Is Article Marketing Dead? Backlinks in a Post Panda World

Article marketing websites suffered a major blow during the Panda/Farmer Google update in early 2011. The update sought out low quality content websites and devalued their rankings, sometimes manually. The aim was to eliminate poor quality content from the search engine rankings and ensure that searchers are getting the best search results for their queries.

Article marketing websites, among many other content heavy sites, received the bulk of the “slap down” because individual users submitted many low quality articles. These articles rode on the backs of the high rankings of the website and appeared much higher in search engine rankings that they should have. If you’ve ever done searches for niche topics and been disappointed by the results, you know how much bad content there is out there and how much of it was being delivered in the top search engine results.

For those of us creating great content and submitting it to article directories, the Google update is a bit disappointing. But the update doesn’t mean the end of article marketing. You can still use backlinks from article marketing websites. You just have to make sure that the content and the directories meet certain criteria.

First, let’s talk about the content. It’s been said before, but now it’s more important than ever – your content has to be as unique as possible. If you were using spun content, that’s no longer an option. The poor grammar and bad phrasing that result from spinning content or using low quality writers isn’t going to fly anymore.

Not only do you need to be sure that your content is top quality, but any content you submit should be directly related to your website. Focus on topics that are popular to your website’s readers. Consider repurposing any videos, power point presentations or teleseminars that you have created for your business. Using this content in a new form – articles – will ensure that your audience be interested. It’s also a great way to save money on content creation.

Once you’ve created top quality content and are ready to submit it – select your websites wisely. The first place you should be going for top quality article submissions is other bloggers and websites. Doing a guest post on a high quality blog is going to be much more effective for backlinks than other types of article submissions. Seek out niche experts who have blogs. Look at their recent posts to see if your content will fit into their blog. Then find out if they have a guest posting policy. If you don’t see any clear guidelines – then ask! They worst they could say is “No.”

Your next step should be in finding niche targeted article directories. Finding niche directories rather than general purpose directories might help you avoid some of the major directories that were hurt with the recent Google update. It also has the potential for giving you more quality backlinks.

By focusing on high quality content and selecting your backlink submission sites wisely you can overcome the Google Panda update and grow your backlink profile the right way.

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