Is Article Marketing Still Effective After the Google Farmer Update?

Posted by Kristi Hines - March 2, 2011 - News - 16 Comments

As you all have probably heard by now, the latest Google farmer update has put a pretty big damper on article marketing, as it has dropped the keyword rankings for sites such as EzineArticles, Associated Content, HubPages, and other go to article networks now considered content farms.

So the question is – is article marketing still effective?

The answer is – it depends.

Your Goals for Article Marketing

Why do you place articles on article networks? The following are common reasons why people post articles, and whether or not these have been affected by the latest algorithmic change.

1. You post articles to gain backlinks.

If you’re sole motivation is building backlinks, then the real problem wouldn’t be a drop in keyword rankings for your favorite article network. The problem would be if those articles have been de-indexed by Google. For the most part, it looks like it’s just a rankings issue, not an indexing issue, but if the articles you have placed your link on have been de-indexed, then those links are meaningless.

The other thing you have to consider is whether Google values those articles as much since they have marked the overall site as a content farm. One can assume that links on those sites, even if they are indexed, are worth even less than before.

2. You post articles to get traffic.

If you’re posting articles to build traffic to your website, then you might be in trouble. Because if your articles have migrated from page one to page ten, then your search engine visitors are going to drop off pretty dramatically. And if no one is visiting your articles, then they’re not going to be clicking on your links either.

3. You post articles to build authority in your niche.

This one is a bit iffy, but again, if search engines are putting your articles in the results, it’s going to be hard to reach a wider audience with your content. Of course, if you are targeting people who regularly visit the article sites themselves, then you’re probably ok so long as you are a featured member on the site’s homepage and do well in that site’s own search results for a particular topic.

So What Can You Do to Combat the Loss of Search Traffic?

If the results you want from article sites require you to receive a steady flow of traffic, then you have two options. The first is that you can lean away from article marketing and start focusing your efforts on writing articles as blog posts for your own website or as guest posts for other blog sites.

The second is you can working toward gaining traffic from other sources beyond search engines, such as blog commenting, social networks, social bookmarking, and answers sites.

Promoting Your Articles Like a Blog Post

The key is to have a mindset of promoting your articles like a blogger would promote their blog posts.

It doesn’t work so well if you are spinning out crap which is the reason why article networks have been dinged in the first place. But if you are writing quality content, then you should be able to promote that content with people interested in your niche or industry.

So if you want to keep marketing via article networks, then get ready to change your promotion style. Focus less on SEOing your content, and learn more about promoting it!

About the Author

Kristi Hines

Kristi is a freelance writer, online marketing consultant, blogger, and social media enthusiast. Follow her on Twitter.