Blog Optimization: Article Distribution vs. Guest Blogging – Is There a Difference?

| February 18, 2009

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By Karon Thackston

To many people, the idea of guest blogging is fresh and new and
very “Web 2.0.” Personally, I find the discussion to be a
rather déjà vu-like experience. In fact, one participant on my
blog responded to a post about articles by asking how I would
contrast guest blogging with article marketing. He wanted to
know how I chose between placing my articles on directories and
writing an exclusive blog post. The short answer is: I don’t.

Remembering the Good Old Days of Article Marketing

Circa 1990, the first article directories began to pop up online
with the invention of ezines (email magazines). Many publishers
of these soon-to-be-popular email newsletters quickly got tired
of writing all the content themselves. Others decided to offer
compilations of recent articles published by others about a
particular topic.

The article directories provided a wonderful new outlet for
gathering quality content in exchange for a simple bio at the
end with a link back to the author’s site. Articles were
written to provide quality information to readers in the hope
that they would favor the author with a click.

A few of the many benefits of article marketing were (and still
are):

> Increasing traffic to your website
> Positioning before a highly targeted audience
> Branding yourself as an expert
> SEO
> Online networking and exposure before new groups of people
> Free advertising
> Infinite archiving of your material
> Almost instant propagation throughout the Internet

With changes in link popularity, it soon became common knowledge
that using keyword-rich anchor text carried more weight with
engines than simple http: links. As is typical with so many
Internet-based marketing methods, the article marketing
landscape began to be overtaken by spammers.

A Twisted Sense of Article Marketing

A push for quantity quickly took over the article marketing
arena and left quality articles in their wake. The invention of
article writing software that illegally harvests snippets of
text from existing online content and the invention of article
blaster software gave speed to those looking to distribute what
are now referred to as “junk articles.”

While this may have caused a decrease in the quality of links
coming from article directories, the other marketing benefits
remain to this day. Quality articles that get picked up from
directories and republished on website pages, in ezines and on
blogs still enjoy the benefits article marketing has always
offered.

Enter Guest Blogging

The advent of blogging and other social media outlets gave new
opportunities for professionals to share their expertise with
others. Companies as well as individuals found many advantages
to publishing blogs including:

> Increasing traffic to your website
> Positioning before a highly targeted audience
> Branding yourself as an expert
> SEO
> Online networking and exposure before new groups of people
> Free advertising
> Infinite archiving of your material
> Almost instant propagation throughout the Internet

(Hmm. sounds familiar. Where have I heard this before?)

When we look back at blogging after two or three more years,
will it have followed a path similar to article distribution?
Will the evil, greedy powers that be attempt to stamp out the
benefits of guest blogging in the near future? It’s very
possible. We’re seeing it to some extent already. Trackbacks
and ping backs are being manipulated by spammers as we speak.

Search Engine Optimization Issues

The same dark SEO clouds that hang over article marketing can be
seen drifting towards blogs. Concerns about duplicate content
can be voiced with regard to blog replication as well as
articles. Entire blogs are duplicated on scraper sites every
single day within seconds of the original posts being made
public.

Should you be concerned? I’m not.

Truth is, article marketing is not devoid of search engine
benefits as some claim. While the link quality of article
directories themselves may have been degraded over time, they
only account for one source of links. That’s because the
article directories were just a jumping off point. They should
never have been viewed as the final destination of articles.
The goal has always been to have your article picked up from
directories and reprinted on authority sites or blogs. That’s
where your linking benefits come in.

Even if I get no SEO benefits from article marketing or guest
blogging, I’d still do both on a regular basis. It’s not an
either/or choice for me: it’s good marketing. Since long before
the Internet was ever thought of, professionals would strive to
gain exposure by having their articles published in print
magazines. This type of marketing has proven to be successful
for decades, online and off, and it’s still a valid marketing
method today.

