Are Article Directories Still Relevant After Google Penguin Update?

by GuestBlogStar on September 7, 2012

Link spamming, link buying, link exchanging, and all the other unethical or questionable link practices have gotten a taken a hard hit, delivered by a Penguin. Google’s Penguin update to its search index algorithm brought about some big change. The search giant’s update targeted unnatural links and websites with artificially high PageRanks because of them. Now that websites can be penalized for low quality links, what does that mean for article directories? Are they still relevant? Or have websites that submitted to them unintentionally shot themselves in the feet?

Article Directory Gold

Article Directories Aimed @ SignIn the past, and even now, article directories were a significant part of any website’s link-building strategy. With article directories, you could submit an article and a link with the guarantee that it’d be posted and that your website would get another backlink. It was a win-win situation: Google saw that the content of the linking page was relevant to the website, and perhaps someone would stumble across the article and benefit from it, too. Article directory links were worth a lot. While they could never match up to backlinks from the most prestigious websites, they definitely helped, especially in large quantities.

Cheapening the Real Estate

Now that Google’s Penguin update puts a lot more emphasis on evaluating the quality of any particular backlink, article directory links could potentially harm more than help. Penguin is targeting spam sites and backlinks that have no other purpose  than to artificially boost PageRank. Many have feared that article directories would be targeted, and they have, but not to as much of an extent as originally feared. Links from article directories have decreased significantly in value, but in general have not become harmful to any website’s PageRank. There are exceptions, of course, but how can you tell?

Quality, Quality, Quality

How do you earn a high PageRank? By being a quality site. How do you prove that you’re a quality site? By having backlinks, for one, but not just any backlinks – quality backlinks. Because article directories are so indiscriminate, backlinks from them are not considered to be as high-quality as backlinks from other sites, such as high-ranking websites in your niche. If you want to get the most out of your article directory backlinks, make sure that the content of the articles is of quality. They should be as flawless and polished as they would be if you were posting them on your own website.

It’s also very important to consider the quality of the article directory itself. There are many niche directories, and in general you should evaluate an article directory for yourself. Is it a respected directory? Are the articles by other authors high-quality? Do the articles receive a lot of traffic or get any comments? Are your articles linked to by any other reputable sites or blogs?


Image Courtesy of quinnanya@Flickr

The Future of Links

While article directories are still relevant, they aren’t nearly as effective as they once were for creating backlinks. Submitting your articles to directories may still be a portion of your link-building strategy, but perhaps a much smaller portion than it used to be. You may also need to change your strategy, and focus on promoting the content you post to article directories rather than setting it and forgetting it.  High-quality links from high-quality sites are more valuable than ever. They’re what the Penguin wants, and it’s to your benefit to make him happy and give them to him.

This and many other online marketing articles were prepared for you by Steven Peters.  Visit www.seomap.com to read more about his work regarding social media.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Khaled December 5, 2012 at 9:30 am

Thanks for this article – good to get an informed opinion as it’s becoming increasingly difficult to work out what Google does and does not want from site owners. I guess the message is all good things in equal measure, but at the same time, there seem to be lots of sites still out there who’s backlinks are almost entirely non-Penguin, but who still maintain PR and SERPS.

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