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March 13, 2011

Reaping the Rewards of Google’s Latest Algorithm Update

Now that the dust has settled a little around Google’s latest ‘farmer’ update, I thought it time to post up how article marketers can take advantage of it. Yes, there are lots of folks out there proclaiming it is the end of article marketing, but let’s be honest, people have been saying that for years. In fact, article marketing was dead when I first started but it doesn’t seem to have stopped it working for me.

First off, it’s worth noting that the whole purpose of the Farmer update was to enable searchers to find more high quality sites when searching for something. (You can read the official blog by clicking here.

Yep, Google figured its primary users (searchers, NOT webmasters) deserved a better user experience. And can you blame them? Personally, I hate searching for anything that really matters because I have so little faith in what I know is going to come up. Crappy, spammy websites designed to make money for the owner, not provide me with the information I need.

Therein lies the problem folks. People don’t want to read crap so if Google wants to stay in the game it has to quit serving it up. Can you imagine how long a restaurant would stay in business if the food it served was inedible? If folks are hitting the back button every time they click on one of Google’s results, that’s a powerful message that can’t be ignored. Would you ignore it if it was happening on your site? (hint – the answer to that question should be no)

Having said that, if your articles/sites have always provided good quality information, and if you’ve submitted that information effectively to reach as wide an audience as possible, you should now be seeing the rewards much more strongly than those who’ve tried to take the easy route with their article marketing.

My own sites have jumped up in the rankings, in some cases by several pages. So while a lot of the (so called) article marketers are proclaiming how bad for business this latest algorithm change is, I can only wonder what sort of articles they’ve been writing and what sort of marketing they’ve done with those articles.

I digress. Back to the topic at hand. According to Google, this latest change only affects 11.8% of search queries. I don’t know about you, but that suggests to me it’s more about certain topics than it is about anything else. Apparently, certain search queries are more likely to result in searchers finding rubbish content/websites than other search queries.

Hmm. I wonder what those particular search queries might be.

Now Potpie girl (don’t you just love that name) did a very in depth post, so I won’t bother repeating it here. I highly recommend you go read it however.

In summary, what she found was that the following topics were over saturated in certain websites, and those were the ones that took the biggest hit from the algorithm change.

1. – Penis Enlargement
2. – Get Your Ex Back
3. – Acai Berry
4. – Reverse Cell Phone Lookup
5. – Credit Card Debt Relief
6. – Male Enhancement Pill
7. – TV for PC

If you happen to be in any of those niches, you already know how much garbage is out there. If you’ve been adding to that garbage, you can expect (deservedly so) to be more than a little worried at this point in time.

Enough of the problems. What’s the solution?

I could advise you to go find a new niche, but that would be just a little silly. Besides, while Google is busy clearing out all the crap, that’s going to leave a huge gap in the market for quality information on those subjects. Smart folks will go out and fill that gap. Isn’t that the easiest route to making money anyway?

Define quality San.

Surprisingly enough there are lots of folks who simply don’t get what ‘quality’ is. They seem to believe it’s based on keyword density or article length. Duh! Neither of those have anything at all to do with quality content. In fact, if you’re considering either of those variables in your content, it’s pretty safe to assume you’re missing the quality benchmark by a long shot.

Quality, (much like beauty) is in the eyes of the beholder. So first and foremost, you should be preparing your content to appeal to the prospective customer. You know, the person you are hoping is going to read it and (hopefully):

– share it with their mates
– buy whatever it is you’re selling

Remember, these people are trusting you with their time and attention. The least they deserve is to actually get some benefit from doing so. And that benefit should include an answer to the question they were asking. Yes, you can add in a little benefit of your own, like a reason for them to click your link and actually purchase something from you. But if you make your content about what’s in it for you, instead of what’s in it for your reader… well, don’t come crying to me when Google just flat out ignores you.

Article Submission?

Is it worth still submitting to the article directories? Or should they be renamed ‘content farms’? After all, Google sees them as such and has reduced their ranking accordingly. EZA, the biggest player in the article directories has seen a massive hit so what’s the point in submitting your content to them if you’re not going to get the traffic and link love you’ve come to expect?

Well, as my own guide, Article Explosion has always recommended, (long since before Google went into the farming business :), article directories will always have a place in your marketing methods. They just shouldn’t be your only focus. And your submitted articles will need to be of good enough quality that they stand out from the rest.

In the past this wasn’t too hard. Most of the articles submitted were just plain garbage, badly spun PLR, keyword stuffed, illegible Crap! Nope. Not hard at all to stand out from that.

Now, you might have to work a bit harder to stand out. With quality guidelines being tightened up your competition won’t be quite as easy to beat. But if you put in the effort, then you will be able to beat it. And it will be worth it!

San Coils has always been a huge fan of article marketing, just not in the way most article marketers think of it. If you’d like to learn how to create quality content and leverage that content for increased ROI, then sign up to get your copy of the Content Marketing Cookbook delivered straight to your inbox.