Are Article Directories Still Effective for Link Building?

By Zac Johnson | Writing

Jan 28

As blog owners there is really nothing we love more than some good quality backlinks coming to our sites. The best backlinks are ones that come naturally from other bloggers and through social media. However not all of us can create incoming links simply by relying on outside bloggers and our site readers.

For times like these many bloggers will look to alternative solutions to build incoming links. One of these alternatives is through article marketing and directories.

The concept behind article directories is simple. Writers sign up to the web site and provide quality content and the article directory makes money from people continually submitting content to the site and having ads displayed on their site. The writer gets to have their article posted and link juice is passed from the article directories (usually high page rank) to their respective blogs or links listed in the articles.

You can see an example of how a typical article directory such as EzineArticles works.

Ezinearticles Directory

It seems like a win-win situation right? Well, it was until Google slapped the heck out of all the article based web sites out.

This used to be a great way to get your site backlinks and to rank higher in the search engines.

You can take a look at some of the top ranked article directories below, along with their respective Page Rank and Alexa scores.

Rank Article Directory Site PR Alexa Follow Status
#1 ehow.com 7 102 No-Follow
#2 ezinearticles.com 6 117 Do-Follow
#3 squidoo.com 7 118 Do-Follow
#4 hubpages.com 6 204 Do-Follow
#5 articlesbase.com 6 332 No-Follow
#6 buzzle.com 6 613 Do-Follow
#7 examiner.com 7 636 No-Follow
#8 suite101.com 7 771 Do-Follow
#9 technorati.com 8 905 Do-Follow
#10 brighthub.com 6 1163 Do-Follow
#11 seekingalpha.com 7 1561 No-Follow
#12 helium.com 6 1740 No-Follow
#13 ezinemark.com 2 1910 Do-Follow
#14 goarticles.com 3 2055 Do-Follow
#15 gather.com 6 2096 Do-Follow
#16 articlealley.com 5 2598 No-Follow
#17 articlesnatch.com 5 2618 No-Follow
#18 bukisa.com 5 2692 No-Follow

So the big question now is “Are Article Directories Still Worth It?

While the majority of site owners and link builders have put article directories on the back burner since Google came out with Panda and Penguin, some marketers are still relying on these old school backlinks.

The benefits in having links in the article directories is that you still have people occasionally reading articles that they find through the search results and it could result in people clicking over to your site. The negatives is that article marketing takes time if you are doing the writing yourself, and they simply don’t provide the link juice they used to, nor do they have the search rankings they used to.

A couple years back I had done some testing with article marketing and while the links did work well for my sites and helping them rank better, I saw very little traffic from the actual links in the article. You can see the stats from my author account below. With 124 live articles through the site, the articles have seen a horrid 2.85% click through rate which resulted in around 277 clicks over the past year to two years.

eZineArticles Performance

So I will leave the answer to the question up to you… are you still using article marketing in your link building efforts?

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About the Author

Zac Johnson is a online marketer with 15 years of experience and also a blogger at ZacJohnson.com, as well as the founder of BloggingTips.com. You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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