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Do You Know These 5 ‘Article Marketing’ Danger Signals?

Article Marketing Danger Signals

So, what is article marketing?

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam probably explains it best in a recent video “…you’re writing an article and you try to include a link at the bottom and you’re hoping a bunch of other people put up copies or mirrors or duplicates of that article and that those links might flow through.”

[box type=”info”]Matt goes on to say “Typically the sorts of sites that just republish these articles are not the highest quality sites.”[/box]

With that said, does article marketing work? While content like this can be picked up by Google, it often doesn’t typically end up ranking highly. If it does, it’s most often filtered and discarded completely within days.

Why? For one, it’s generally not the kind of writing that is going to win any awards from a reader. It isn’t the kind of writing that a real person is going to Facebook or Tweet about, mention on their blog, or submit to DIGG.

And two, it’s most often a duplicate of an article that exists in many places elsewhere on the Internet. Google has been filtering out these “duplicates” for years.

I have never been a fan of article marketing.

It’s sold as a quick and easy way to get traffic, backlinks, and increased page rankings when there’s no such thing as a quick and easy solution with staying power.

Let’s face it.

If you do a Google search for a Roland piano keyboard, KitchenAid Mixer, or a Golden Technologies lift chair, that’s exactly what you should see in the search results, not some low budget say nothing article designed simply for the purpose of getting a backlink or a click-through. Yet, article marketing is still being promoted as a powerful marketing strategy — yet it is the biggest offender when it comes to pushing out crap duplicate content.

The other thing to consider, if you attempt article marketing without truly understanding what you are getting into, you are probably doing way more harm to your website than good!

Danger Signal #1: You Have ZERO INPUT Over Who Publishes Your Article

As a writer submitting content to an article directory, you’re hoping that someone will grab up your article, and publish it on their website. The problem is, you’re given zero input on who uses your content the very second you press that ‘Submit’ button.

You’re article might go to a great website whose in good standings with Google, or more likely it will be published on numerous low (…or NO) quality websites.

if you want high-quality (long lasting) backlinks and the resulting Google rankings they can bring — you must maintain control over who publishes your content.

Danger Signal #2: Duplicate Content Is A Bad Thing

It is not surprising that Google has been discouraging “duplicate” content for years. There is no advantage to having a duplicate article show up in the top of the results multiple times — but back in 2003-2004 this was a big problem.

To solve this issue Google added a filter to their algorithm to eliminate duplicate content from the search results. It cleaned things up nicely.

By the way, this removal of the duplicates is the primary reason article marketers have real trouble get any real traction for their business. It is the reason they find themselves having to start over all the time.

In my opinion, “article marketing” is a weak short sighted marketing model. Get this:

  1. write articles
  2. submit to articles to directories
  3. receive a blip traffic
  4. articles filtered by Google from the results
  5. start all over

I have chatted about article marketing for many years. Yes some have made money, but nothing compared to what could have made if they used a strategy that was not offensive (or filtered) by Google.

The real problem with article marketing is that the article directories were designed as a method to mass distribute duplicate content, and typically low in quality. It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Google took broad sweeping action against them.

Danger Signal #3: Duplicate Anchor Text Can Be Very Problematic

Talk about timing.

I just got off the phone with an article marketer who has been madly working on gathering in backlinks to his website by blasting his articles out to the article directories.

He called me to ask if I would know why his page has “…dropped from page 3 of the Google results to page 30” for the keyword phrase Lasik eye surgery?

It’s a good question.

I chatted with him and learned that all one hundred of his backlinks use the exact same keyword phrase “Lasik eye surgery”, as the link back to his site. Therein lies the problem. It’s the duplicate anchor text that triggered a penalty with Google.

I have a question. What are the odds of a hundred webmasters randomly linking back to your site using the exact same keyword phrase (I.e. Pride lift chairs)? The answer of course is zero! Plus it is so easy for Google to see that this has been designed (albeit poorly) for the purposes of artificially boosting the sites rankings.

And guess what Google’s does — they have a real simple fix for this — they simply make sure that page does not rank for that keyword phrase.

Danger Signal #4: Welcome To The (Bad) Neighborhood

In the SEO world there a saying that you don’t want to get your site involved in a “bad neighborhood”. This is generally referring to the sites:

You can think of these sites as your “neighbors” — and who is linking to you — and who you are linking to does affect your rankings.

It wasn’t all that long ago when Matt Cutts, head of Webspam for Google, dropped the bombshell — that is was now possible for your websites rankings to be negatively impacted by others who were linking to you.

