Article marketing using professional standards of article writing is still an important method of attaining high Google rankings. Much has been written about the death of article marketing, google scrape and it is true that certain types of article are no longer appropriate when optimizing a website. But dead? Absolutely not! Let’s take a closer look at that.
Some claim that SEO is no longer worthwhile because Google no longer uses keywords, but is focusing more on new algorithms and updates such as Panda and Penguin 1 & 2 in its ranking calculations. However, to get ranked you must be indexed, and in any case there is plenty evidence that Google takes keywords very seriously. There is also plenty evidence for the rewards that well-written articles can gain.
Why Article Marketing Got a Bad Name
Google’s main gripe in the past has been poorly written articles, obviously written only for the link and offering very little information to the reader. Article writing is a skill, yet everybody seemed to think they knew how to write them. Article marketing became a free-for-all, involving:
- Articles of 300 words or less
- Software-written articles, scraped using passages from published web content on the same topic
- Articles copied many times, with only the targeted keyword changing
- Articles generated by spinning software, where synonyms are used for selected words – the remainder of the text remaining the same
- Excessive use of keywords
The Panda algorithm update tackled many of these issues, although it led to a scramble for people to try to avoid Panda’s claws. The same is true for the Penguin updates, designed to tackle link spam and general breaches of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. However, most of them missed the point.
Article Writing Tips
There is only one way to minimize the likelihood of you losing ranking, or even being deindexed, by Google: be natural. Article writing and using article marketing to promote your website or blog are neither dead nor inadvisable. What Google is looking for in a good article is:
Authority: If you know your subject then you should be able to write authoritatively, and provide the reader with useful information. That’s what Google is for – providing information to its users. Give them a bad experience with inaccurate advice or copy content from other sites, then you deserve to fail. Let your expertise show and Google will reward you.
Length: Don’t expect to give a lot of information in 300 words! I would suggest 500 at a minimum and many of the higher ranked articles are of 700 and over. Sure, you find a lot below that, but are these articles ranked by Google – if they are listed at all?
Originality: Write original content. If you find that difficult, then use a professional article ghostwriter. Article writing for website content and article marketing is a skill, and there are many good professionals who can do it better than you can. They know Google’s requirements and how to conform to them. If you copy what is already published, then Google will spot it and you may as well have never published it.
Content Spinners: Google is getting wise to content spinners. These software packages allow you to enter synonyms for selected words in your article and then generate numbers of articles saying exactly the same thing, only with some of the words changed. When Google spots these, Penguin will now delist them and even deindex your entire site.
Scraping Software: You will see lots of scraping software online, offering to write your articles and web content for you. All they do is copy sections of published material and put them together as an ‘original’ article. Google’s algorithms can now see through that, and large numbers of web pages containing scraped content have been delisted, and even entire domains deindexed for using it. You risk losing your entire site on Google if you use content spinners or scrapers. Only original articles will make it Google now.
The upshot is that you must write original material. Article marketing is alive and well, as Ezine Articles will tell you. Article directories exist to offer useful information on all subjects and topics. Those that have survived Panda are thriving because they provide a good service that is still in great demand.