• http://www.marketingwords.com Karon Thackston

    You know, I’m just shaking my head at all this talk filling the Web about the “new age” of article marketing. Flooding the ‘Net with crappy content and expecting anything good out of it long term is like building a house of cards. The entire purpose of article marketing has never been to simply get your work posted on a thousand junky article sites. Anybody can do that.

    Where the benefits come in is in creating quality content with useful information that authority sites in your industry/niche find so valuable that they *reprint them* giving you exceptional link juice and also positioning you as an expert in front of a new audience.

    This is nothing new. This is the way article marketing has always worked best. It’s just now that Google has forced an increase in quality that we’ll begin hearing about these supposed revolutionary new waves in the article marketing field.

    IMO, cheap articles have always cost too much. They are a waste of time and money that produces little more than a hiccup of link juice with virtually no long-term benefits. Why bother paying $5 each for 100 crappy articles that will die off quickly because they get few or no reprints or when you can purchase 1 exceptional article for far less that has staying power because it goes viral?

    Go figure.

  • http://www.joplinseo.com Tipping Point SEO

    This is big for social… with se’s admitting to give weight to social cues, I’d recommend building up a huge social network that will like, fan, favorite, retweet, etc. your links and content. Social and QDF algorithm will be the biggest contributors to search in the next few years.

  • Zachary Schuessler

    The new age of article marketing, in Byrne Hobart’s words, is to make YouTube videos (nofollow), invest in Adsense(sic)(Adwords), and to target social media like Facebook(nofollow)?

    Is this guy serious?

    Look I’ll admit article marketing took a hit, but I’ve been running campaigns since the hit. I would say about one in eight article directories are still kicking from my reports. (This is still a lot) There are still remarkable results for long-tail keywords. That has not changed and if it has for you, I recommend buying a different subscription to a different network. (Or if you submit yourself, submit to better directories)

    Write good content and syndicate it to directories that are worth a damn. I’m not talking about the ones that will accept offshore articles that have a reading level of first grade.

    Better yet, look for websites that allow for guest blog posts. Those are a step above article directories by default, as they have someone who actually cares about their website.

    And please, everyone remember to read this disclaimer when you are reading posts from SEO experts at Search Engine Land:

    Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

  • http://www.adventuresinsearch.com Elisabeth Osmeloski

    Karon, totally agree with you too (and I think Byrne might as well) – it’s just that when article marketing became so rampant, the quality factor got lost among many. And sadly, new “SEOs” don’t know how to distinguish between good & bad article opportunities.

    Zachary, you make great points the quality of article directories & sites being more important, absolutely . I am not sure that 1 of 8 article directories still being viable is a good result in general, so I may disagree with you there.

    I will apologize now for not having Byrne rewrite some parts for clarity, I was crushed for editing time this week with SMX.

    I think Byrne’s main point about the social network emphasis, regardless of “no-follow” (that doesn’t actually matter) it’s that the ‘like’ factor is becoming so much more important anyway in terms of SERPs and getting into them that way, instead of relying on the links from article directories in general.

    Yea, it may be an ‘old’ suggestion, but so many people still don’t realize how critical it is to optimize for Universal search results, and they don’t know where to begin. Some of us who have been doing SEO for a long time often forget there are still beginners.

    He’s also suggesting if you “own” the content and make your own site the authority, you’ll benefit more from it in the long term, and you’re at less risk of losing that traffic/link authority if you rely too heavily on outside networks (and then, they later get reduced in SERPs like in this farmer update)

    The Adsense suggestion, I think is valid, if those “long tail” terms are still kicking and producing traffic, it’s probably more cost effective to target those pages via Adwords because some one else has already produced it, like eHow -you can take advantage of what they’ve already built, you can better invest your time & money on the other guest blog partnerships – that may be in areas they haven’t grown to yet.

  • Zachary Schuessler


    As for the 1 in 8, I have not seen a difference between submitting to 800 directories that are a mix of terrible and great, and just submitting to the 100 on my list that are great. I don’t believe the rest of the 700 were doing anything in the first place. So that’s a very real ratio at least in my experience.

    Social networking profiles are good to have (even recommended by Google) but in saying that no-follow doesn’t matter, what exactly are you saying? I had one campaign attain 50 links from Wikipedia. I got a surge of traffic from WP, but no difference in the SERPs was noted. That was three years ago and the links are still there– so I would argue with you there that nofollow doesn’t matter.

    And on the topic of “likes” — I highly doubt that the amount of likes a facebook page has is going to mean much of anything. I can buy several thousand likes from real facebook users for $100-$400. It’s too easy to manipulate and too hard to differentiate.

    Lastly, the thinking on using Adwords is backwards. I would much rather have traffic come from SERPs rather than an eHow article. For one, eHow articles are mostly terrible if not dangerous sometimes because of ill advice. I do not want to be associated with them. Second, I would much rather have the authority and page strength to get the terms myself, and offering content I can verify as leaps and bounds ahead of whatever content is on eHow.

    And on the note of Adwords, this past Summer I witnessed a major click fraud scheme. It is still going on despite having reported it twice. I have since then not used Adwords for content, but rather limited campaigns to Google SERPs, because I’ve lost faith in the Adwords team if they won’t respond to a request to take down a click fraud ring.

  • http://www.adventuresinsearch.com Elisabeth Osmeloski

    Heh, Zachary, I think we may actually be agreeing more than we are arguing;)

    Thanks for clarifying your point on the 1 in 8 ratio. I would also have to agree that those 700 were in fact useless in the first place, so my question is, for anyone doing that in mass quantity like that, is it really an effective use of time/money or is it better to do what Karon’s suggesting?

    On “no follow” – at first it seemed to me you were disputing the suggestion of using Youtube/Facebook because they were no-follow, or any other directory that uses no-follow, but I say, if the traffic comes from it (like your WikiPedia example) then who cares about no-follow, it ‘doesn’t matter’ in that sense.

    On the “Likes” topic – leading up to SMX of course we started hearing how this was becoming a stronger signal – at SMX, it was very obvious that was a growing component, but totally agree about the manipulation aspect, I fear that’s going to get us headed down the wrong path as paid links did.

    And I also agree with your point on just not even supporting/being associated with lower quality article sites. But it could be valuable, depending on what you’re advertising and how you write the ad copy – ie, “Learn the Truth About XX”.. Click fraud, a whole ‘nother issue;)

  • http://www.wendypiersall.com/ Wendy Piersall

    I have to say that this article assumes that the winners of this algorithm change like eHow are going to *stay* the winners of the change. It has been made very clear that this update is pretty flawed in terms of collateral damage to quality content sites, and Google claims to want to fix that. They should, because this update has been pretty bad PR for them. So I hope (and pray!) that they roll out changes sooner rather than later.

    When those changes are made, it will be interesting to see how the cards fall for sites like eHow and About.com, who seem to have even crappier content ranking higher than ever before.

  • http://www.seofaction.com Zachary Schuessler


    You are a delight to talk to and hope I wasn’t coming off as too argumentative.

    The 700 that may not have been so much for quality were part of a network. I like to try everything I can out at least once, within reason. I have a nice pile of case studies of both good and bad tactics in SEO… that particular study was still worth the money considering the results.

    I don’t keep tabs on SeL too often but do enjoy the mature discussion. Think I’ll sign up when I get the chance– has it been worth it for you?

  • http://www.adventuresinsearch.com Elisabeth Osmeloski

    Zachary, I would have to say I’m a little biased about SEL since i’m the Executive Features Editor here – but if you’re considering the premium membership, I would say there’s an absolute value in the videos we have available from past SMX conferences.