The obsession with link building among SEO professionals is one of the most important reasons that so many article directory sites came into operation. In last 3 years, the web has changed to the extent of unfamiliarity, in many cases, even for webmasters. However, this transformation hasn’t been able to put a stoppage over the speculation whether or not article directory submission is benefiting for SEO. In fact, this speculation has received further boost since the unleashing of Panda and Penguin as some of the leading article submission directories witnessed significant drop in traffic, leading to lower search engine visibility. Webmasters have interpreted this incident widely as Google’s reluctance or negation to give these directories with adequate value that is capable of attracting users’ attention.
Is This Common Conception Misguiding?
Before Google started handling the affairs with web marketing and promotional strategies with firm grip, SEOs were under the impression that getting backlinks at any cost is important. It didn’t matter how and from which source they are getting links. Clearly, the process was not a natural one and websites with higher numbers of backlinks secured a better SERP over sites that focused on natural link building. In the post-Panda and Penguin this is all history. In a recent interview, Matt Cutts, the head of Google anti-spam team confirmed neither Google considers link building illegal nor inherently bad. However, such efforts will be appreciated as long as the process is natural and optimizers provide the highest importance to users’ convenience:
“The philosophy that we’ve always had is if you make something that’s compelling then it would be much easier to get people to write about it and to link to it. And so a lot of people approach it from a direction that’s backwards…. Their goal should really be to make a fantastic website that people love and tell their friends about and link to and want to experience. As a result, your website starts to become stronger and stronger in the rankings.” Source: http://www.stonetemple.com/link-building-is-not-illegal-or-bad/
What Should Be Your Key Strategies To Receive Quality Backlinks Naturally From Article Submission?
This is one question that webmasters and SEOs, in the post-Panda and Penguin world, have been unable to figure out completely. If you are expecting hard and fast rules or grammar book-like directives, then there is no such help available. However, the three golden points you need to consider are:
- Strictly avoid mass submission (Google considers such efforts artificial, spammy and shot cut to the top); rather it is more effective to focus on regular submission with high quality content.
- Go for recognized directory sites that are in operation for long and avoid sources that have suddenly made their appearance. In addition, make sure that your submission will get you traffic.
- Don’t go for websites that don’t attract traffic. This will be similar to building link for the sake of it. Clearly, this won’t be natural and your efforts will not be appreciated. In fact, there is a high chance that the next Penguin update penalizes your website heavily.
- Give importance to authorship more than ever. Google is providing extreme importance these days to the ‘author status’ factor. So, each of your article should contain a separate section for author bio along with an identifiable picture (preferably a headshot).
- With the advent of natural language search (courtesy Hummingbird), the obsession with keyword-based promotional articles is facing the abolition. Make sure you stay away from the long-practiced habit and make your articles high quality, full of information and ready for user assistance to the best possible extent.
- Attend your readers. If they find your article interesting, they will look forward to receive answers to their further queries. Participating in this interaction is an excellent way to convince your readers about the authority you hold over the subject domain. This will not only help in increasing traffic to your website but also will draw quality backlinks naturally from other sources.
Natural Link Building Through Article Submission Is Not Obsolete Yet:
Thanks to Google’s unprecedented importance over quality, the possibility of natural link building is not dead entirely. However, it is important that SEOs get over the traditional idea of receiving links from any and every source. While they need to be sincere about choosing the right and quality article directories, on the other hand, they should also provide attention to user-friendliness of those articles, not to mention regular engagement with readers. Clearly, this will not be as easy as it used to be earlier. More importantly, the renowned directories have made the rules and regulations stricter for accepting an article. If you are capable of overcoming these obstacles, article submission will get you receiving natural links and SERP of your website will continue increasing.
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