Let’s face it.

It’s for this reason (and others) that you want to be careful who you are linking to, and who is linking back to you.

By submitting your articles to an article directory you’re making it very easy for bad neighbors to link to you. In fact you’re encouraging it, and Google knows it!

Danger Signal #5: Google Discourages Article Marketing

I have heard since the recent Google Panda updates that “article marketing still works”.

All I can really say to that is so did anchor text stuffing, so did link partnering, so did low quality content, so did duplicate content, so did link farms, so did the scraper sites, so did article spinning — and all of these strategies have been dealt with by Google.

I would say that just because it “works”, doesn’t mean you should be engaged in it — especially if you are looking to build a long term sustainable business. All of the strategies above for the most part are dead. DEAD!

And I say to article marketing; R.I.P.

All the time, effort and money that was poured into the strategies have evaporated. Yes some made some money but (in all cases) those engaged in those methods had to start over…some numerous times!

When Matt Cutts was asked “…if he recommends article marketing as an SEO strategy?” He publicly stated “…so if I had to make a prophecy or forecast about how Google feels or how search engines feel about them in general, the trend that I am hearing and the sort of complaints that I am hearing are that people are not huge fans of article marketing and don’t view it as an incredible value add in terms of the content that gets added to the web.”

I get a chuckle from Matt when he says “So if I had to make a prophecy or forecast…” keep in mind he’s the head of the Web-spam team for Google.

He knows very well where article marketing is going as far as Google is concerned. The way of the Dodo bird!

And agreed, to those who may say that Matt paints a panacea of how Google would like to see things done, but let me ask you–when was the last time you had to click-through to page two of the Google results to find what you we’re looking for?

Do you remember WebCrawler, Excite and AltaVista. The search results back then were dismal? Google has brought us all a very, very long way.

Again let’s face it, article marketing floods the Google’s results with millions of cheap, low-quality fluff pieces. Given Google’s attitude toward this type of content, does ticking them off sound like a viable marketing strategy to you?

I Have A Prediction

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Google is ferocious when it comes to protecting their algorithm.

It also shouldn’t be a surprise to see Google take a shot at the “article marketers” flooding the Google search results with tens of millions of low quality duplicate articles.

As you probably know Google is dealing with the problem. Many in engaged in the practice are already feeling the effects. Others are still yet to pay the price. (but they will)

And there’s one BIG difference to note. When Google dealt with the link farms back in 2004-2005 we didn’t have a “Google Account” in the same way we do now.

Today, every serious marketer has one. We need it. We need it to access Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Website Optimizer, Google AdSense, Google AdWords and even the new Google+. Here’s the thing. If you have been around a while and you think back to the 2004-2005 era updates, Google didn’t really know who we were, and what we were up to in the way they do today.

Now it’s a whole new ball game.

Google knows exactly who you are, and what you’re up to when using all of the Google services above.

I have a question?

Is it a stretch to consider that Google could ban articles marketers (and others that don’t provide added value to the Internet) for using strategies that Google finds offensive and that are clearly against their Google Guidelines? A strategy that clogs their search results with millions of low quality, low value articles that takes their resources to continually clean things up?

And let me change my prediction above into another question.

[box type=”yellow”]Is their a possibility of article marketers being permanently banned by Google?[/box]

It would not be the first time Google took action.

It was just over a year ago that Google permanently banned 15,000+ Adwords advertisers for their practices, And it’s been estimated that they were spending hundreds of millions of dollars with the AdWords program.

Overnight they permanently banned from Google AdWords.

It got me to wondering — could someone implementing strategies that Google has clearly indicated they don’t like — and for obvious reasons — actually ban those engaged in such practices?

I would think so.

I already know of one “serial offender” who has also been permanently banned from Google losing his entire Google Account?

Let me ask another question. If someone was negatively effecting your website would you grant them access to your free services and tools? I wouldn’t. In fact, I would change their passcodes, block their IP address and give them the cold shoulder when they contacted my support desk. I bet you would too.

I guess the real question is — is their a possibility of article marketers being permanently banned by Google?

Only Google knows for sure.

However, I can tell you one thing, I don’t plan to be one of them if they do.

Is Article Marketing Effective?

It was effective, at one time. With enhanced standards from search engines, however, there is no reason to believe that this practice is an effective, sustainable marketing strategy today.

Is it worth the risk?

Not in my mind.

I would love to hear your comments.

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