I’ve been an avid article marketer since I wrote my first ebook back in 2002 and discovered that I could get free coverage by simply writing content and giving it away for others to distribute “all of the web.” Since then, there’ve been so many Google updates you’d think the search giant was running a zoo instead of an online marketing firm, eg, Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, etc.
But with every update, and with all the SEO experts declaring that article marketing is dead, ineffective and can be downright harmful, I’m still in love with this form of content marketing. And make no mistake, that’s what article marketing is.
3 Reasons I Still Believe in Article Marketing – Even Post-Hummingbird
Following is why I STILL think article marketing is effective – yes, even in spite of Google’s latest most talked about update.
1. It’s Just Content Marketing: What do industry leaders like the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) say you need to do to get more site visitors, traffic, conversion, leads and sales? Produce more content.
In fact, one of the findings of the CMI’s B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report, the company flat out says, “It seems to be that small businesses need to realise that . . . producing enough content on a regular basis is crucial for success.”
Article marketing is just content marketing – and if done consistently (this is where many fall down), it’s still effective.
2. It Forces You to Produce Better Content: Piggybacking on this last point, almost all of Google’s algorithm changes work in some way to make what web surfers want to find on the web better. They want to get rid of spammy, keyword-stuffed articles that aren’t helpful to end users and reward content that is the exact opposite.
As well-known social media and content strategist Jay Baer writes in the post, How Google Is Forcing Your Content to Get Better:
Google has stated for many years that their goal is to make search behave more like people . . . and this [Hummingbird update] is just the next step in that direction. Content that people like, Google will like. Google wants you to figure out what content to make not by obsessing over keywords and data reports, but to answer the questions that you can genuinely answer well, and be authoritative for the topics about which you truly are a good solution.
3. It Forces Scammers Out: With every Google update, more and more of the spammers, schemers and scammers as I like to call them, give up and go away because they’re after a quick buck. But real business owners who are invested in their sites, blogs, brands and image rejoice. Why?
While we may get frustrated if our sites lose rank for no apparent reason, we know that if we keep producing great content and distributing it, we’re building a community – a community of loyal readers and followers. This makes us less reliant on what Google and other search engines are doing – because it’s never been about “gaming Google,” but meeting our customers’ needs.
And a strange thing happens – Google rewards this because your “community” sends signals their way (via shares on social media, comments on blogs, reviews in forums, etc.) that, “Hey, we like this site!”
Remember the quote above from Jeff Baer’s post, “Content that people like, Google will like?” Well that’s how it works folks.
I’ve been saying this for a while now, if you want to “beat Google,” focus less on the intricacies of what they may or may not be doing with their algorithm updates, and more on what they tell you directly, which is to have original, high-quality content. Proof?
In the Search Engine Land post, FAQ: All About The New Google “Hummingbird” Algorithm, founder, editor and search engine guru Danny Sullivan writes:
Does this mean SEO is dead?
No, SEO is not yet again dead. In fact, Google’s saying there’s nothing new or different SEOs or publishers need to worry about. [Google’s] Guidance remains the same, it says: have original, high-quality content. (emphasis added) Signals that have been important in the past remain important; Hummingbird just allows Google to process them in new and hopefully better ways.
How Effective Has Article Marketing Been for Me?
Well, it’s kept me on the first three pages of Google for many keywords relevant to my niches, eg, SEO writing – and quite a few more. And this translates into sales of my products and services – believe me!
Once I learned how to write SEO content in 2007, I increased my article marketing efforts and I haven’t let up since. In my opinion, it’s still some of the cheapest, most effective online marketing you can do – yes, even in spite of Google’s Hummingbird update.