Back in January, Google announced that it will release a new update on its algorithm in order to eliminate content farms from its results. At first, no one really knew what to expect from this new update.First of all, what did Google consider as content farms? Which were the bad ones? How was this going to change the rankings of other sites? Was it going to change anything? Forums and blogs alike were filled with uncertainty and speculation. One thing was sure though: article marketing was going to suffer.When the new algorithm kicked in a few days ago, all hell broke loose. HubPages, Buzzle, AssociatedContent, Suite101 and even EzineArticles, who was considered my many (including myself) to be one of the good guys, were among the most impacted sites. Organic traffic to these sites dropped catastrophically while others gained trust from Google. SEO of sites which relied on link harvesting techniques dropped while some webmasters who had nothing to do with article directories found themselves to be collateral damage.
Google’s Problem With Content Farms
Ok, first thing first. What are content farms? Basically, they are sites which contain copied or low-quality content. They are mostly built for search engines and SEO purposes.The problem? Most content farms are spam. They often contain spinned articles or rely on autoblogging. They are awful things to look at. According to Google however, article directories are also labeled as content farms. The problem with most article directories is that they have low editorial standards. You can just write a short piece of text that’s actually the summary of another article from your site, throw in some popular keywords in your title, make sure to put some links to your website and there you go! Another successful published article.But the thing is, article directories have a lot of these short articles written in them daily. This makes them rank higher in search engines than sites offering more detailed articles on the subject. So it would make sense that Google wouldn’t like them. EzineArticles has a bit higher standards on the articles that it publishes, but apparently, Google doesn’t agree. It would seem that all article directories are being targeted. But article marketing relies on article directories. What is a SEO to do now?
The Future Of Article Marketing
Personally, I think article marketing is a great promotional technique. Why? It gets you exposure. It gets you out there. It is a way to tell the world: “Hey, look! I’m here! I do this and I have this website.” And yes, it’s good for SEO. I don’t think Google is looking to kill article marketing. The main purpose of this advertising technique is to drive traffic to your site. There is nothing wrong with that. But at the end of the day, quality wins over quantity. The new algorithm seems to apply this principle into displaying its results. It’s understandable that a user would want to read a detailed and comprehensive article on a topic rather than a short enumeration of tips and tricks that he can find anywhere else.Of one thing I am sure of. The way content marketing as it has been done until now has become obsolete.
Two Things Need To Change:
- Start writing articles and stop making summaries.
- Write for people, not for SEO. The “link juice” is more of a bonus.
Ezine Has Already Started To Take Actions Into This Direction.
In conclusion, stop writing articles for one or two lousy links and write for the traffic and exposure. You can either accept this mentality, or keep doing things as you were doing them until now and waste your efforts.So is article marketing dead? In my humble opinion… no. But the way in which it will be done will change. Or rather, the mindset behind it will.