and the demand for high quality content is in, this allows you to have a fair chance, if you are of course planning to play by the rules. If not, there’s nothing more I can do for you. But if you are and want to know what works in 2014 and likely onward, start here.
Above all, if you’re looking to get started in this new age of online marketing, the first thing you’ll need is a website. Then you’ll need to build out content on it, meaning information on the topic the site is focused on. Content is what ranks. And writing quality content is what will truly determine where your website stands in the SEO game.