I was asked an interesting question today about backlinking and article marketing. I am a BIG fan of article marketing for several reasons:
1. Develop credibility in your niche as an expert by providing useful and interesting information.
2. Fantastic way to get your site indexed (found in the search engines) through the use of a site that is already indexed (Article Directory)
3. Create backlinks to your site from other sites, as your article is picked up and used on other peoples sites. This isn’t quick, but it is effective.
The question I received today was (note, I’ve removed all references to the website and the person):
I’ve been reading about article marketing and how each time you submit the same article to a different site – it needs to have about 30% of the wording changed around – otherwise you’ll get penalized by google for submitting duplicate content. I have not been doing this – I have been submitting the same article to a bunch of different sites. So, I did a little check to see how many backlinks I have for my site doing this:
So, I only have seven true back-links that are being counted by google. Is that correct? Or, am I misunderstanding this.
However, if I put my sitename in the google search bar – it comes up with a number of 484. I’m in a bit of a panic now and wondering if I am freaking out for nothing or if I am just misunderstanding how all of this works.
What is the correct strategy?
You know, this is a major concern of just about everyone who uses articles to market their business – Duplicate Content and being ‘google slapped’. Let’s discuss each of the issues seperately…
Relax…. this is an issue that is in dispute by several SEO gurus. Here’s a report that may help: The Duplicate Content Debate (just click on that link, there is no sign up, just a straight download)
I believe that duplicate content for articles shouldn’t be a concern – you are not penalized for it and nor should you worry about it. I have been article marketing for over 12 months and have not seen an issue and this is supported by many other marketers and gurus….
What really happens is that the first site indexed with that content, becomes the authority, the one that gets the ‘priority listing’. The other sites get some benefit from the article, but are not ranked as highly.
Let’s say that I submit an article to Article Rich – this article will appear in the Article Rich directory and be indexed by the search engines fairly quickly (let’s say 2 hours). Article Rich becomes the ‘authority’ for this piece of content.
Then, let’s assume that Site B decides to reprint that article. Whilst they will get the benefit of the content, it is unlikely that they will appear Article Rich in the Search Engine Rankings for that article – they will be indexed by the Search Engines (providing they are already indexed) but won’t receive the full ‘credit’ of having original content.
The benefit to ourselves as authors, is that we get the backlink from Article Rich and from Site B. As more sites reprint our article, the more back links we get. To a degree, the more backlinks, the more favorably the Search Engines look at our site because obviously our content must be good to generate the links….
The benefit to the site owners who reprint our articles is that they get good, if not great, content!
All that said, if you want to rewrite your articles for each directory you submit to – by all means do…
Backlinks and Search Engines
As highlighted in the email I received, using the Link: command in the Google search bar revealed a total of 7 backlinks where just typing in the sitename revealed over 400 mentions. Some of those are certainly the site itself, but a large number (more than 7) are third party sites that mention and link to your site.
Checking on Yahoo – with the same command link:<yoursitename>, reveals 19 sites linking to you. Checking how many times the sitename appears in the Yahoo engine reveals somewhat less than 400 (generally) but more than 19….
So why does Google only report 7 and Yahoo 19?
Fact: Google does not accurately report the number of backlinks to a site. They deliberately misrepresent it. Why? I’m assuming so that manipulation of the system is a little more difficult to achieve.
Yahoo is a little more accurate, but I still find it a little hit and miss.
Certainly, checking the number of time your site is mentioned in the Search Engine results is a far better indication.
All of the theory aside – let’s look at what it really means…
Going back to the purpose of Article Marketing, from a marketing perspective…. The idea of article marketing is three fold:
1. Most importantly is to get your site indexed (put in the search engines). By submitting to a content engine, your site is indexed through the links you put in the article.
2. Gain backlinks to help with Search Engine rankings — from the article directories and from the sites that use your article (if they are indexed themselves).
3. Gain readers and develop credibility.
As long as you keep that in mind, your strategy will remain sound – just remember that it takes time. This type of strategy doesn’t necessarily instantly generate a high number of backlinks but over time it will.
One final point – ask yourself what’s more important? A high number of backlinks that may generate a high level of untargetted traffic, or…. highly targetted backlinks that generate highly targetted traffic?
I know what I would prefer. What about ?
Do You Know When You’re Indexed?
Do you know when your site is indexed by Google? If not, you should! Use Google Alerts for your name and URL to be notified when you appear in the Search Engine listing again… Not only do you konw who’s ‘talking about you’, it can be a very big boost to the self confidence that someone likes your work.
Other Resources For Article Marketing: