There are two things that we know about Ezine Articles. The first is that up until the most recent Google algorithm update (known variously as the Farmer update or the Panda update), Ezine Articles represented a high-traffic, high-trust site in the eyes of the search engines.
Ensuring those articles linked back to your own website assisted both in direct traffic generation (from people finding your articles in the search engines then clicking on the link to your website) and indirect traffic generation (thanks to the links pointing to your website pushing you up the search engine rankings).
The second thing we know about Ezine Articles is that they’ve been hit hard by the latest Google Farmer update, losing up to 71% of their search engine rankings if the research by Search Engine Land is anything to go by.
As a result, Ezine Articles are rapidly tightening their belts, belting down the hatches, and trying to rapidly make changes to their site in order to regain the trust of both the search engines themselves and the writers like you and me who actually write and submit the articles that EZA publish.
So now that the dust is settling, what do we know about how these changes will impact your traffic as a result of using Ezine Articles, and how do you need to modify your strategies if you’re going to weather the storm?
What Has Changed At Ezine Articles?
First, it’s fair to say that it is still the early days, and a lot could change over the forthcoming weeks and months. It’s entirely likely that a percentage of your articles either won’t be ranking as high in the search engines as they once did or they may have been totally deleted by the editors at EZA. The lower the quality of the articles you have previously published at EZA, the more you’re likely to feel the pinch.
But the changes at Google are likely to impact everyone who uses EZA to a degree – even down to those individuals who work hard to create well-written, unique, and genuinely useful articles. Unfortunately, the “bad apples” have dragged you down. Guilty by association.
So what changes are EZA making to try to control the situation? First, they have increased the minimum article length to 400 words. Secondly, they have toughened up their editing and claim they will be increasing the number of rejected submissions by around 20%. Thirdly, they will be waging a war against articles which lack relevancy when all the areas – title, body content, bio file and link destination – aren’t in agreement. Lastly, they are launching a new “Diamond” level of membership to which the “best of the best” writers will be entitled to join.
Death Of An Article Marketing Tactic?
One interesting observation on these changes is that over the years many EZA authors have deliberately written an article about one subject and then linked to a website about one totally different.
The theory behind that concept is that by doing this, authors weren’t competing with EZA in the search engines for the keywords they themselves wanted to rank highly for. Their article would rank for one search term while the link at the end would help their website to rank for a totally different term.
However, the new EZA policies mean this concept is now dead in the water, unless users move to a different, less-rigorous article directory – though even these smaller directories may soon start to make moves in mimicking the example set by EZA.
How Do You Make The Most Of The Changes?
Assuming you’re planning on sticking with EZA as a viable way to promote your website, the steps for success are pretty clear.
- Focus on quality, not quantity. Write a smaller number of longer, higher-quality articles that have an increased chance of being accepted.
- Ensure every part of your submissions are in context. For example, your article is about a subject related to the website you’re linking to in your bio file.
- Expect that at least for a while submitting an article to EZA may not be a ticket to guaranteed traffic, so take the time to backlink your articles using blog commenting, social bookmarking, and so on to boost their perceived authority and increase their chances of ranking.
- Apply for a Diamond account as this too may be seen as a ranking factor by Google and so having approval may give your articles a certain boost in the search engines.
- As traffic is likely to be more difficult to come by for some time at EZA, work harder than ever to increase clickthroughs to your website. Test different bio files and the text in your hyperlinks. Use tried and true methods to boost the number of people who actually click through to your website when they finish reading your article.
Why This Could All Work In Your Favor
It’s just as possible that over time EZA will regain the trust of Google and our articles will once again receive a boost from the site’s authority but with one major difference: Less competition.
These changes are going to scare some people away. Some, sadly, will be legitimate authors, but many will be the type of spammers who were slowly ruining the site. Without them, EZA will be better off – and so will you by association.
One more thought. Before the Google Farmer update, your articles were plastered with adverts that EZA made money from. Since sites with lots of adverts seem to have been hit hard in the changes, EZA is planning to reduce the number of adverts they display on each page of their site. Fewer adverts means fewer distractions for your visitors and – potentially – more people clicking on the link in your bio file and visiting your site.
Article marketing isn’t dead, it’s just changed. So stick with it, make the necessary changes, and I’ll see you on the other side.