Article Marketing After the Panda Update
The first thing a lot of people probably think, thanks to the Google Farmer / Panda update is that article marketing has lost its value. Some of it has, if you solely depend on search traffic to bring visitors to your articles in hopes that they will continue to click through to your website.
But one thing that a lot of article marketers have missed is the community factor on some of these sites. Not all article directories are simply a repository of articles and nothing more. Some article networks have their own social community where members can interact through comments, forums, and question & answer areas. Members can also follow other members whose articles they like, and will be notified when that member has published a new article.
How to Maintain a Strong Article Marketing Campaign
So what are the key ways to make sure your article marketing content stands out?
1. Create 100% unique, engaging content.
The days of unoriginal, short and spun content are likely numbered. Google has said that they are going to single out the low quality content in favor of the best content, which means article networks that want back into Google’s good graces will start doing the same.
GoArticles, unaffected by the update, had started doing this months ago. EzineArticles has upped the word count of their articles to 450+. eHow (also unaffected) moved away from letting anyone sign up to write articles to having writers go through a stricter registration. More networks are going to follow suit. You will want to make sure your content and writing skills are up to par, generating only the best content for your niche in these networks.
2. Interact with the article marketing community.
Find people interested in your niche or industry through the forums, question and answer area, and by searching for related articles to find other authors on the topic. Follow them, interact with them, and rate their articles within the network – they will be sure to take notice, and possibly return the favor.
3. Promote your articles.
Search engines are not the only source of traffic. Social media, blog commenting, and forums (to name a few) can help you drive an audience to your articles when used properly to promote them. Just find targeted fans, blogs, and communities to engage with and share your content with in order to succeed.
Article Marketing Communities
Some great examples of article directories that have built in communities include:
- HubPages – Allows members to follow each other and interact through comments, forums, and questions & answers.
- Squidoo – Allows members to follow each other and interact through comments, groups and forums.
- eHow – Allows members to follow each other and interact through comments and groups.
- Self Growth – Allows members to add each other to their networks and interact through comments and discussion boards.
Those are the ones I know of off the top of my head. Essentially, if you are going for article marketing for community building, you will need to look for the article directories that offer more options within their network for members to connect with each other.
But What About Traffic?
It may be still soon to tell the long term effects of the Google update to these sites’ traffic data, but here is what we know so far. First, here is the unique visitor graph and data for the last six months through February for the above mentioned networks.
Then, if you go to Alexa, you will find Pageviews percentage changes are as follows.
- HubPages – down 5.2% in the last month.
- Squidoo – down 7% in the last month.
- eHow – up 6.4% in the last month (unaffected by the Panda update).
- Self Growth – down 0.6% in the last month (unaffected by the Panda update).
So needless to say, these sites are still getting traffic within their own community, even if the search traffic has dropped off a little. And if you want a piece of that action, you will need to start creating great content and interacting with their communities!
What is Your New Article Marketing Strategy?
Has your article marketing strategy changed since the Google update? Please share your observations, from changes in traffic to rankings, and where you focus your article marketing efforts now.