SEO has always been a game of cat and mouse. As soon as an effective tactic is uncovered everyone rushes to exploit it before Google finds out and slams the door, often maiming a few fingers in the process.
For years now, article marketing has been a core SEO strategy. Inevitably, this tactic became overused/abused, leading to article directories becoming flooded with cheap, poor quality content, and annoying Google in the process.
Following Googleâ€™s â€˜Pandaâ€™ update, article marketing as a cheap link building strategy appears to have died a death.
So whatâ€™s to be done?
You could either:
a)Â Â Â Â Â Realise that, maybe, being on page 1 of Google is no guarantee of success, and that you might be better off using older, yet still effective, tactics of generating sales, like picking up the phone, advertising locally or sending direct mail
b)Â Â Â Â Â Adopt a more Google friendly link building strategy
Article marketing still has a future as a link building strategy. Only now the focus is on creating quality content, and being more selective about where you publish.
Hereâ€™s a rundown on some tried and tested tactics which donâ€™t (yet) risk upsetting Google into slamming more doors:
1)Â Â Â Â Â Guest post on relevant blogs â€“ Clued up search marketers have known for years that effective link building is about quality, rather than quantity. Approach fellow bloggers in your industry with a high page rank to see if they accept guest posts. Just remember to write something fresh, informative and useful that theyâ€™ll be happy to share with their readers.
2)Â Â Â Â Â Relevant niche industry sites â€“ Look around to see if there are any industry news websites accepting submissions. Often this is in the form of press releases. But you might also find news websites happy to publish commentary or â€˜how toâ€™ articles that will be of interest to their niche.
3)Â Â Â Â Â Link exchanges with relevant bloggers â€“ Getting listed on a â€˜Blogrollâ€™ (list of blogs people read) has always been link juice gold. Rather than sit around hoping a fellow blogger notices you and gives you this nod of approval, why not consider offering a blogroll link exchange? Itâ€™s wise to approach bloggers with a similar page rank to yours so itâ€™s a fair trade.
4)Â Â Â Â Â Â Link bait with videos, eBooks and quality content people want to share â€“ Offering quality content, thatâ€™s not easily available elsewhere, has always been a lock when it comes to SEO. Producing videos, eBooks and a high quality series of blog posts does take a lot of elbow grease though â€“ but nobody can say youâ€™re not committed.
5)Â Â Â Â Â Press releases â€“ Ideally, press releases should be newsworthy to attract a journalistâ€™s interest. But in the world of SEO youâ€™ll find companies announcing the opening of a window if it means they can generate some backlinks. In my experience, PRWeb is great for a US audience whereas Daryl Willcox is better for the UK. There are plenty of free directories you can try as well, but there are no guarantees your press release will be read or generate any useful backlinks (but if you do know of any effective free PR services, feel free to share in the comments).