Google’s Farmer update has caused quite the stir. You often see phrases like “article marketing is dead” and “Google hates article marketing.” So many sites lost their page rank and traffic after Google’s algorithm change, but others actually gained traffic. Since both used article marketing, it’s made everyone wonder whether article marketing works or not. After all, if it worked for some, but not others, then it must have been something else that kept the sites on top.
This isn’t necessarily the case. Another phrase you may have seen or heard is “the new article marketing.” For many, this has become the phrase they have clung to in this time of crisis. “New” must mean better, right? This is exactly right. When Google changed, so did article marketing.
When you hear that article marketing is dead, all it means is the old ways may not work like they used to. In fact, the typical article marketing method is likely not to work at all. Google did everything it could to ensure article directories were eliminated from search results altogether. What Google didn’t count on were article directories fighting back. While many haven’t had much luck with changing their formats, some have.
If you perform any searches on Google, you will see several popular article directories still appearing on the first few pages of results. With other directories, you have to search through page after page before you ever see them, if at all. This alone should be an indicator that article marketing is still a viable option for getting your site noticed and gaining the precious backlinks you need to succeed.
Article Marketing Of Old
First, let’s take a long hard look at why Google tried to rid the world of article marketing directories. While you may be benefiting, the wrong kind of sites were often benefiting more. Traffic which should have been yours was landing on spam sites. The reason – they ended up with more backlinks and tricked Google into thinking they were legitimate. The quality of the article didn’t matter. All that counted was growing backlinks.
Since many of these articles ended up published on sites with a decent rank, Google saw these links as legitimate. Quantity far outweighed quality in many aspects. Before, Google didn’t take the time to look much at the content itself. This meant the same article could be used over and over again. Each time it was republished, you got fresh link juice and Google recognition.
Often times, the articles had absolutely nothing to do with the site they linked back to. This sent many visitors to sites they never wanted to visit to begin with. You only want visitors who have an interest in what you are offering. Otherwise, the visitor is pointless. Even before, Google took into consideration the length of time a visitor spent on your site. A few second visits meant nothing in terms of gaining rank.
While it may seem like lots of articles and links leading back to a falsely advertised site could never work, the fact is, if you gain enough traffic, some of it is bound to be interested. It’s not so much about appealing to the right audience as bringing in everyone. Somewhere in that group are the right visitors
This type of article marketing may seem like it’s easy, but in fact, it is extremely time consuming. Constantly spinning new articles to gain more links and exposure takes time and effort. Add to this the time it takes to submit the articles to lots of directories and suddenly you have no time for anything else. For legitimate sites, this is time which could be spent on the site itself. Never underestimate the power of a well designed site with content all its own.
As you can see, the article marketing of old meant hit or miss for visitors. Since Google is more human geared now, the object is to make search results all “hits.” The better the search results, the more people who will turn to and trust Google. While this is a great concept, many legitimate sites suffered just for trying to market their site with content.
The New Method
The new article marketing method turns article marketing into something Google loves. High quality content, with little duplication. Google defines high quality content as well-written, relevant to the website it links to, geared towards people instead of search engines and filled with valuable information instead of fluff. How Google actually determines this is anyone’s guess, but from the change in results, this is indeed what is required.
With Google wanting more relevant content, it is more important than ever to make your content fit with the website it links back to. For instance, an article about the top ladies golf clubs wouldn’t be a good fit if it linked back to a site focused on car maintenance. Relevant content keeps visitors on your site once they click your link.
Since article marketing in part depends upon articles being republished, your first thought may be how the new method is any different. Google places quality above duplication. However, there is a catch. If you submit the exact same article to every directory, Google still sees your links and content as low quality.
The new method not only demands quality content, but quality directories. The directory you use matters. As before, not all directories are created equal. Take a look at the other content on these directories. Much of what you see on most of them is trash. The sentences are choppy with no real flow. In many cases, you find yourself trying to translate what should be basic English. Would you want your high quality content alongside this?
Remember growing up, you were always told that who you hung out with defined you? The same holds true with article marketing. Market with the low quality sites and that is how you will be seen. While every directory has its share of garbage, there are many who have always been known for higher quality content. Some are now even making their requirements stricter to ensure their own ranking increases.
The object is to submit a different article to each high quality directory. It can be the same topic, just rewritten enough to be unique. When others republish it, you don’t have the exact same article being shared from every directory. The duplication is limited. Since quality trumps the duplication rule, you still benefit from article marketing in less time.
While you may not have seen Google’s change as beneficial originally, it actually decreases your competition in many ways. Where before, spammers could easily game the system, now it is much harder. This means spam sites which often got mixed in with legitimate sites are now forced to the bottom of the pile. This gives legitimate sites the opportunity to reach the visitors they want.
Article Marketing On The Rise
Article marketing is now on the rise. It is being used by those who actually need it and deserve the results. The people who have put real time and effort into their sites in order to offer something valuable to visitors are now the ones who benefit. Why should questionable sites selling junk, tricking people into clicking ad after ad or passing out personal information be the ones gaining traffic? Your site is the one offering searchers what they want and need. Your site should be gaining traffic while those others lose it.
Google has tried to make search results much more relevant to searchers. Instead of looking on this change as the end of article marketing, look at the benefits it provides to your site. If you are willing to embrace the new article marketing, the change is for the better.
Why did some sites feel no impact or ended up gaining traffic when the Google Farmer update hit? They were already employing the techniques Google was looking for. While some of that success may have been possible strictly due to luck, the majority of it is due to careful consideration of where to place their content. Instead of valuing quantity, they valued the quality, including the quality of surrounding content.
Take the time and market using high quality articles and you will see Google hasn’t taken away this valuable marketing tool. Instead, it has been finely honed to make it more productive and send visitors to the sites they are actually looking for.