I've been doing article marketing for longer than most. I started in 1999. I have been doing Internet Marketing since 1995, but didn't pick up the value of article markeitng until later. At that time, the accepted method for article distribution was to article directories. You wrote an article, or had one written for you by a ghostwriter, then manually submitted them to article directories like ezinearticles.com or isnare.com. This created one-way, inbound links to your website and helped to establish you as an expert in your field.
Unfortunately, the automators and people who sell amazing shortcuts and "secrets" to an unsuspecting audience desperate for inbound links got into the game. People began buying low quality articles, article spinning software and private label rights or PLR articles and then using automated software, they overloaded the article directories with pure unadulterated garbage or "noise" as I like to call it. No longer were people writing quality articles and establishing their expertise, instead they were building massive amounts of inbound links to their website, believing they were doing real SEO.
Google was getting gamed by these link-building methods for awhile. There was a time when people were building adsense pages with all latin content except for the key phrase they were targeting dispersed between the latin text and they were ranking for that term.
How has article writing changed or improved?
Then the Google bots got better at reading content using semantics. Now Google can basically read the text on a page and verify what the page is about. When you create title tags, file names, H1 tags, etc., you are telling Google what your web page or article is about. To verify this, the bot looks for related keywords and phrases it would expect to find on a page about that topic. Using the Google Keywords Tool, you can determine what Google sees as related to your targeted keyword or phrase. So when you write your content, you can use some of these related phrases and help Google determine your content as something valuable and related to your topic.
So, creating a quality article that is appealing to readers has actually gotten easier to write and readers find it more interesting. You no longer have to use the same keyword or phrase over and over again. That allows you to write better content. So that is one really good change for the better. Now you can do SEO without making the content spammy.
Now what has changed about article distribution or article submissions?
Again, in the past, using automated software and submitting your article to thousands of article directories was the method that got some inbound link results. The problem is, by writing garbage content, no one is clicking through to your website after reading the article, if they even finish the article at all because of the poor content. And all of your links were at the bottom of the article, so if they never get that far, no traffic for you. And they certainly wouldn't consider yo0u an expert in your field after reading the poorly written article, so they wouldn't likely want to go to your website anyway.
However, the marketers were telling you and everyone else that article marketing was all about getting more backlinks and that would make you rank better in the search engines. Some still tell you that and it's just simply not true. Article Marketing is about more than just backlinks and the links you get from article directories are just not very valuable anymore.
The old method has no value. Using this method only adds to the "noise" I spoke about before. If you want to stand out in the crowd or be heard over the noise, you have to rethink the way you do article marketing. Recent updates by Google like Panda and the Freshness update have pretty much eliminated these shortcuts and garbage and noise. What they have not eliminated, they will soon. So if you are still using the old methods, the tiny value you got from it before will become nothing at all.
So how do I improve my article marketing technique?
First of all, stop buying cheap articles written by the lowest bidder. You do not need hundreds or thousands of articles. You need well-written, high-quality content for your article marketing plan. Without quality content, you may as well not do article marketing at all. More cheap content just adds to the noise. If you want your article to get noticed by the search engines and by readers who might turn into customers, you need well-written articles. If you plan to continue to spin articles, by cheap articles or by private label rights or PLR articles, then you are wasting your time even reading the rest of this article.
Now, if you really want to build high-quality inbound links to your website that will also generate more traffic and leads, then here is how to do that. Take this article I'm writing right now. I'm only submitting this article to this website, nowhere else on the web, not on my own site nor to article directories or my blog. It's 100% original content. This website already gets a lot of traffic from small to medium size business owners which are my target market for my services.
This article, published here creates a link back to my site that is permanent. Not a link that I paid for. The article is hopefully helpful to poeple, which should always be your primary reason for writing an article. It also establishes my expertise on the topic of article marketing. It may even generate leads or sales. An article submitted to hundreds or thousands of article directories has less value than this one article on the Bank of America Small Business Community Website.
There are other places that will let you publish articles on them and give you valuable backlinks and traffic. Squidoo.com, Hubpages.com, knol.google.com and others allow you to produce high-quality, original content and some give you more link popularity as well. But, to repeat myself, links are not the primary reason for doing article marketing. If peopl,e read an interesting article they are 10 times more likely to follow your link and visit your website where you have a chance to turn them into a valuable customer.
It takes more time and money to do article marketing the right way. You need quality content and you need that content posted on high-qualoity wwebsites like this one. Anything that sounds cheap or automated should be avoided as it will do more harm than good. The good news is that each article you write will add value to the web and give you the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert and if people like the article, they will link to it.
I hope this article has been informative and helpful. Feel free to post comments or questions and I'll do my best to answer them. More information on article marketing can be found on my website at http://www.articlecontentprovider.com