Using articles to promote a company, its products, services or people is a time-honoured technique that easily pre-dates the Internet era. What’s new about the online version of Article Marketing is the power it has to generate inbound links from the various online directories, e-zines, blogs and other websites that choose to reprint the article.
It hardly matters what term is used – Article PR, Article Marketing or Article Submission – it would seem that ‘Article Marketing’ has the most meaning and now appears to be the phrase of choice among the online community. The web is about information. Websites are about content. Matching the search engine optimisation (SEO) aspirations of webmasters with the search term hunger of surfers is what makes the world-wide-web go round. Marketing is about satisfying a need. So in glorious capitalistic technicolor, manipulating the online browsing market using Article Marketing is seen as a natural commercial progression.
Google has decreed that websites with the most high quality inbound links will win the rankings race – and there’s no doubt that Article Marketing is a superb way of delivering this. It’s not merely the sites to which each article is submitted that are worth a link. It’s the reprints on other sites that can also create a kind of viral firestorm.
The best way articles can achieve this is with an eye-catching headline and brilliant content. It helps too if the article is optimised along the lines of the sender’s link/landing page. Of course, Article Marketing is hard work. The quality of both writing and content can suffer when the sole purpose is to generate as many links as possible.
Article Submission software has added to this. The automated submission of articles of dubious quality to dozens, if not hundreds, of online article directories is a questionable practice which Google and other search engines try to overcome with the use of methods such as Latent Semantic Indexing (to identify meaningful content) and duplicate content penalties.
Rewarding high quality articles makes plenty of sense when the search engines’ aim is to optimise the search experience. Clogging the Internet with identical articles does nothing for anyone except the article sender whose website is given artificial ‘importance’ with strings of hollow links.
There’s a circular logic, nay justice, to all this which gives ‘white hat’ Article Marketing a moral symmetry that echoes the simplicity of intent behind articles published in ye olde print media.