The Google Farmer update targeted article directories and content mills. It went after sites, which used duplicate content and low quality articles. As many are aware, the vast majority of articles on article directories are extremely poorly written. The entire focus of Google’s update was to improve the overall quality of search results for users. Since these sites were notorious for less than promising results, they were the ones targeted.
The main problem with this reasoning is legitimate sites used these directories too. Article marketing helped sites increase traffic and exposure, while providing useful content to readers. However, this content often got lost in the midst of the lower quality articles. If you associate with bad content, yours must be of the same ilk, right? No, but Google didn’t take the time to sort things out. Instead, you got the Farmer update and all the havoc it wreaked.
What confused everyone were the results of the update. Some sites noticed an increase in traffic. Another group wasn’t really affected. This group probably didn’t use article marketing quite as much as the other groups. Other sites noticed a significant drop in traffic and their page rank. How could a single update affect sites so greatly, especially when they all used article marketing?
The answer is relatively easy, but still confusing. While millions of children play with toys, they don’t all play the same way. Some have high energy and like action toys, while others prefer quieter activities. The same goes for article marketing. It’s all in how it was being used.
How To Please Google
Before you try to figure out the intricacies of article marketing after the Google Farmer update, look at what it takes to make Google happy. This makes understanding the effects of the update much easier. As you probably already concluded, Google is after quality. High quality makes Google happy. A simple solution, but it requires quite a few elements before you are considered “high quality.”
The first area to master is grammar. Believe it or not, Google looks a spelling, basic sentence structure and overall flow. If the article has numerous mistakes, it is immediately dismissed as low quality. Pass this check and you are one step closer to success.
The next area is keywords. Keywords are what draw search engines to your article. A user searches, Google sees the keyword and the article displays as a result. What many do wrong is stuff their articles with keywords. Either they use the same keyword repeatedly or try to use numerous keywords, which make the article come off as disjointed. Instead of content, all you end up with is keywords. Use keywords sparingly and always write for the reader, not the search engine.
Relevancy is next on the make Google happy checklist. Much of the content on article directories has nothing to do with the sites they link back to. An article on the best golf clubs for ladies may link back to a dating site. When readers click the link, they expect to find something dealing with golf clubs. Instead of staying on the site, they leave. Sites tricking visitors hope they will find enough people who will stay, that it’s worth placing random articles up. Google demands the article be relevant to your website. Readers will appreciate it, so it is always a good policy to create articles, which focus on something related to what your site offers.
The final area you need to think about is originality. Before the update, you could submit the exact same article to every directory with no real problem. Others could republish this same article. The result is a single article, which can be found on numerous sites. For readers looking for more information, all they can find is the same article. This is why Google wants articles to be unique. Sites using duplicated content are frowned upon. You can use the same topic and something close the original article, but every time you submit the article, rewrite it enough to be unique.
Of course, there are a few other minor things, but overall, if your content meets these requirements, you are well on your way to ensuring Google looks favorably upon you. The only one, which is difficult to master, is originality. You may be able to submit a different article to each directory, but it doesn’t stop others from republishing it.
Google does have a loophole, which takes the other factors into consideration first. If you have high quality content, which is then republished, both sites then have high quality content. Since you have submitted a different article to each directory, you cut the amount of duplication. The combinations of high quality content and limited duplication allow you to still increase your page rank without punishment.
After everything Google did to upset the world of article marketing, it is the least they could do. Basically, follow the rules and Google will let you continue using article marketing.
What About The Directories?
At this point, you have to be wondering what’s the point of article marketing if the directories can’t be found. Directories have now blatantly divided. You have your good and your bad. The good are changing their submission requirements to only accept high quality articles. In some cases, they are even removing content, which doesn’t meet these standards.
This gives them an advantage. Instead of being seen as an article directory, it is simply a site with a wide variety of high quality content which is update daily. The site is constantly indexed and the content keeps the site’s rank high. Regular searches quickly reveal which directories have gone the extra mile to stay on top after Google’s update.
When it comes to choosing which article directories to use, only use the highest quality ones. These are the ones reputable sites go to for content to republish. These are the ones, which will actually get your article listed in the first few pages of search results on Google. Basically, these directories are the only ones who offer any real benefit to your site. Other directories are a gamble at best. Why waste time on directories, which may end up hurting your site.
Another way to choose a viable directory is to read some of the content. If you find yourself trying to make sense out of basic sentences, the content isn’t Google material. If this appears to be the majority, then submit your content elsewhere. Leave the poor quality content to directories that don’t care about what is submitted.
Article Marketing Wins
Despite what some may tell you, article marketing is not dead. It is just more effective. Those who keep preaching about the demise of article marketing are likely those who used it incorrectly in the past. It’s easy to take the route many sites teach, which is the same method used by spammers. If your site is legitimate, all you have to do is change your technique. This sets you apart from the spammers.
Change does take work, but your work pays off better than ever. You have to make the choice yourself whether or not changing is worth your time. If you would rather use other marketing methods, this is perfectly fine. Some site owners have become so discouraged over their site’s drop in rankings that article marketing is definitely not their favorite topic.
It’s important to try to keep a positive outlook. If your site took a major drop, then it will take time to recover. If your site was unaffected, you have nothing to lose. Revamp your article marketing and benefit from Google’s change. If your site improved, keep doing what you were doing. Odds are, you were already employing the techniques Google was looking for.
While there are plenty of options to choose from to market your site, article marketing is one of the most popular for a reason. It’s cheap, sometimes free, and it works. It gets your site the right kind of visitors, the visitors that not only stay on your site, but also click ads, buy products and purchase your services. Since article marketing takes little, there is everything to gain.
Don’t let anyone tell you Google is the death of article marketing. As long as you do it correctly, it is still one of the best ways to market your site. Continue using article marketing and you will see your site’s rank increase, despite the changes Google may throw our way in the future.
Author: Pat Tate
As a senior Pat Tate started to explore Internet Marketing. She uses her blog as a journal to keep track of the people and programs that she has met along the way. Grandma’s Internet Marketing/blog
She is an avid golfer and invites women to join her to talk golf at Women’s Golf Center
She has always loved toys and as the proud Grandmother of five beautiful Grandchildren she gets to play with new ones. Grandma’s Toy Review