StayOnSearch

Is Article Marketing Still Effective After the Google Farmer Update?

Kristi Hines March 2, 2011

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!

17 comments
sudha
sudha

I understand that backlinks can be challenging at first, and keeping up with Google can add to the frustration, however it doesn’t need to be too complicated, and I’ll also add in that none of my sites got negatively affected by the Google Panda/Farmer update, but that update was more about content than backlinks.

Andy
Andy

This article it self is a back link post, don't bs the b-ster. At the end of the day what else are most small sites going to do other than trying the time effective and cheap black hat tricks. I think people will still use this method for their seo efforts.

Pervez
Pervez

What if someone copy my content and update it on his blog or website, as my content is already cached, will it give me negative effect...how will google considered it???

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

That is a great question. At least what I have seen from my experience, if Google caches your content first and there are other sources linking to that original article, you shouldn't have a problem at all. However with that being said, I have seen times when the duplicate article is ranking higher in the results. If that site has more authority to you and they drive links into it...it could outrank yours. Personally its not something I would worry about. There are always going to be people and scrapers grabbing your content and publishing it elsewhere. If you just worry about creating great content....Google will reward you.

greatart4
greatart4

Both article marketing and forum posting are the two link building methods that I've been using. From my experience it seems like that forum back-links have much more power than article marketing back-links. I've bought a domain name March 3rd this year, and I get this site in the 4th, 5th, and 13th position for three highly competitive keywords in a matter of three months. I used to use a spin article distribution service that distribute my article to more than 500 article directories, and I don't see much result coming out of it. Instead when I spend my time doing forum posting on reputable forums that are out there, I see much bigger result than having my article submitted to hundreds of article directories. Well, I'll try to focus much more on other link building methods. My recent post A Beautiful Oil Painting Picture Can Make A Huge Difference

charlee
charlee

I agree mathew , That content is king. But don't forgot content is king when its unique and informative

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Agreed. If your content sucks or is just rehashed from another article, its not even worth it in my opinion.

Alex
Alex

Hi Kristi, Thanks for your post. I have been SEOing my site mainly through article writing especially through Ezine. I have been forced to look for alternatives and your blog gave me hope:) Meanwhile, do you know of any value guest blogging networks? I am seeking to try Post Runner. Every tried them? Have written about guest blogging in your Ebook?

Rose
Rose

I use article sites to get backlinks, and for one keyword, where the main backlink was from an Ezine, I dropped to the second page. So even if the ezine article was still indexed, it didn't have the same backlinking power as before. Obviously will need to test more to check this, but my initial thoughts are that article sites now provide the weakest backlinks and you should only bother if you can't get backlinks any other way. My recent post Algo changes plus hubpages changes

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

That's what I have been hearing from a number of people. Good to hear that another person is seeing the same trend. Looking like article marketing is going to be a thing of the past soon!

matthew
matthew

article marketing will always get love because content is king. you can't just write articles, you must distribute them.

Bojan
Bojan

Great shift of mindset! More content will benefit internet community as a whole. My main question is what are the best web2.0 venues to share our high quality content on? My recent post Productivity Report For January and February 2011

Devon Photography
Devon Photography

I'm a strong believer in putting the content on your own site and benefiting from organic search and promotion. Hopefully a few people will put quality content on their blogs or sites although I'm sure most people will look for the next easy way to get back-links. I think article marketing won't die but will become a method that requires much more skill. I also think that the next evolution of article sites will see them trying to be more subject specific to try to become more of a resource rather than a one stop for all site. My recent post Instow A Dusk View

Bit Doze
Bit Doze

You have added a good point here. My honest opinion is that a more closer look should go to guest posting because it may have more benefits. In most cases the article directories does not provide quality articles. Everyone can post a article and spin it and here is the real problem. Why should article directories be treated good by Google if they have crappy content? My recent post Hostgator Maximum Discount Coupon – 25 Off on March 2011

annettematzen
annettematzen

The farmer update seriously effects our efforts to market for our clients. Have you noticed any negative effect on Squidoo lenses? I guess Google signaled to marketers their opinion of answer sites when it announced that Quora answers will be included in its social search results. Unfortunately though this is also signals spammers to use that site as another backlink building tool. Does the the internet world need more comments like, "Great question. I am going to bookmark this to read later"? My recent post Week Digest for March 2nd

Advicegraphics
Advicegraphics

Hi Kristi, I agree that article management is now in big trouble. By the way it's depend of your objectives and goals. If you look closely, there are a lot of blog sites who clones the same approaches and generate a thousand of low quality pages on different topics. How about that?

Kristi
Kristi

Very true! I'm sure those got hit as well. I'd especially hope the ones churning out ripped off content got hit the hardest as they're just stealing other people's work in order to try to make money off of it. I'd say that if you're looking into replacing article marketing with guest blogging, you do so with blogs that produce unique content and have a strong amount of followers so your content there doesn't get brushed off search engines too! My recent post Get Blog Post Promotion- The Ultimate Guide Today!

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