Warning: This is controversial!
I’ve been around for a long time and remember life before Panda.
Panda was a change in Google’s search results algorithms that was rolled out in February, 2011, with follow-ups after that. The purpose was to reduce the rank of “spammy,” low quality websites so that people who searched for content would be more likely to get useful content.
The results was that many article directories such as ezinearticles.com no longer appeared in searches. This is also my personal experience. Before Panda, when I did searches, I would often see results that were in article directories. Now, I NEVER do.
Note: I used to post to ezinearticles and other article directories and have never taken down those articles, but I don’t do it any more.
Yet many Internet marketers recommend posting content to article directories with the idea that people will find these articles and come to your website or that the links from these websites will improve your own website’s search results.
Test it yourself
There are 2 ways to test if posting to article directories is useful.
1. If you have articles on an article directory, check to see if you’re getting any traffic from it. You do that in Google Analytics. Here are the steps:
- Open your Google analytics account (www.google.com/analytics.)
- In the left-hand menu, choose Acquisition, All Referrals. By default, Google shows you 10 results, so scroll to the bottom, and on the right, change the Show Rows value to 100, let’s say.
- Then, press Ctrl + F to open your browser’s search box and type the URL of the articles directory, or even part of it. For example, you can search for ezine to find ezinearticles.com.
I get nothing. But then, I don’t have huge numbers of articles on article directories. (I just checked. According to them, I have 55.)
2. If you don’t have articles on an article directory, see if you can find existing articles in search results. Follow these steps:
- Go to an article directory (some others are articlebiz.com and goarticles.com) and search for any topic.
- Pick an article that’s not so specific that it will be the only thing on the web, nor so general that you’ll get millions and millions of results. Select most of the words of the article title, something that someone might search for. For example, I went to ezinearticles and searched for PowerPoint. I found an article called “Convert Your PowerPoint to Podcast.” I searched for those words, figuring, “How many results could there be?” Well, 477,000 to be exact.
- Press Ctrl + F to open your browser’s search box and type the URL of the articles directory, or even part of it. For example, you can search for ezine to find ezinearticles.com. I searched for ezine.
- If you get “Phrase not found” or something similar, scroll to the bottom and click Next to search the next page.
- Continue like that as long as you have the patience for. Feel free to try both showing and hiding private results (Those icons are at the upper-right corner of your screen.)
I can almost guarantee that you won’t find any results from the article directory in the 1st 5 pages, but let me know if you get different results. I gave up after 5 pages and I searched for several articles.
Don’t believe me? See what Google says
In fact, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, advises against trying to build links from article directories. He says so in this video.
What do you think?
Have you had good experience with posting articles on article directories? What results did you get? I’m certainly open to hearing opinions that are different from mine.