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Post-Penguin Article Marketing – 6 Things You Need to Know

Whether your website has already been turned on its head by Penguin – or you’re trying to make sure you don’t become one of Penguin’s victims down the road – you may be afraid to move ahead with an article marketing strategy. After all, it seems like every big Google change comes with a ton of naysayers who proclaim the death of article marketing.

However, article marketing is still a very powerful way to get more traffic and sales – as long as you do it the right way.

So, what do you need to know to succeed at article marketing in a post-Penguin world?

1. Blasting Isn’t Cool Anymore

If you’re thinking of buying one of those programs that “blasts” your articles to every directory under the sun, think again. In our post-Penguin world, submitting your article to thousands of directories all at once can look like spamming to Google’s spiders – especially because none of those directories are considered relevant to your niche.

From a common sense perspective, blasting was never a cool technique because most of article directories involved are the low-level ones. Those low-level directories rarely get seen by actual humans (and rarely get crawled by search engine spiders). As a result, you wind up waiting months and months for a bunch of PR0 links, and you don’t even get any legitimate exposure to show for it.

Despite all of its criticism, in this instance, Penguin has forced lots of online marketers to adhere to common sense – and that’s not a bad thing!

2. Be Choosy About Where You Guest Post

True article marketing has always encompassed more than just the article directories – and that’s even truer after Penguin. Instead of trying to submit a guest post to every site under the sun (like blasting, but on a smaller scale), take some time to look at the quality of each site. Who reads it? Who trusts it? Who else writes for it?

Remember, guest posting is a way for you to get your name and your expertise out in front of highly-targeted traffic. If you look at it as just a “fancier” way to get a link than submitting to the article directories, Google’s herd of Penguins will see right through you.

3. Focus on Syndication

Just like you can pick and choose where to publish your guest posts, you can also pick and choose where to distribute your articles. Ideally, you should always be on the lookout for authoritative websites and email lists in your niche. By having a set list of quality places where you send each article, you’ll get much more out of each one.

Even if you rely on a more passive syndication approach – like submitting articles to a limited number of directories where site owners in your niche are most likely to see them and share them – it’s important to focus on the top-tier directories. In today’s post-Penguin world, quality outweighs quantity.

4. Writing Articles is Going to Take Up More of Your Time

If you’re going to focus on syndication, you’re going to have to focus on publishing articles that people actually want to read and share with their own audiences! However, creating those types of articles requires plenty of research, writing skill, and finesse – which means each article is going to take more time than if you were just trying to churn out the fluffy, keyword-stuffed, over-optimized “link fodder” that Penguin will nail you for now.

5. Don’t Forget About Panda

Penguin might be the most talked-about Google change right now, but it’s certainly not the only algorithm change that you have to worry about. If you want to make the most out of your search engine traffic, in addition to thinking about Penguin, you’ve got to make sure you’re taking Panda into account, too.

Before you panic, remember that it’s really easy to abide by Panda’s rules. All you have to do is publish great content that’s legitimately helpful to your readers. That’s it.

6. Never Forget What Article Marketing is Really All About

Before it became a way for less-than-stellar SEO-types to cut corners, article marketing was about one thing – sharing great content with the web, so that people could find expert answers to their questions and solutions to their problems. Somewhere along the way, it morphed into some kind of easy way to pile up a ton of quick and dirty backlinks.

The best way to make sure that your article marketing efforts succeed after Penguin is to make sure that you never lose sight of what article marketing was intended to do. As long as your readers are first in your mind, your article marketing strategy can never go wrong.


Sick of writing your own articles? Nicole Beckett and the team at Premier Content Source know how to create an article marketing strategy that both Google’s spiders and your readers will love.

About the author

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Nicole Beckett

Nicole Beckett knows that content marketing will always play a huge role on the web.Β  That's why she spends her time helping business owners come up with the very best strategies.Β  Find out how she can take your web content to the next level by visiting Nicole and the team of journalists at Premier Content Source.

13 Comments

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  • Really good post.

    I have never been a fan of article software anyway, as I would rather concentrate on 30 high quality directories than 1000 poor ones.

    Good content should be rewarded and to a degree, I think it always has been, but I am glad to see with the past two updates that there seems to be more of a focus on it

  • Thanks, Ian! πŸ™‚

    Yes, I think Google has definitely made it clear that it’s looking for quality content. Cutting corners simply isn’t going to work anymore!

  • Thanks for putting up such informative article. i really appreciate your effort in thinking out the future strategies for article marketing. -Bhagwat

  • Thanks for the good content, especially i want to put emphasis on the part of Panda, don’t forget Panda before you take Penguin into note.
    Google is putting even more influence on Content now, it is all about how you write and how you distribute. You need to do natural work.

  • Glad you enjoyed it, Adnan… Thanks for chiming in!

    You’re right… Google is telling websites that if they don’t have good content, they’re not going to rank very high. In the process, they’ve done a good job at eliminating the corner-cutting — like mass-submitting, spinning, etc.

  • Although I knew a lot of what you talked about, you filled in another few peices of the jigsaw. Thank you

  • So what you’re saying is you can still submit to more than one, or many if you want, article directories it just has to be the same article to be seen by humans on Google?

    So say you wrote an article on say Dog Training Techniques and put it on Ezine Articles, and then instead of spinning it you just copy and paste it in to one of the other Top 20 Article Directories to gain wider audiences?

  • Todd — there’s no reason to spin anything. Because syndicated content and duplicated content are two totally different things, spinning has always been a pointless activity. Now, thanks to Google’s increased focus on quality content, it can definitely HURT your rankings now (in addition to just wasting your time)!

    If you want to submit the same article to several of the top directories, you can certainly do so. You won’t incur any kind of “penalty”. In fact, it can be a good way to get your quality articles out in front of more webmasters and potential customers! Just don’t waste your time with the “blasters” or low-level directories. Those aren’t going to do anything to help you.

  • Is there a “list” of higher quality FREE or inexpensive premium directories somewhere?

  • Nicole – Many thanks for your concise insight to article marketing. I have never submitted an article to a directory yet, so I’m a bit nervous to which one(s) to go for. Do you have a top 5 of the best please?

    Best regards, Carol.

  • You’re very welcome, Carol! πŸ™‚

    Ezine Articles was the “top dog” for many years, but they (and all other article directories) got hit hard by Panda. Admittedly, I don’t know if tons of webmasters still head there to look for content, but you certainly can’t go wrong publishing your articles there. (The only thing you have to lose is the few minutes it takes to physcially submit them!)

    If I were you, though, I’d be on the lookout for niche-specific guest posting opportunities. That way, you’ll get the targeted eyeballs you need AND higher-quality links (remember, even the most popular article directory is going to give you a non-relevant PR 0 link. A good guest posting opportunity could give you far more than that.)

    For example, my time is much better spent writing something for the folks here at Site Pro News — where thousands of people can see it on the website (and, potentially, much more than that if it goes in the SPN newsletter) — than submitting things to Ezine Articles, where people may or may not stumble upon them.

    Yes, it’s harder to find these opportunities than just hitting “submit” on an article directory, but the benefits are way better. And, there are 2 great (and free!) resources that can make it easier — Blogger LinkUp and My Blog Guest. Sign up for both, and you’ll be able to find guest posting opportunities right in your niche that you may never have known about otherwise. Plus, some good ol’ fashioned Googling can help you find websites you never knew existed (for example, once you find a good website, look up “sites like XYZ”)

    Hope that helps… Good luck!! πŸ™‚