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Does Article Marketing Still Work?

Does Article Marketing Still Work?

by Hough on October 1, 2012

Yes and No, it really depends on how you go about it or how you define article marketing.

Here are two examples of article marketing:

First Example
Short articles that provide no real value to the reader, containing the same anchor text, spun multiple times and submitted to article directories.

Second Example
Manually reviewed articles providing real content to the reader, containing varying anchor text, completely re-written multiple times and submitted to related sites that already receive search engine traffic.

I believe the second method still works and can work well. From my own experience and what others are saying the first method doesn’t work anymore and should be avoided. Due to the various algorithm updates (Panda and Penguin) it could even harm your sites rank in the search engines. These backlinks will be seen as unnatural and designed to manipulate site rank.

The problem with article marketing is when it is abused. This occurs when non-unique content is submitted often to dozens of directories. The content submitted is of low quality, often written by non-English speakers or is spun so that it is becomes nonsensical. The concept became more abused with paid blog networks that distributed poorly written, often short articles to dozens of sites they own that share the same IP.

What doesn’t Work Anymore

Here is what I believe does not work anymore or is much less effective than it once was:

  • Poorly written articles with no useful content designed purely to obtain backlinks

Articles that provide no value to the reader provide no value to Google. But how does Google know that an article provides no value? Such an article won’t be mentioned by a real person on social media sites such as Facebook and twitter or by other blogs or websites.

Secondly the bounce rate of the article and site that these articles are published on will be high sending another red flag to Google that the content is of no value.

  • No duplicate contentArticles duplicated multiple times without any re-written content

An article is considered duplicate content if it exists in many places elsewhere on the Internet. Search engine users find it a nuisance to come across the same article multiple times and Google has been filtering out these duplicates with successive updates to their search engine, for example the Panda update.

  • Articles containing the exact anchor text of the keywords you are trying to rank for

Vary Anchor textThe Penguin update devastated many websites that had backlinks pointing to them containing the exact same anchor text from multiple articles even if these articles were submitted years in the past.

What are the odds that dozens of webmaster will link back to your site using the exact same anchor text, for example “Cheap designer handbags for sale”. The answer is zero! Backlinks containing the exact same anchor text are another red flag to Google that these links are designed to manipulation search engine rank.

Not only could these backlinks containing the keyword phrase you want to rank for not count towards your site rank, Google may actually make sure your site does not rank for that keyword phrase.

  • Articles submitted to article directories containing sites that use the same IP address

Submitting articles to websites on the same IP address may not be harmful to your rank but you won’t get the same results as submitting those articles to sites with shared hosting on different IPs. The link juice is distributed or “diluted” between those sites and if one site engages in spamming than the others may be affected. You do not want to receive links from what is considered a bad neighborhood of sites.

  • Articles submitted to sites that automatically approve content

Articles submitted to sites that are not manually reviewed will inevitably result in ever poorer content being submitted as they will be abused by spammers. This will lead to diminished results or no benefit at all.

What still works

I believe article marketing can work if all of the following are true:

  • Articles submitted to sites that rank forĀ  keywords

Check to see if a site ranks for anything before spending your time trying to get a backlink from that site. Use SEOQuake to check the estimated visits and Keywords the site ranks for. The only true test of whether a site has any authority is whether it actually ranks and received decent traffic. A site that ranks for related keywords will provide even greater benefit.

  • Thoroughly re-written articles

I believe re-written articles can still work if the article passes the Copyscape test. Copyscape is an online plagiarism detection service that checks whether similar text content appears elsewhere on the web. A well re-written article is one where little or no duplicate content is found. Unfortunately Copyscape does not work when comparing two offline articles. When re-writing an article use Dupefree Pro for comparing two articles together and highlighting duplicate content while the article is being written!

  • Quality articles submitted to high authority manually reviewed sites

A quality article is more likely to rank well on a manually reviewed site and provide an SEO benefit. The author of the site where you submit the article is more inclined to link to that article from other pages of that site, it is more likely to be mentioned on Facebook or twitter, receive votes or be linked to from other sites.

For example articles submitted to Ezinearticles have to pass human review before they appear on the site with only a maximum of two links back to the authors site. . This ensures quality is maintained and the author knows something about the subject they are writing about.

  • Articles containing backlinks with varying anchor text and use of synonyms

With the Google Penguin update varying the anchor text of your backlink is essential .Make sure not to use the same keyphrase in your backlink multiple times and consider using cousin keyword and synonyms. For example if you want to rank for “best fishing tackle”, consider key phrases such as “best fishing rods”, “best fishing equipment” etc.


If you are providing valuable content to your readers and if you’re putting out value onto the internet you are still going to get ranked by Google and internet marketing is one of the easiest ways of doing that because you are leveraging the power of other websites. You do not have to be an award winning writer to write, just learn a lot about your subject, become an expert in your niche and write and publish high quality, original content that your readers will benefit from.

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