Most, if not all, easily replicated SEO tactics are now a thing of the past, and any SEO-provider / internet marketing company that offers those services are going to do more harm than good for your website’s rankings. In this post, we are focusing on why article directories, content farms, blog syndication, or whatever you like to call them, should be avoided.
Why should you avoid article syndication websites?
If Google happens to look into your back-link profile for any reason, these article sites stick out like a sore thumb. Any website with the word ‘Article’ in it should be considered spam. Article marketing, on a large scale, is done on websites such as ArticleBase.com, EzineArticles.com, ArticleTrader.com, and hundreds (even thousands) of others yet to be named. These article websites pass little to no link juice to your site, and many of them have been removed from Google’s and other search engines’ indexes due to constant abuse by SEOs over the past several years. Additionally, Google has made it abundantly clear in their Link Schemes post that “large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links … [can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results.]”
How have webmasters done it wrong in the past?
Press release and article sites are regularly crawled by other websites with the goal of re-purposing the content for their own website. In essence, it’s great that the content is getting picked up by other websites, but unless the crawled content gives credit back to the original post, this can cause content duplication issues associated with the Panda algorithmic update, therein devaluing the picked-up content across all websites. (Source)
Once the articles are placed on these websites, it may be difficult to take them down if you hired someone to post these on your behalf. Without the log-in information, you will have to email the administrator of the article website, and in many cases, these webmasters will request payment to remove each and every article; this price can be anywhere from $2 to $50 PER ARTICLE!
Scraping content and article sites are bad, but so are these other things:
- Reusing content over and over again … BAD! Google’s algorithm doesn’t care how awesome your articles are, if you repost the articles on your website and others, you may end up in the Panda penalty box.
- Paying people on Fiverr to write your content … BAD! Life ain’t easy or cheap. All things in this life come at a price, and high quality content is one of those things you should not buy at a discount.
- Auto-generating content … BAD! So, you wrote a program that scrapes related content from your competitors, scrambles the words and content to make it look unique, and re-posts it to your website. Congratulations, you are the next contestant on The Spam Is Right, grand prize is a site-wide, manual penalty! Source.
How do I market articles correctly?
- Take the time to produce high quality, unique content.
- Use canonical tags. Source.
- Use natural content syndication services such as Zemanta and Outbrain.
- Use RSS feeds, which have been in existence for a while.
- Post articles on other people’s websites (guest posting).
CAVEAT: PLEASE PRACTICE MODERATION.
If you abuse any particular SEO scheme, you are bound to get caught. A well-rounded, diverse SEO / marketing strategy will only work to help your website in the long-run. Owning a website is not as easy as it was back in the late 90s, it takes a diverse skill-set to successfully own and operate a website in this day and age.
Loved it, hated it? Let me know in the comments section below or on Twitter (@Tripp_Hamilton).