Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Best Article Directory?

You have built a website and are looking for places to give it links. You search the internet for suggestions and what do you see? Virtually every list of article directories place Ezines at the top of the list. Common logic is to write an article and place it in Ezines. Why? Ezines gets alot of traffic and has high Google rankings (PR 6) Sounds like a good idea? I am not so sure.

I have placed several articles in Ezines and this is what I do not like about it:

* The Ezine rules and regulations are amazingly strict. 400 word minimum, under 2% of your words can be keywords, 1 week approval time, links to your website ONLY in the resource box at the end of your article. Break any of their rules and your article is rejected. WOW! You are sending Ezines free content and have to jump through very high hurdles just to get them to publish it. But rules are good right? It means that if your article is "selected" for publication that it will be some value to you, right? Not necessarily.

* I have placed some articles into Ezines that were not indexed by google. If they are not indexed by Google, that means that Google does not even know about it. The articles that are not indexded, and their links, are of no value to me.

* The ezine URL of the articles is not a standard URL ending in a suffix like .html, rather it is long and messy. I am not certain if this plays a role in the indexing process, but it is hard to link to. I have had some sites, for example SheToldMe.com where I often link to help articles get indexed, refuse to accept it. At shetoldme, I get the error message "Story's URL: The URL is not functioning!". No wonder, the URL is a mess.

* Almost every article that I have placed has been reproduced on other website. The copied articles almost NEVER include my links to my website. In fact many of the "stolen" copies of my articles include links to other websites. Why do I say stolen? If they have not included the link to my website, this is against the terms of use of Ezines. Problem is that Ezines does nothing to inforce the terms of use. They leave this battle to you the author to fight.

* The copied articles often rank higher in the search engines than my original article in Ezines. How do I know that? Just do a search on the tile of the article. See how many copies come up and see where the Ezines copy ranks.

* So, if google is seeing, for example, 5 versions of your article and the only version of your article with your links in it are at the bottom. How valuable is that article for your website? It will probably not send you any traffic. If Google is ranking other articles, it is possible that the links of those articles have higher value.

* Yes, I see the arguement, "Ezines has Google PR 6, so if I get an article published there, I am passing lots of value to my website. I am not convinced that Google PR is the be all and end all of value of a link. If the link is not indexed, I believe it has no value. If other copies of the article are published which do not have your links in it, I believe that it decreases the value of your article. You will probably get no traffic and since it will be seen as duplicate content, you may get little value from the links.

What do I prefer instead of Ezines? An article published on Squidoo has MUCH higher value in my opinion than an article on Ezines. Why is Squidoo a better place to publish than Ezines?

* Squidoo has little or no review process.
* Squidoo publishes immediately
* YOU have control about where to place your links as well as the number of links
* Your article will give you traffic, links AND money.
* Squidoo articles have short, clean URLs
* My Squidoo articles generally achieve PR 2-4

So, if you are only going to place one article, I think it is clear that you should place it in Squidoo rather than in Ezines. But what if you are going to place many articles? I still think that Ezines is not best place for a unique article. The time you spend meeting all of their requirements has little value when your article is going to end up all over the internet with links to websites other than your own. I would rather suggest to place your article in other article directories where you can place your links in the body of the article rather than in the resource box at the bottom which the copyright right thief will simply leave out. A recent article I submitted to Amazines Why Do So Many People Wear Adult Footie Pajamas? was approved in 1 day. I was able to include as many links as I like and in this article, I have four links. There is no requirement for the links to be placed at the bottom in the resource box, I am able to place my links in the body of the article. This seems better to me.

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