Despite what some search engine optimizers might believe about the value of article marketing as a viable resource for SEO campaigns, it is clear to me that articles definitely hold significant value. It was really a knee-jerk reaction for SEOs to discredit the use of article marketing for off-site optimization in a post-Penguin landscape.
I can see why some of the SEOs (that got penalized by Penguin) believe in this negative stigma for articles, but the way SEOs were using articles (spam) prior to Penguin and the way articles should be utilized now is the main reason why I still see the inherent value of article marketing.
The key to the value of articles nowadays is the same key to any content that is produced in a post-Penguin world. Content needs have value!
Well-written and well-optimized articles still have great value for organic/natural search, and for multiple reasons. If an article has value it can have one or multiple benefits, including:
- Becoming link bait for users who enjoy the content (authority)
- Providing contextually relevant content for carefully thought-out back links to your money pages (relevancy)
- Your article being shared with other users (viral content)
Again, the key to article marketing in today’s SEO landscape is developing high quality content that is both interesting and valuable to readers.
So if you think you’re up to the task of crafting this level of exceptional content for article marketing, here are my 5 favorite article marketing platforms that you should give a try.
Ezine was the first article marketing platform I ever tried out. At first I was a little put off by Ezine’s slow-to-publish ways after submitting my article content, but after awhile I really saw the value in Ezine because they CARE about the articles they publish. They have a rigorous quality assurance process that takes several days (for basic memberships) to get through once you’ve submitted your article for publishing, going through three separate reviews before it’s allowed to be published on the site.
Ezine is a very popular article marketing platform with nearly 460,000 authors who contribute great content to the site, of which I am one of. As an expert author you’re allowed up to two links in your author profile per article that you submit, which is nice for contextually relevant link building.
Squidoo is my favorite platform for article/content marketing because it is highly interactive and allows for multiple forms of content within one “lens.” With Squidoo, you’re able to upload images and videos that complement your text articles to give the reader a more visual experience. Squidoo has several built in modules that allow you to expand on your text content by adding link lists, social media, news feeds and ecommerce product feeds (Amazon, etc.) to your lenses to further your user’s understanding (and enjoyment) of your content.
Squidoo also has built in social sharing icons, as well as a community of users who are able to like your content and leave comments about it which obviously shows the value of your content. Coincidentally, some of the most powerful links back to my website come from Squidoo because of the high PageRank that the lenses are able to achieve. This is a great platform!
Tumblr is an interactive blogging platform that is great for creating your own blogs to post and share your articles on. Tumblr is totally free and is a network of nearly 77 million blogs (of which I run and post on several.)
The nice thing about Tumblr from an article marketing perspective is that it’s also a social type of network that allows users to subscribe to other Tumblr users’ blogs so they can follow each of their latest posts. Users can also re-blog your content on their blogs which is great for more social sharing and visibility among users.
Go Articles is another free article marketing site that allows you to submit your content. I don’t particularly care for the user side interface of Go Articles for submitting your article posts (I find it clunky and sort of a pain) but this platform does have some advantages.
In a post-Penguin world, having a highly diverse back link profile is critical, and with Go Articles you’re allowed up to 3 links per article, but any links you put in the body of your articles is assigned a “no-follow” tag. This is good for diversity, but if you’re going to spend the time creating great content, you at least want one good “do-follow” link for your efforts, which Go Articles allows you to insert in your author bio information.
Because most websites don’t want ho-hum content posted on their websites, guest blogging has always been a great way to build high-quality links back to your website. With the need for contextual relevancy when generating back links, seeking out other websites relevant to your industry to contribute your content to has become essential for building authority for your website.
The other website likes it because they’re getting well-written and valuable content for free. Search Marketers like it because it increases brand awareness and gets you a free relevant back link (or two) to your site. It’s a win-win situation for both sides.
If your SEO consultant tells you that articles no longer have value in helping you achieve top rankings, they were the ones looking for short cuts to get them. Articles are absolutely relevant for SEO today so long as they have something of value for the readers. Marketing great content is the future of SEO. Those who don’t “buy in” will soon be weeded out.