Yes and no; the answer depends on which directories you are considering posting to. If you are adding your articles to reputable directories (think EZineArticles) then you shouldn’t have any trouble. If you are submitting your work to directories that no one else has ever heard of or are full of spammy-looking or spun articles, then you might not be putting your article in the best of company. And since Google thinks highly of the company your site keeps (the “bad neighborhood” effect) it is worth your while to avoid directories that contain a large amount of content that Google would consider to be spam.
A little more perspective on the ‘bad neighborhood’ effect:
(Pay attention to the first 3 minutes especially)
The problem with many article directories is that they have lost power in the post-Panda / post-Penguin world of SEO. Many directories were created for or the targets of article marketers who made use of automated software to submit their articles to hundreds of directories at a time. This caused them to swell with articles that were at best little more than spun content with a few links sprinkled in with the text. This content is difficult to read at its best, and at worst amounts to complete nonsense. Google takes a dim view to this kind of content and decided to hit these kinds of directories where it hurt most, dropping their rankings into obscurity and making the backlinks that came from submitted articles practically worthless. The upside is that these devalued directories dropped far out of sight, making it easier for people to find higher-quality directories to submit their work too. The downside is that any sites with articles on said directories are now feeling the pain of being connected with a ‘bad neighborhood’ that Google already doesn’t like.
For more information on how article directories have been impacted by the Panda and Penguin updates, check out these posts:
- Why Article Directories Have Lost Their Relevance In Post Panda Age – by eseoconsultant.org
- Article Marketing in a Post Panda World – by Doug Williams
- Web Directory Submission Danger: Analysis of 2,678 Directories Shows 20% Penalized/Banned by Google – by Kurtis
What & Why
What is an article directory?
An article directory is a source of content on various topics that is hosted on a website. Think of an article directory like a virtual library of user-generated content; in the past, if you wanted to know more about a topic, you would go to the library and look for books on that topic. The same concept applies to current-day scenarios, only more and more users are turning to the internet for their information needs. This is where (in theory) article directories can benefit your site.
How can you find the best article directories for your articles? Find out how by checking out these posts:
- The 10 Best Article Directories – by Dale King
- Choosing The Best Article Directory – by Dean
- Top Article Directories – Using the Best Makes a Difference – by Dan
Say you are a website that sells modular homes and you are looking for a way to attract new customers. You have a lot of ideas for tips and advice that you would like to share with people who already own or are thinking of buying a modular home and all you need is a way to share what you know. You can post a blog, create a static page on your site for every topic, and you can also submit your ideas in article form to an article directory. Now whenever someone searches that directory for information or even performs a general web search they might see your article! If they like what they see, there would be at least one link to your website included with the article and they now have a way to find your business. Easy, right?
While this is a good idea in theory, many article directories (with the exception of those with very high standards) are now flooded with articles with little to no value because of people submitting anything and everything they could generate to all of the directories they possibly could. Today, most article directories have lost a great deal of the power they once had, and this has trickled down to the businesses and sites that have submitted articles to them in the past. Even the venerated EZineArticles directory has taken a hit in today’s post-Panda / post-Penguin world!
Need to find a few directories to submit your articles to? Check out this post:
- Top 21: The Best Article Directory List – by Jack Humphrey
Many article directories are adapting to the standards set forth by Google by upping their vigilance and manually reviewing more submissions or implementing scripts that analyze a submitted article for keyword density and spelling/grammar errors. Others are making changes to how users can submit content to them, i.e. membership restrictions, wait times based on membership type, etc. Only time will tell which directories will survive in the new environment that has been created by Google’s recent updates and which directories will fall by the wayside and be forgotten.
Where You Come In
So how does all of this affect you?
For starters, it changes how you should see and make use of article directories. You can also take this information and use it to target the article directories that are the most relevant to your business and give your articles the best chance of being seen by someone searching for topics related to your business.
One of the best things that you can do with the information in this post is take a step back and re-evaluate how you use article directories. Where do they come in to your SEO plan?
As you can see, article directories have taken a hit from Google’s updates but can still be really useful for generating traffic to your website.
How do you use article directories, and which ones do you submit your articles to?