Do you post your articles to Ezine Articles, Article Alley, or other similar sites?
If you’re not familiar with them, they are content sites that allow you to post articles on nearly any subject you choose. Ezine in particular has standards in place for minimum levels of quality and all articles are reviewed before they go live on the site.
The idea is that you get more visibility, because the site gets lots of traffic. In return, you can place a resource box at the end, with a link back to your own site. In addition, readers are allowed to repost your articles on their own sites, as long as they keep all the links and author profile intact. It’s supposed to help your work spread.
Here comes Google and “Panda”
The panda in the picture may look cute and cuddly, but its Google namesake is giving lots of webmasters and marketers headaches. Google’s Panda update just changed how their algorithm works. They want unique content, not words that have been repeated all over the web. This has hit Ezine (and sites like it) pretty hard.
Quantcast estimates that their traffic has dropped by nearly one million readers in the last month. Ouch!
Google’s algorithm can change at any time. We can’t control it. What we can do is take a different approach.
Use other blogs to gain exposure. Write guest posts on your topic. Most bloggers will let you add a resource box (like ezine does) at the end of your article – with a link to your own site. Don’t write a sales pitch. Give them something useful.
Sign up for HARO and get free publicity by responding to reporters’ queries in your area of expertise. Or, post a query of your own. This can also be a good source of blog post ideas. Follow up with the people who answer your question (they might guest post, or even become clients).
Use social media such as Twitter or Facebook or SnapChat to build your own fan base. Posting in different places gives you more exposure and helps insulate you from any one algorithm or site’s idiosyncrasies.
Content Marketing Update
Content mills are hurting even more now than they were when I first wrote this. Some are trying to survive by breaking themselves into pieces with more focused, niche sites.
Content marketing is still an important part of your marketing message though. Use guest posts, Google Plus, and other tools to expand your audience. Keep your own site clearly focused on your specific market, your specific solutions, and your audience’s needs. Make your your site uniquely useful and interesting, and the visits will follow.
A word about duplicate content
Panda is still causing some confusion though. The duplicate content Google is worrying about isn’t what many people think it is. Google wants the most authoritative version, and they want to make sure you don’t duplicate the same information on your own site (for example selling red shoes and putting each size on a different page).