Article directory sites have taken huge hits in recent years when it comes to SEO and making money online from them. But there’s still potential, if you pick the best ones. So what are they?
As of 2021, I would have to say Hugpages or Medium.com might be the only 2 places left in the realm of the article directory world with any potential in making money from them.
People still depend on these types of places for faster results in the SERPS, but I want to give you the pros/cons of using them and help you decide if it’s worth the risk to even get involved with them (I don’t think it is and will show you what’s better).
The quick history of article directories (and my experiences with them):
There was once a time (before 2010) when article directories were an internet marketer’s best friend. People who had little/no experience in the industry could write simple 250 word articles, get ranked high and make a lot of money through these places. I personally experienced massive success with article directories and raked in some amazing monthly profits.
However all good things must come to an end and what eventually happened to article directories was that they began to amass far too much low quality content which filled up search engines and lowered the user experience. This led to a huge slap taking place and knocking down article directory websites as well as those who posted articles on it.
Suddenly the industry that was built upon the backs of article directories and other content farms began to fall and people wondered if things would ever be the same.
Is there still opportunity with article directories in 2021 and moving forward?
The answer is yes, but nowhere near to the level it once had. If you think you can just write tons of articles, link it to your site and get high SERP results, you’ve got another thing coming. Nowadays your best bet is centralize all content from within your site.
What this means is that you should write any/all articles on your own website and build content from there. Overtime, if you have enough high quality content and a good user engagement, this will lead to higher SERP results.
But what about article directories? Can we still use them?
Yes you can, but again, I would discourage it. But here is a list of article directories to date that have popularity and the ranking I would give them in terms of if they’re still worth using:
- Ezinearticles.com (No).
- Goarticles.com (No).
- Squidoo.com (Not around anymore).
- Hubpages.com (Some potential still available).
- Medium.com (Also some potential still left).
How to use the remaining article directories and possibly make money from them:
- The competition of your niche/market you’re involved in should be small. For example, here are 50 profitable niches that have good potential to rank well on the article directory sites (and with even more potential if you make your own blog on them).
The risk of using article directories:
While there are still pros in using article directories (potentially faster/higher SERP results), there is still 1 major risk that needs to be mentioned: The risk of losing all your work if the article directory you’re writing on decides to ax your work.
As many people (including myself) found out the hard way, putting all your eggs into the article directory basket ended up being a BAD investment. All it takes is 1 Google slap or a change in their TOS and all the work you put into writing up content can go straight out the window. This happened with Squidoo and man was it destructive.
In a worst case scenario, you want to be in FULL control of your content and the best way to do that is to keep your content on YOUR website. That way, you’re in charge of everything.
And if that wasn’t reason enough, understand in today’s world of SEO, more value is placed on the website and it’s content and not going around content farms and placing content there. This is seen as being a form of low quality content that is frowned upon and thus why it’s lost it’s weight.
Long story short: If you want SEO success, stick to keeping your content solely on your website. Here is a great program called Wealthy Affiliate to learn this from.
Yes this approach does take much longer to see results with because when you start a fresh site, it can/will take time to gain enough authority to rank well in the SERPS, but in the long run, it’s worth it, trust me.
If you’re still fully convinced article directories or as some call them, content farms are still the way to go, then again, at the very most, make sure whatever content you place there is minimal and stick to popular places like I mentioned above. Most importantly, keep most if not all of your eggs (articles/content) on your website.
My final thoughts:
I believe as time goes on, article directories will become less and less relevant for marketers. What is likely to happen is that the owners of these places will put in ridiculously strict rules to prevent anything close to linking (like Squidoo did) and make it almost important to utilize if you’re a marketer, which is understandable since they want to maintain a good reputation in the eyes of Google.
So as time goes on, worry less about article director ies, which is the best one to write content on. The answer is probably Ezinearticles, but compared to how good it was years ago, nowadays the difference is night/day and with the way things are evolving in SEO, safest thing you can do is write your own content and keep it on your website.
Take this website. It took me a good 6 months to earn enough authority to start to get decent traffic (How long will it take you to make money online?), and I never wrote on article directories and kept all of my content centered here. For other niches that are less competitive, the same approach might have led to faster success. Either way, it’s a the safer route in my opinion.
One more thing:
The most realistic potential you have with article directories today is marketing your content there to the community that is within that site. There’s just a greater chance that these places no longer work well for SEO and that the only people who will truly be exposed to the content you put there are the existing communities within the directory sites.