Want to make the most of your article marketing campaign? Learn
effective tactics and techniques to boost link popularity and
rankings with articles. Get more info today at
http://www.searchenginecollege.com/article-marketing-distribution-course.shtml
© 2009, All Rights Reserved

Category: Blog Creation, Search, Viral Marketing

Comments are closed.

admin Blog CreationSearchViral Marketing

tmm_logo1

By Karon Thackston

To many people, the idea of guest blogging is fresh and new and
very “Web 2.0.” Personally, I find the discussion to be a
rather déjà vu-like experience. In fact, one participant on my
blog responded to a post about articles by asking how I would
contrast guest blogging with article marketing. He wanted to
know how I chose between placing my articles on directories and
writing an exclusive blog post. The short answer is: I don’t.

Remembering the Good Old Days of Article Marketing

Circa 1990, the first article directories began to pop up online
with the invention of ezines (email magazines). Many publishers
of these soon-to-be-popular email newsletters quickly got tired
of writing all the content themselves. Others decided to offer
compilations of recent articles published by others about a
particular topic.

The article directories provided a wonderful new outlet for
gathering quality content in exchange for a simple bio at the
end with a link back to the author’s site. Articles were
written to provide quality information to readers in the hope
that they would favor the author with a click.

A few of the many benefits of article marketing were (and still
are):

> Increasing traffic to your website
> Positioning before a highly targeted audience
> Branding yourself as an expert
> SEO
> Online networking and exposure before new groups of people
> Free advertising
> Infinite archiving of your material
> Almost instant propagation throughout the Internet

With changes in link popularity, it soon became common knowledge
that using keyword-rich anchor text carried more weight with
engines than simple http: links. As is typical with so many
Internet-based marketing methods, the article marketing
landscape began to be overtaken by spammers.

A Twisted Sense of Article Marketing

A push for quantity quickly took over the article marketing
arena and left quality articles in their wake. The invention of
article writing software that illegally harvests snippets of
text from existing online content and the invention of article
blaster software gave speed to those looking to distribute what
are now referred to as “junk articles.”

While this may have caused a decrease in the quality of links
coming from article directories, the other marketing benefits
remain to this day. Quality articles that get picked up from
directories and republished on website pages, in ezines and on
blogs still enjoy the benefits article marketing has always
offered.

Enter Guest Blogging

The advent of blogging and other social media outlets gave new
opportunities for professionals to share their expertise with
others. Companies as well as individuals found many advantages
to publishing blogs including:

> Increasing traffic to your website
> Positioning before a highly targeted audience
> Branding yourself as an expert
> SEO
> Online networking and exposure before new groups of people
> Free advertising
> Infinite archiving of your material
> Almost instant propagation throughout the Internet

(Hmm. sounds familiar. Where have I heard this before?)

When we look back at blogging after two or three more years,
will it have followed a path similar to article distribution?
Will the evil, greedy powers that be attempt to stamp out the
benefits of guest blogging in the near future? It’s very
possible. We’re seeing it to some extent already. Trackbacks
and ping backs are being manipulated by spammers as we speak.

Search Engine Optimization Issues

The same dark SEO clouds that hang over article marketing can be
seen drifting towards blogs. Concerns about duplicate content
can be voiced with regard to blog replication as well as
articles. Entire blogs are duplicated on scraper sites every
single day within seconds of the original posts being made
public.

Should you be concerned? I’m not.

Truth is, article marketing is not devoid of search engine
benefits as some claim. While the link quality of article
directories themselves may have been degraded over time, they
only account for one source of links. That’s because the
article directories were just a jumping off point. They should
never have been viewed as the final destination of articles.
The goal has always been to have your article picked up from
directories and reprinted on authority sites or blogs. That’s
where your linking benefits come in.

Even if I get no SEO benefits from article marketing or guest
blogging, I’d still do both on a regular basis. It’s not an
either/or choice for me: it’s good marketing. Since long before
the Internet was ever thought of, professionals would strive to
gain exposure by having their articles published in print
magazines. This type of marketing has proven to be successful
for decades, online and off, and it’s still a valid marketing
method today.

Want to make the most of your article marketing campaign? Learn
effective tactics and techniques to boost link popularity and
rankings with articles. Get more info today at
http://www.searchenginecollege.com/article-marketing-distribution-course.shtml
© 2009, All Rights Reserved