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Q:  How many articles do I need to write to make my website rank higher in the search results?  If I mass submit 1 article to a zillion different directories…..does that give me a zillion good incoming links? 

And what about these blog syndication networks that spin the anchor text so that each link is unique?  Is that a good way to get many different keyword phrases from many different sites to link to my blog or website…..without raising a red flag?

The truth is, we get so many different variations of this question – and whether or not article marketing, or content marketing (two very different things) serve any real purpose in 2012 and beyond.

With all of the changes in how Google appears to value incoming links…….no matter how many times this content is covered (no pun intended..:-) it seems like the questions still abound.

Here is the simple truth  – both from a common sensical standpoint, and an experiential vantage point as well.

Contrived content doesn’t work for SEO.  PERIOD.  Ever.   (or if it does…it’s just for a short time that’s insignificant to growing your business)

Contrived is defined by factors YOU can control.

In other words, if you get to choose the links (the anchor text) and you can control how and where external sites are pointing to you…..by definition, that’s CONTRIVED, and clearly violates the first rule of Google search.  (providing content that is “curated” for quality by natural selection – e.g. – people are voluntarily linking to you because they think your content is GOOD)

Here is the other thing that articles like the one below, (from a well known SEO blog) simply continue NOT to get:

Article marketing for TRAFFIC still works GREAT.

In other words, if you want to build your list, and want to piggyback off of a high volume directory that’s getting tens or hundreds of thousands of hits a day in the category you are publishing in……..being able to expose yourself (that didn’t sound good) to that captive audience is A GREAT OPPORTUNITY.


(but not because you care about the incoming links – or the anchor text – I use the words “CLICK HERE” in my highest performing article marketing campaigns, and it has nothing to do with whether or not those words are going to pass any SEO value to my landing page.

(which is a headline, 2 bullet points, and an opt in form)

Look at the simple screenshot above from one simple article marketing pen name account.  Each of those articles only took minutes to write….whether outsourced, (often) or written by me (more often than I’d like to remember) they all generated THOUSANDS of visitors to a site, service or offer…and the traffic continues to come to this day, 100% on autopilot, and F-r-e-e with a capital F.

Even the ones that performed embarrassingly bad from a click through standpoint (like the ugly one above with a 3.9% CTR….yuck!) generated over 1000 visitors and the one with a single “1 star rating” (meaning it probably was a shitty article) generated 15,900 visitors to my our landing page…..with most likely, about 20 minutes worth of work.

Not too shabby.

(and I didn’t do anything special, other than create the campaign)

It amazes me how many SEO blogs and commenters and active online forums still don’t this.

  1. People are so focused on what they’re losing, that they are blissfully unaware of what they’ve still got.
  2. And usually…what they’ve got is far better than what they never had to begin with.  (that has a little bit of a Ghandi like philosophical bent to it, doesn’t it?  I really missed my calling.  )

Contrived content marketing for SEO hasn’t worked in years. (at least 4 I would say…..give or take)

The search engines aren’t stupid….and just because you can use a kick ass keyword in your anchor text on 300 directories with the click of a mass submission button….doesn’t mean your site is the solution they seek for the search phrase you want to control.

BUT – if that same article, mass synidcated around the web gets 10,000 people to read it – and a paltry percentage (let’s say 10%) click on your link and arrive on your landing page….that’s 1000 visitors that your 1 article, and 30 minutes of your time took to generate.  (a pretty good ROI, and tradeoff in MOST markets….especially for those of us who would prefer not to blow our budgets on PPC)

Make sense?

Check out the quote from Matt Cutts (Google’s Kingpin of all things Search) on why article marketing for incoming links doesn’t work – but what he DOESN’T say, (because it’s not his domain…….pardon the pun) is much more important to you and I – which is – they can’t control the amount of TRAFFIC that article generates for you from around the web, which is all you should care about to begin with…;-)

– You can also watch a video of Mr Cutts repeating most of this in front of a live recording device thingy at the same link below.  Enjoy 🙂

(PS – If you need help on YOUR content marketing campaigns…..let us know how we can help by using the contact form above)


“It’s the same sort of thing with article marketing,” he continues. “If you write a relatively low quality article, you know, just a few hundred words, then at the bottom is two or three links of, you know, specifically high keyword density anchor text, then the sort of guy who just wants some content and doesn’t really care about the quality might grab that article from an article bank or something, and he’s not really editorially choosing to give that anchor text. So, as opposed to something that’s really compelling, when he really likes something, and linking to it organically…that’s the sort of links that we really want to count more.”“It’s always been the case that these sorts of links that are almost like boiler plate – it’s like not really a person’s real choice to really endorse that particular link or that particular anchor text,” Cutts says. “Those are links that typically we would not want to count as much, so either our algorithms or we do have manual ways of saying, ‘OK, at a very granular level, you know, this is the sort of link that we don’t want to trust.’”

Here’s What Google Thinks About Article Marketing, Widgets, Footers And Themes | WebProNews

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I am an author, artist and entrepreneur. My 2 passions are writing about, and teaching Marketing and Meditation. I like to think I’m a lot like Eckhart Tolle, if only he was taller, and a much better tennis player. (it turns out in person, he’s super short, has a terrible backhand and wears this weird scottish hat thingy that makes it really difficult to concentrate while serving) Plus he refuses to keep score and says ” it’s always NOW” when you ask who is up. Enough about me. We barely know each other. Stop staring. You’re making me nervous.