Some article marketers are in an uproar over Christopher Knight’s recent blog announcement that traffic to EzineArticles.com has dropped significantly with Google’s latest algorithm change. One of the things he was considering was changing all the links in articles to “no follow” links – meaning the search engines wouldn’t follow from a writer’s article to their web site and pick up their site. In other words, the links would be useless.
He said, “My gut feeling is that those links [ie. The links in the articles and resource box] have carried no real value in at least 2-3 years now.”
It’s interesting that among the changes EzineArticles put into place, using no-follow links was NOT implemented. Why? My guess is that Chris (or those who advise him) believe his gut could be WRONG!
In fact when I read his blog, I knew his gut was wrong. Consistently, our regular contributors tell us that they get more traffic from our site (IdeaMarketers.com) than from any other site they contribute to. We never have set constraints on the links we allow contributors to put in their articles (as long as they are within reason). In fact, we encourage links and we’ve never used no-follow links. We even encourage our writers to embed youtube videos and audios into their articles! No one else does that, that I know of.
What’s more, IdeaMarketers.com was NOT adversely affected by the Google change. In fact, our traffic from Google searches has risen slightly.
My guess is that our set-your-own-pricing model for home page placement and our Expert 360 program is the reason. With these two systems in place, the cream of the crop is always front and center at IdeaMarketers. Quality articles are on our home page and our major categories.
The fact that we have quality content front and center with plenty of outbound links, indicates to me that this is more about quality than having “too many” outbound links. Also, for ages experts have been encouraging bloggers to create outbound links to great resources. If outbound links are so bad, why would it work for blogs and not for articles?
So before everyone panics and throws the baby out with the bathwater – saying that article marketing doesn’t help build backlinks to your site and is now a waste of time – consider that there are many other factors at work here.
Article marketing is not dead. Everyone just needs to remember to put the READER first and search engines second. Stop trying to guess what Google wants and create quality content. You’ll reap good results.
There are always fluctuations in traffic with sites. Season of the year plays a role along with dozens of other factors. You can't panic every time you see a fluctuation. Another thing to take into consideration is that if there is 15% junky articles in a web site and Google stops showing those articles, yes, it's helping web searches. But also, I'd wager it's helping the content directory because most likely those articles aren't earning any revenue for the site that hosts them, and they're just making the site look junky.
In my experience, more traffic doesn't always translate into more revenues. Sometimes less is more -- especially when that less is quality.