How The Google Panda Update Does Not Affect Article Marketing

Article marketing, also sometimes referred to as content marketing, is a very popular means to market your website or blog and it is very effective for making sure that your content receives exposure.  Many new and veteran bloggers market their content in an effort to create back links to their site and to establish credibility in their niche.

Incidentally, article marketing is a subcategory of information marketing and the entire purpose of having articles, is to provide information to your potential customers about the product or service that you are offering. Of course, your articles can be promotional but they are going to have very little effect, if you intend to use them for article marketing. Sales pitches do not offer anything of value and naturally people are not going to be interested in reading them.

If you want to understand the concept of article marketing, you have to understand its functionality.

article marketing google panda

Understanding the Concept of Article Marketing

The entire point of marketing your content is to have other websites or blogs which are related to your niche, publish your content. Consequently, your articles will have readers and your website gets a back link from a high authority blog.  This not only helps you increase your page rankings but it also enables you to target your potential audience.

This is also referred to as article syndication; a very important part of article marketing and helps a business get organic traffic to their site. The biggest advantage is that one article can be syndicated countless times, meaning more back links, more readers and more traffic for your site.

Fairly easy, huh?

The problem with article marketing is that because it is so simple, marketers thought that it would be easy to manipulate it. Many authors tried to publish articles that were of very poor quality, linked to sites unrelated to the topic of the article and included affiliate links in their article body. Weeding out such poor quality content was the sole purpose of the Panda Update.

Many people, who published articles from directories, removed any credits or links to the original author and tried to pass the article as their own.

Unfortunately, despite it being such an unethical practice, the actual writers seldom took action against it.

This is why popular article directories like and were affected so badly after the update. Because the Google search bot could detect that the content on that directory was published on other websites which were not linked to the directory. Search engine robots cannot determine which articles are syndicated and which are duplicated; they rely on the content to be linked to the original source to ensure that there are no underhanded techniques being used.

The reason I am saying all this is because many people who are relatively new to article marketing consider it to be a poor strategy after the Google Panda Update. This is not true.

Article directories were affected but only because of the people manipulating them, not because of the purpose of the directories themselves. In fact, if you were considering using article submission software to submit one article to hundreds of directories that is regarded as “article directory marketing” and is not article marketing. In that case, you are not hoping to have your articles syndicated on other sites; you are submitting articles to get the back links from article directories themselves.

This is an extremely short term content marketing strategy that will help you with your SEO but it will neither help you gain readers nor will it help you gain organic traffic. Back links help with your search engine ranking position but the quality of the back links is important too.

Here is a simple statistic:  10000 back links from article directory submissions will have less “link juice” then a single link from an authority blog in your niche! The figures are arbitrary but what they are suggesting is not. Focusing on the quality of your content is a much better strategy than solely targeting SEO.

“So I can’t submit one article to more than one directory?”

Of course you can! Google understands that different directories have different publishers and they can appreciate you trying to increase the exposure of your content.  Hopefully, this post will have proved to you that aiming for article syndication instead of article directory marketing will get you far better results both in terms of link building and traffic.

Can I post on my blog and submit it to directories as well?

Despite popular misconceptions, you can post on your blog and submit it to article directories; however this depends on the article directory itself.  Some directories accept only original content but most of the popular ones accept content that has been published elsewhere including EzineArticles and ArticleBase.

“…wait! Google would not consider that duplicate content?”

Google judges originality by seeing where the content in question was indexed first. Which is why, it is a good idea to have your content indexed on your site as quickly as possible. You can do this by pinging your website and bookmarking your article link. When you are submitting your articles, you can include the syndication meta tags in your resource box. These tags are not so widely used and are in more of a beta-testing stage. However, Google hopes that the use of these tags will help them better understand what’s syndicated and what’s duplicated.

Even so, how Google finds duplicate content is a bit of a controversial topic and I was only sharing my experiences. If your experiences are different or if you have a different opinion about article marketing in the light of the Google Panda Update, please comment!

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  • Gerald Martin

    Some people over at the forums I’m in talks about the advantages and disadvantages of article marketing. There’s this advice that I always hear, and I couldn’t agree with it more. One should really use an article for his or her site before considering to syndicate it. It’s a good way of taking advantage of the freshness factor.

    Gerald Martin

    • Shadab

      Hi Gerald,
      Glad you agree with me! It is definitely a very hot topic of interest among marketing forums with a lot of diverse opinions from different people; which is what made me write this piece =).

  • Chadrack@SEO Blogging Tips

    Hi Shadab,

    This is really a good expose on article marketing. The good thing is that you touched nearly every point that needed to be mentioned.

    I actually started with article marketing when started my online business. In those days bum marketing was the in thing. I had no website then but I was able to only the article directories to build a very successful business.

    However, things have really changed over the years. When most of the article directories changed their terms and many refused affiliate links in both in the body and resource box, many turned to building simple websites to re-direct links to the affiliate programs. Many still use the directories for this purpose and that is why you see very low quality articles there. To these people, the more the better!

    But frankly article marketing as a content marketing strategy should go beyond quantity. The secret of a successful content marketing strategy is quality and not quantity. Though I rarely use article marketing these days because I’ve discovered it produces very little traffic for my blog but I agree with you that publishing your articles on your blog and then submitting it to the article directories is a good tactic. However, a little re-working of the article before submitting it will produce better results.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Shadab

    Hi Chadrack,
    Thanks for the thumbs up! I did not really go into the whole quality vs quantity argument in this post but it does have bearing to the success of an article marketing campaign.

  • Marck J

    Honestly, I was glad when Panda update came. Before the update, crappy contents were all over the world wide web and I was afraid that it will give article marketing a bad image – and it did. Even Rand Fishkin once said in his Whiteboard Friday that article marketing is one of the abused marketing avenues.

    Social media should be paired up with content marketing to maximize the benefits of this strategy.