Before the Panda Algorithm update from Google, using articles was part of an effective SEO strategy and was commonplace. Articles were submitted to syndication sites that would link back to the website specified in the article’s bio at the end of the article.
After the Panda update, major article sites such as Ezinearticles and eHow suffered huge losses in rankings and traffic. As a result SEOs have had to ask themselves whether or not article marketing should still be part of their overall link building strategy.
The quality and strength of links back to the client site was hotly debated for some time. Indicators showed that the link equity that articles provided were only of limited value. The links acted more like a pointers and helped with the discovery of your site. The real benefit came to the article site that accumulated trust, authority and PageRank due to the articles it published. Very little link juice flowed back to the client.
If you wanted to distribute your articles to more than one site, it would be treated as duplicate content. The real value from Ezinearticles was finding people who were interested in taking your content and publishing it in exchange for a link, then tracking the competition in the space to see what other link building sources/methods they were using.
Post Panda, articles are still somewhat useful, but the standards have changed. The Panda update is focused on bringing quality back to the web. AS a result of diminished rankings and penalties from Google, articles sites and the web in general have and to raise the status quo for content on their websites and articles alike.
It is also no longer worthwhile to anyone to mass distribute articles through a large syndication network. Websites are now more severally penalized for having duplicate content.
Article syndication is still a viable means of link building but is even more limited post-panda but it has resulted in a fundamental paradigm shift. The focus is now is on quality; not quantity.
Articles should only be published to 3-5 of the best ranking syndication sites. You should not publish more than 15-20 articles per year. The ROI just does not add up for the amount of effort put in to this tactic.
The most important thing to learn from the Panda update is to diversify your link building strategies with several methodologies and tactics. The sites that suffered the most from Panda update were those that put all their eggs into one basket. Produce high quality content and the visitors and rankings will follow.
Points to remember are:
- Article Marketing is still a viable marketing strategy…just much less important that it was pre-Panda.
- Raise the quality of your published content (in articles and onsite).
- Submit to no more than 3-5 articles directories and only submit about 15-20 articles per year.
- Link to your articles from your website and other sources
- Don’t think of the tactic as link building, but an arrow leading back to where the quality content can be found.
SEO news blog post by guestpost @ 7:01 pm on May 25, 2011